Have you ever heard the common English phrase seeing is believing?
It’s commonly used to describe learning. That is, you can only learn something after seeing an example, or viewing how something is supposed to be done.
In fact, I think this is a perfect match to English, and one of the most compelling reasons to study English. When you study English, seeing really is believing. This goes for any language, and I’ll give you a quick example from my time learning English in a Japanese junior high school!
When I first began teaching in Japan, I didn’t know a single word beyond the basics like こんにちは and ありがとう! However, I was determined to improve my language, so that I could interact with my fellow teachers at school. I still remember reading the first lesson about giving invitations to people.
I had never spoken Japanese to a real Japanese person before, but I turned around and tried to invite the music teacher in my school to a cafe for coffee! Amazingly, not only did she understand me, but she also said yes, and I understood her reply!
As you can imagine, I turned around with a huge smile on my face! In that case, seeing the power of language and what can do, made me a true believer in the value of language. Prior to going to Japan, I had an interest in teaching. However, that one point could be considered the critical turning point in my quest to become the best teacher in the world.
By the way, the turning point is the moment in time where something significant happens, or that has a deep meaning.
After my turning point, I knew that I wanted to give my students the same feeling that I had when I was able to apply what I had learned to a real-life situation.
So, are you a believer in English. Think about your motivations for English, and what you have accomplished with it! Don’t worry, it’s not a contest! Just remember that motivation is one of the best ways to increase your retention and learning ability.
If you can see the effect of your learning, and see how it helps you, then you will become a believer, get motivated, and be a more effective English learner as well!
I encourage you to try out your language in any way you can. It doesn’t have to be speaking either. Try listening to some of your favourite English music, or watching some English television!
Become a believer, and use your English in the real world!
Here’s everyone’s favourite version of the song you’re probably thinking about too!
座右の名”The grand essentials to happiness in this life are something to do, something to love and something to hope for.”