The more I learn the more I realize how little I know.
Recently, I had the pleasure of receiving praise from one of my long term students. She had just returned home from an international business trip. She was so excited to exclaim that, I “gave her the confidence” to communicate with foreigners in a shared second language – English. I was certainly pleased to receive news of her successful trip abroad and I am always happy to hear a compliment, but the fact is that I didn’t give her anything! It was through the student’s own initiative that she decided to take lessons in order to develop her English language skills. I applaud anyone willing to continue to upgrade personal skills. That same student also deserves credit for working to improve her skills. Through consistent practice, regular reading of current events and continued tutoring on a weekly basis this student has realized her goal of improving her second language skills. I share resources with the student. It is on them to follow-through and do the work. I give guidance when needed and I always try to encourage every student to keep learning. The rest is up to each individual student. So, I would argue that this student gave herself the confidence to speak in her second language.
Every student can do a lot of self improvement by reading and listening to news reports, popular movies and t.v. There are also plenty of resources found on the homepage (right column beneath the translation box) of this blog (also find some key articles on the “About” page).
Through learning we gain a greater understanding of the world in which we live, we may also learn from finding commonality with people from different cultures and this may ultimately lead to tremendous personal growth.
As we grow older it is important to continue to learn new things. Learning should be a life-long endeavor. In seeking excellence in your career it is imperative to perpetually improve and update your skills, to expand your knowledge base and to find solutions to new problems.
When one attains a basic skill level with a foreign language it is so important to practice regularly in order to maintain that level. Practice is essential. The skills you have gained must be constantly honed. “Use it or lose it!” is an appropriate axiom. Additionally, it is equally important to continue to improve on that base level of skill.
Travel is a terrific way to practice your second language and the good news is that you may probably find people willing to practice spoken English anywhere in the world!
Your confidence will naturally follow your competence. The only way to improve your competence level is through regular reading, listening and instruction, continued learning and practice, practice, practice!