It Takes a Village to Learn a Language

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What do charades, soccer, hugs, water skiing, and language learning have in common?  

They are all hard to do alone and much more fun with a partner or group. 

 As the saying goes, “it takes a village.” We are a wonderfully unique village of language learners.   I have the privilege of logging in with our learners and teachers every day to get our Experience sessions started.  Seeing how learners greet each other with such enthusiasm and warmth delights me.  It doesn’t end there.  Throughout the sessions, I marvel at the power of human connection.  I see students laughing together as they make a pitcher of authentic Spanish Sangria, encouraging each other as they awkwardly tackle a tough sound in a pronunciation workshop, and perhaps most heartwarming, how a mother provides much-needed reassurance to one another at a Moms’ Club session.   Ah….the smiles, validating nods, encouraging words from others who understand the struggle but also know the joy from a sense of accomplishment; what a village!  
Our teachers play an essential role too.  Most of them have had their language journey as a learner, so they are empathetic and understand the emotions and needs of students. They create a welcoming and comfortable environment where learning happens!  They know that sometimes learners can help each other most effectively.  
I love our conversation groups.  We have some advanced, but my favorites are for those learners just embarking on their language adventure.  Two such groups, appropriately named “Hola!” for Spanish and “Bonjour” for French, meet for a “guided conversation” session.  I never fully understood how a starting student could participate in such a group until I experienced it myself. Our teachers skillfully give learners a prompt, such as “Karen, ask Andy what he had for dinner last night,” and then assist with crafting the response in the target language.  Yes, there are many mistakes, but there are many laughs too.   And WOW that sense of accomplishment when the session ends.  
It is marvelous to make a cooking class, virtual city tour, or management discussion group part of your language journey and do it with others who enrich the experience!  I would love to help you join Experiences that are just right for you so you may start reaping the benefits of your very own village. 

Learn more about Karen McDougall, Global LT's Vice President of Experiences & Culture. 

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