I remember my English class in first grade, elementary school. We played a game. If the teacher said ‘yes’, we had to jump towards the windows. If she said ‘no’, then jump towards the door. I also recall sheets of paper with color blots on them. They were lined up on the chalkboard ledge. That’s how it all began. Six years later three of us took part in a local English competition. My teacher had a dream. She imagined us winning the first three places, and even had an order in her mind. To our astonishment, it all came true. It was hard to believe first. However it happened, it was the first real impact on my English studies. The next one came when I went to high school, and my placement test returned with the best result in the class. On top of that, I had the most fantastic teachers from the very first moment up to the final exam. I could write tens of pages of stories, and I’m just a drop in the bucket.
Two weeks ago we went around the room and everybody had a chance to tell their stories regarding their language studies. It was incredible to see how many different ways there are to acquire a foreign language. First of all, Fanni familiarized us with a bunch of linguistic expressions, such as the one in the title: SLA, which stands for Second Language Acquisiton. So, it’s not the name of a serious disease. We discussed what an important role our enthusiasm and persistence plays in the process of learning. Moreover, we posed the question: is there an aptitude (inborn ability) for language-learning?
We concluded the conversation by sharing one of our best and worst experiences with foreign languages. For instance, spending half a year in a native speaking environment, or getting a terrible teacher who makes you hate the language.
During the second half of the session, we played a funny game. I don’t think it’s my invention, but I swear I hadn’t looked it up before the meeting. So… I bought a few thick A/4 sheets of different colors, and then we cut them into small cards. First, we made three teams. Everyone got four cards and had to put down a single word, an expression or a saying on each of them. Then we collected the cards, shuffled them, and dealt them out randomly among the teams.
“You go on a blind date. You arrive at the café/restaurant and accidentally go up to the wrong girl.” This was the beginning of the story. The three teams had to continue the story using all the words and expressions on the cards, then present it in first person. One of the teams wrote a poem…
It’s that much fun to attend the TAKE FIVE club!