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Have you ever wondered how come some people who start to learn a new language (e.i. Italian) don’t succeed, despite having the best courses, books, and best teachers?
At the same time, how come some people, who don’t have access to as many resources, manage to learn that same language successfully?
I’ve been wondering this for a while.
And today I’d like to share my answer with you.
The first time I stepped into a classroom as a teacher was in 2012.
Since then, I learned and experimented different teaching and learning methods…
I trained with different mentors…
I worked in brick and mortar schools and online schools..
I worked with students from different ages, backgrounds, languages and cultures…
I attended and spoken to teaching conferences…
And in each one of these different scenarios, there was one common issue that kept on coming up…
It was the fact that speaking a new language is not just about learning new words and sticking them together with some grammar to translate literally from your native language…
Learning a new language is actually a different way of seeing and thinking about reality – this is why you soon realise that literal translation doesn’t work that well!
Also, whilst learning this language you you are also challenged to become a new, different version of yourself through many ways…
Let me explain what I mean by giving you an example from my own life.
When I enrolled to uni for the second time to study languages –after “failing” the first time (the full story here), I managed to get further ahead than my other classmates after a year.
Yet, they had behind their back more knowledge than me (as most of them came form language specialised high schools),nthey had taken more courses, and some of them even went abroad to study.
However, I managed to reach their level and, finally, surpass some of them.
This was not because of my I.Q’s or because of my “talent for languages”.
It was mainly because of discipline and consistent effort.
And this was the first life lesson I learned form learning a language.
I learned the art of disciplined practise and consistency – an important skill to master any language and also any skills in life.
But, that was just the beginning…
After I learned to speak English fluently, I became…
More open minded.
And more self aware.
I also discovered new things that I love doing and widened my range of hobbies and passions — thanks to the fact that I had access to new resources that were not accessible in Italian!
I felt inspired to travel solo to a new country for the first time and I mingled with people whose culture was very different from mine – and that was a HUGE leap out of my comfort zone.
In summary, learning to speak a new language brought out new layers of myself into the world.
And here is why:
When you learn to speak a language you also get to understand and master the skills and abilities needed to make that new language really yours, such as…
The discipline of learning and practising it day in and day out.
The open mindedness of looking at reality in a different way,
The confidence and believe more in ourselves – as you speak to strangers and put yourself out there!
The resilience and seeing every mistake you make as learning oppourtunity.
The determination of being defined by a vision of the future (e.g. “I’m going to become fluent, move to a new country and start a new life.”) instead of a memory of the past (e.g. “I have always been too shy to speak so I’d better stay where I am.”)
The self awareness of finding your own ways to make that language yours and keep learning it with joy – rather than with tribulation.
All these things come as a result of learning a language and the opportunity that it gives us for self exploration, inner work, and self development.
So embarking on a journey to becoming fluent in a new language is embarking on a journey to become a different and better version of yourself.
You won’t be the same once you get on the other side.
And it’s not because you just speak another language (yes, that too!).
It’s because you’ll have gained so many more abilities, skills and knowledge that you’ll elevate yourself to a new level of you.
The truth is that you can get the words from a dictionary and the grammar from any website that Google brings up for you, however…
It’s the evolution of you, of your Self, that allows you to become a fluent speaker of that language.
And we need to embrace and overcome the challenges that this evolution requires in order to be successful in speaking a new language.
Some teachers and learners focuses only on the what (the words, the grammar) and very little on the why (what’s the reasons why you’re learning? What’s your vision?) or the how (building the discipline, the resilience, the confidence, and all those other things mentioned above).
However, when you only focus on the what, the results come very slowly or not at all.
So, you may have the right material, but not the discipline to study it.
You may have the words, but not the confidence to speak them.
You may have all the learning resources, but you may have no idea which one to use or which one is the best for you (self awareness).
You may also force yourself to learn something, end up hating it and giving up because you lose sight of your “why” and you don’t know how to instill fun and joy into the process…
So, my intention with my work is to discuss more all of these aspects of language learning.
I’m ready to bring you a new level of language learning that embrace self exploration, inner work, and self development.
So that you too can learn to speak Italian and create the life vision you’ve been dreaming of.
This may sound so foreign to those who are just used to see language learning just as learning new words and grammar points and who consume content that only relates to this aspect…
And if you don’t share my view and are not ready to embrace the other aspects of language learning, I totally understand, so feel free to unsubscribe right here.
If you *are* among those who share my view and deep inside know it to be true…
If you are ready to truly bring your language learning to a whole new level (not just a higher grammar and vocabulary level, but at at a “life level”)
If you are ready to embrace language learning as a journey to self discovery and self development…
Please let me know in the comments (or email me here) below:
- What’s your vision related to Italian? If you spoke Italian fluently, what would you be able to become, do or have?
- If you’ve been learning Italian seriously, what are the skills, the abilities and the knowledge tha you’ve been gaining on your learning journey (apart from new words and new way to express yourself)? Have you had any mindset shifts since you started learning?
I’m curious to know what are the gifts that learning Italian has given you.
I look forward to carrying on this conversation wth you.
With love and excitement about this new journey together,
P.S. Would you like to read + listen to this post in Italian? Remember to subscribe to my Learning Club newsletter here to receive similar content in Italian.