Nelson Mandela once stated that, “If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head; if you talk to him in his own language that goes to his heart.” This resonates with my experience of learning my second language spanish
in Cabo San Lucas, mexico
. Language learning unites people by speech. Upon learning a new language, one can instantly communicate with millions if not billions of new people. This is a profound reason why I believe that I will be passionate about teaching english
According to BBC, “scientists believe that being bilingual boosts brain power.” They cite the proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences for biological proof of this. Furthermore, they go on to state how tests reveal that, “speaking two languages profoundly affects the brain and changes how the nervous system responds to sound.” I have been able to enjoy the benefits of learning a second language. However, the process was not always easy.
My journey began when I found myself in an exotic location where I did not speak more than two words of the local language. These words consisted of “hola” and como estas?” Hello and ‘how are you' seem to be the most basic words in any language. This is destined to be a performance that I will repeat teaching tefl
abroad. However, I now have empathy for the learners as I known how challenging learning a new language can be. This will undoubtedly help me in my teaching practice.
It is 2005 and I am basking in the sun as I walk down the colorful palm tree lined streets of Cabo San Lucas. They sway in the wind as I hear the sounds of the spanish
language all around me. It is both foreign and pleasing to my ears. In that moment, I make up my mind and it is final. I am going to learn spanish
I am on my first date in my new hometown. She does not speak any english
, and I do not speak any spanish
. We gesture wildly as we use body language and hand motions to compensate. It is a humorous and light hearted scene. I will go on another date with this girl after learning spanish
and converse in my new second language about how funny it was when I did not speak it. Doing this was a very surreal experience.
improves, and the locals truly warm up to me. They all seem delighted to hear that I am learning spanish
. They insist on teaching me all of the dirty words first. I laugh. I begin to order in spanish
at restaurants and converse in spanish
at local shops.
There was a lot of preparation to get me to that point. My tutor
was a french canadian
woman named Julia. She used drilling to teach pronunciation and pictures to teach vocabulary. We played language games and had a splendid time. Learning spanish
was an incredible experience. I hope to always keep my experience with Julia in mind.
"BBC News - Being bilingual 'boosts brain power'." BBC - Homepage. N.p., n.d. Web. 11 Aug. 2012. .