Don’t Give Up on Learning Something New

Learning isn’t just for students…

Here is my story…

I am currently on a working holiday. I am trying to use my time to enjoy the beautiful country of the Dominican Republic, while still working on creating materials for my students. And I have already learned some big lessons doing little things.

Playa Alicia, Sosua, Dominican Republic

I rented a studio apartment for the first week and the stove is a bit temperamental, which means it doesn’t always work the way it is supposed to work. The burner won’t stay lit, the gas surges out of the burner and blows out the match, or I can’t get anything to even light at all. Just a cup of tea!

Finally got the gas burner lit after 6 matches.
I finally got the burner lit!

Starting to get frustrated, and staring at the 5 burnt matches that hadn’t managed to light the stove yet, I took a deep breath and spoke to myself out loud. “Stay calm. You tried these 2 burners, so why not try this one back here?” And with my sixth match I had the flame burning and quickly heated up my water for tea. Then I laughed aloud because I often give this kind of advice to my students.

I tell them it may seem as if nothing is coming easily in learning English. You can’t remember the vocabulary words, your sentences are confusing, or you can’t understand other English speakers even though you are doing everything you have been told, or have been taught.

Reminding myself of this made me smile as I sipped my hot tea and realized I didn’t give up and just walk to the restaurant for a cup of tea. I stopped, thought of what had already happened, or what I had tried, and just tried something new. Success felt so good for something so simple.

My first cup of tea in the Dominican Republic.

So please don’t give up in your quest to master a new language. Keep trying, ask for help from different people or sources, and if that doesn’t work, then try something different. One of these methods will be just what you need to make it one step higher on your way to speaking English.

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