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Sunday, 23 November 2014

November 2014

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That's me with my friends/colleagues, who are also my Italian and French teachers. Club hopping, not my kind of pastime.

I have been busy recently with my new classes, and now have the time to blog again. There have been some changes in my work schedule and my language classes.

In addition to my current classes in some companies, now I also teach at the language course where I take classes (as a student). So yeah, some of my language teachers are my colleagues. I teach English and Indonesian for adult learners. I have less time to study and often skip classes because I must spend enough time to prepare my teaching materials. But the good thing is, in the teacher's room I can ask my 'colleagues' questions about the languages they teach and even borrow their teaching materials. I always come home from work after 10 PM. I would be too tired to review my language lessons after a full-day at work in one or two offices.

However, when I'm not blogging, I write down my thoughts on paper. I realize a few things need to change.

#1. We (my classmates and I) need less Grammar Lessons, we need More Speaking Practice.

#2. I have improved my Italian skills faster than my skills in other languages, thanks to the teacher who is persistent in her efforts to make us SPEAK.

#3. The Mandarin test in my language course puts too much attention on the memorization of the Chinese characters in written form. Very, very little attention is given to listening and speaking skills. This is not the natural way of learning a language.

#4. The English tests for my students in my language course do not include listening and speaking tests. This does not feel right to me, but I was not in charge of creating the syllabus nor was I in charge of writing the test materials. I could not do anything about it. There is too much focus on grammar and complicated tenses that native speakers don't even use in daily conversations. I worry that this would impair my students' natural speaking abilities, because every time they want to say something in English they will be hesitant about their grammatical accuracy. Hesitation slows down their speaking.

$5. My French has improved a bit. I realize why I'm not learning it seriously. I have no need to hurry. I leave my French language acquisition to fate, meaning whenever I read or hear French by chance, that's when I pick up new words. I don't study it on a regular basis because I'm focusing on more difficult languages like Russian and Arabic. 

My analogy of French is like...French language is a friend that you don't see often but they're always nice to you and so are you to them. You stay in touch; they like and comment on your posts on Facebook and you like and comment on theirs, although you don't hang out with them regularly. French to me is like an ex-best friend from high school!! They text you, ask you to meet up, then you meet up and have great fun driving around town, spending the evening getting a bit drunk, after that you don't text one another for weeks until you guys think you should meet up again to catch up and pour your hearts out. Then, the whole cycle repeats  :)


About the author

Hening is a laid-back ENTP (by upbringing) and a solar-Scorpio-and-lunar-Sagittarius (by birth). She believes that thrifting is an art form that helps rewire our brain circuits for the better.


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