Recently I found a tweet that had a language learning challenge over 30 days that I wanted to try out:
I decided to give it a go and see how it all pans out. A few French speaking people have been helping me along – most prefer to give their feedback through Direct Message as opposed to public view. So there was a lot more conversation happening “behind the scenes” most of all quite positive and encouraging me to keep going.
However, what also spurred me on were tweets like this where people were using your challenge as a means of explaining how you can “learn out loud” … you know you’re doing something right when they use you as an example for language learning!
What Did I Learn Through This Challenge?
I’m not going to lie but halfway through this, I really wanted to give up. I kept thinking, “what’s the point of all this? Why am I doing this?” The reason is that it took some time out of the day to plan what I was going to say, then I filmed it, wasn’t happy with how I looked, stopped, went and put make up on or changed my shirt, re-shot it etc… it just took…time.
Until I just didn’t care about how I looked on camera and just turned the bloody thing on.
Lessons for me were:
- Making yourself accountable publicly means that you’re more likely to complete the challenge.
- There will be days where you just don’t want to do it and yet, because there’s a timeliness aspect to it – you just have to show up – as you are – and DO IT.
- If you’re not happy with the result of one day, make more of an effort to do better the next day
- People were 100% helpful, supportive and encouraging. I got so many messages about how I was inspiring people with their own language learning or doing something more openly
- I NEED to experiment and show BEFORE I preach. You’re not going to find me preaching HOW you should do something unless I’ve done that thing myself. Now I’m in a better position to understand how this challenge will be difficult for some people but not for others. I can see applications across different platforms – also how it could work within organisations (within closed communities) because I have gone through the entire process myself. I’ve got credibility, reputation and proof of completing.
- I really need to speak the target language. No speaking = not learning. No matter what language you’re learning, if you’re not challenging or motivating yourself to speak knowing FULL WELL you are making PLENTY of mistakes then you’re not learning. The idea is to overcome this fear and just fail but learn from it. Improve upon it.
- My French speaking network has grown DRASTICALLY. This has increased new networks with language experts and French speakers. What this means is that they will continually bring in different perspectives and insights to me that I can use and draw upon.
- Don’t spend too much time on how you look on camera (after all, you’re not shooting a professional video here). Instead use that time to plan out what you might say and how. Similarly, don’t over edit.
- Continually keep asking for feedback and advice.
- I am WAY MORE CONFIDENT OPENING MY MOUTH TO TALK – not shy in speaking French regardless of how bad it might sound.