Learning a new language
As an ESL tutor, I do my best to understand and help my students learn English. Many people can't understand how I can do this without speaking another language. Well, the truth is, I've been studying French my entire life. I'm terrible. I go through phases of being super dedicated and then weeks where I can't even muster enough energy to review simple vocabulary. This happens because of any number of things, work, illness, family, life in general, etc. It is one of the reasons I can understand my students when they say they need a break, or they didn't have time to study, or any number of excuses to not show up for class. I get it!
Everyone has their own reason for studying a new language. For me it is because Canada is French. We are a bilingual nation, anglophone and francophone, and I think to understand my country in its fullest I should learn it's languages. French is just the beginning, Canada has at least 65 First Nations languages that I would love to learn one day. I want to learn Gaelic (Irish and Scottish), I want to learn Spanish and Korean! There is so much a language can offer us, but it takes time and dedication.
My biggest challenge is staying motivated as a beginner. No matter how much I like my teacher, some days, I am just plain exhausted. Reading children’s stories makes me sweat and feel short of breath. So, how am I overcoming this? I am doing more on my own in small doses. I study with a friend who is also practicing her French (thank you Emma) and I use apps. I have trouble staying asleep, or I wake up super early (3am), so I study instead of lying awake waiting.
So, how does this help me be a better teacher? Well, I have the education, I understand the struggle and I have patience knowing some days are just harder than others. I have learned a lot from my students over the last few years and will continue to upgrade my education to be a better teacher for them. I will keep studying and sharing new ideas and methods after I have tried them first!