Why should you learn another Language?
My first months in Panama, even after an entire year of living in Spain, I could barely order off a menu, let along muster up the courage to actually speak Spanish. How did I spend a year in Spain and still struggle to speak Spanish? Well, it was news to me too, but apparently living abroad and being immersed in a language isn't the same thing. You need to seek opportunities for immersion. This only became clear after living in Coronado, where a good portion of the population is English speaking, first and second language. After deciding Panama was home for the foreseeable future it set in that learning the language was going to be essential; if not to buy my groceries or order off menus, then to connect with more people.
When you live in a country that does not speak your native tongue, learning a new language is a necessary tool in understanding culture and making new friends.
Since connection is such a primitive human need, we naturally gravitate toward those who speak our language, understand our humor, and can relate to us. This isn't a bad thing. It is comfortable to be around people you don't have to try to communicate with.
While it's scary speaking with new people in a foreign language, by stepping outside of our comfort zone, we open ourselves up to experience more. We learn things about ourselves, and others, gaining a new perspective on the world around us.
The goal of language is not to be perfected, but rather to foster communication. Making an effort to speak a new language will almost always be met with patience and maybe some giggles and smiles. This practice is essential in becoming comfortable and willing to make the mistakes necessary to improve.
Give it a try. Speak more Spanish today.
What do you think is the best way to learn a new language?
a) To study grammatical concepts and master the foundation of the language.
b) Use that language daily, as a tool for communication.
c) All of the above.
If you guessed c), you're right. You may say " Obviously, but that is a lot to ask", right again! However, I promise if you pay your dues:
1 – Learn to conjugate the words you use daily.
2 - Survive the embarrassment of speaking like a pirate.
You will be thankful you stuck it out.
Also, it doesn't have to be painfully boring. Figure out what interests you, and what you want to speak about in that language, and start there.