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Friday, March 25, 2011

Teacher turned Student!

I hear Chinese around me all day long and recognizing what I’m slowly starting to learn, is something that seems… undoable and unreachable!! Yes… this language is appearing to be so far out of my league… Not like the stars… hahaha… those are probably more accessible to me right now, than mastering this particular language… Man oh man…

At school, I walk around my class and I look at the kids and I see their other textbooks… full of characters and symbols. These kids are able to read and write them, AS WELL as the ABC language of pinyin AND English! I’m amazed by what goes on in their little brains. My students are actually appearing to be little geniuses!

I look at their books and it’s just looks so beautiful, so deep… It’s like a secret language to which us foreigners will never truly be granted access to… Not unless WE OURSELVES take on the ‘task’ and make it a mission so POSSIBLE and start to DECIFER what the hell these 5000 symbols mean!

Am I making this more of an issue than it really is? It’s not so much an issue… it’s just a long long road ahead, when envisioning the journey I’m choosing to take as I ‘concur’ this alien language!

Monday, during our lesson, I had to stop myself from jumping ahead. BUT at the same time, I knew I had to be jumping ahead because that’s where the drive will come from and it will force me to study in my free time…

Hummm… I now have my textbook, I have my private teacher and I have my audio online… I have my… discipline…? Time…? And… mental capacity to absorb a new language?

Yes, yes, yes… I can only hope! This is where the fact that I’ve already learnt Dutch at a young age, comes in extremely handy. I can do languages! I may not be a child anymore but I can STILL absorb! As long as I start putting in the daily effort and NOT make it into a massive big deal. Or else I’ll panic, I’ll freeze and I’ll absorb ZERO.

It may sound like a big chore, but really, I enjoy it SOOOO much when I’m learning it… It’s fascinating... And it gives me so much respect for Chinese people who are able to communicate in English. They too have been shown such an alien language – but just from the opposite end… What minds and brains these people have!

And, actually, that fact that I’m a ‘teacher’ only helps the whole situation. Learning their Chinese as I teach the students English brings me ‘closer’ to the students. I understand MORE the fact that they don’t always understand me or what I’m teaching… I understand how complex English must be for them and so, any frustration I’d feel when they can’t say the word ‘sixteen’… is gone. Because… do you think I can say sixteen in Chinese? Nope! I’m just delighted I can already count to 10!

So, if there’s anything good that can come of my learning Chinese, is that me being a student and learning a foreign language (just like them) lets me relate to them more… They can feel misunderstood by me, just like I can feel misunderstood by them; regardless if it’s Chinese or English that creates the barrier!

Throughout this whole process I know I’ll love discovering the depth of this language, because I reckon it’s probably one of the deepest that exists. How exciting!

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