I have a list in my head that gnaws at my brain. It is THE list of who I want to be. If I could accomplish my list, I could become that person. My list contains all the usual suspects: lose weight, get healthy, make more money. I have another item on the list that I have played at, but never taken seriously, learn a new language.
In high school, I took 2 years of French. In college, I took 2 years of French. But I never really learned it. I knew enough to pass tests. I studied Czech for a while because it is the language of Prague. I love French and Czech and would like to REALLY learn them someday, but there is no French or Czech around me. So I decided to start on Spanish. I absolutely love it. I was starving to do something language based since so much of what I do is visual.
I got a subscription to DuoLingo. I would highly recommend if you are interested in learning any language; they seem to offer them all. The new way of learning a language is so much easier than when you had to go to the language lab and listen to one of those white cassettes. I can see, hear, speak on my phone. I really look forward to my Spanish lesson each night. It is relaxing. Now I can read those signs in Spanish and am starting to catch bits and pieces of Spanish I hear around me.
Learning a foreign language (and really applying myself to it) has proved to be most beneficial. I don't have one of those things on my list that I'm NOT doing anymore. Not only has it helped me become more proficient in Spanish, but it has also helped me become the person I want to be. By immersing myself in a new language and culture, I have developed an enhanced level of self-confidence, concentration, and healthy living. Through this journey of learning, I am now better able to focus on my goals and make plans for achieving them. I am now more conscious of making good choices for those other items on my list.
Learning a foreign language (or learning anything new) is not just about increasing knowledge or showing off; it’s about becoming someone who values themselves more deeply and can push themselves further towards their dreams. I thought I was one of those people that couldn't learn a language, but I never really tried. I'm not letting myself off the hook anymore with, "it's something I just can't do." You can do anything you put your mind to.