If you’ve ever taken a language class, then you know the first lesson is usually how to introduce yourself.
Magandang umaga. Ako po si Cristina. Taga-Pilipinas po ako.
Bon jour. Je m’appelle Cristina. Je viens des Philippines.
Guten Morgen. Ich heisse Cristina. Ich komme von den Philippinen.
Buongiorno. Mi chiamo Cristina. Vengo dalle Filippine.
And everyone has to take turns practicing their new sentences in front of the rest of the class.
I have never liked the first lesson.
For me, language lessons didn’t become exciting until I learned how to conjugate. Then all the new sentences started to come alive.
Does this sound like you, too?
Are you an introverted language learner?
Modern language classes are designed for extraverts, who like to learn in groups and to start speaking as soon as possible. But if you are an introvert, you prefer studying quietly and having time to think before you speak. You also need time to feel comfortable with a new language and new classmates. As we say on blogs, you like to lurk before you make your first comment.
The Internet is a fantastic tool for an introvert, because it lets you study alone, go as fast or as slow as you need to, and choose your own materials. It is also a great way to find a study partner whose learning style suits your own.
Introverts are quiet at first, but can be very talkative when they are with good friends and when the topic interests them. I started Linguavert.com to share something very interesting to me: the wonderful world of language learning!
If this interests you, too, I hope you will introduce yourself and join the conversation! But if you prefer to lurk a little longer, that’s okay, too.
And if you are an extravert, you’re very welcome as well! In fact, you will probably be leaving the most comments! Another good thing about the Internet is that it lets introverts and extraverts share their interests in a way that is comfortable for everyone.
What languages can we learn together?
Right now, my main focus is German. I have been taking lessons at the local Goethe Institut for a couple of years.
I studied French in high school and one semester of university, plus one Alliance Francaise course. Some new friends from France and Switzerland have been encouraging me to use it again, so that we can all speak to each other in their mother tongue.
Ironically, I dropped French for Latin in university, but I met all my new French-speaking friends through a local Latin Mass Community.
Last year, I dabbled a little in Italian. It was the first language I tried to learn outside of a traditional class. Although I cannot focus on it any longer, I discovered many things about language learning during the year I was studying it. Some of those insights will appear in future posts.
The next language I really want to learn is Russian. I know the Cyrillic alphabet and can read many Russian words aloud, but that’s it so far.
In a strange twist I will tell you about someday, I learned to speak my second language, English, so much better than my first language, Tagalog.
Finally, it is safe to say that I have mastered English. I have worked as an ESL (English as a Second Language) Teacher to South Korean children studying in the Philippines and a Corporate English Trainer to employees of Electricite de France (from France), Lexmark International, Inc. (from Germany), Swarovski AG (from Austria), UniCredit S.p.A. (from Italy), and other international companies. I have taught English in classrooms, over the phone, and through the Internet. In the future, Linguavert.com will offer customized online lessons for introverted English learners.