European day of languages: a day to celebrate culture, language and all things communication. For me, it’s a chance to reflect on just what an impact being a language learner has made on my life.
It’s given me adventures, shaped my views and given me another family.
As a wee girl, whenever I wanted to know the meaning of a word my dad would always tell me to look it up in the dictionary! There may have been groans and rolling of eyes but it did help to have a fascination for language, especially when we were surrounded in Scots too. My first modern languages teacher opened up a whole new world for me and I couldn’t get enough. I had an inspiring teacher for a Higher English and was in a class that was simply a joy to be in. Only he could laugh when I came out of the higher exam having said that was a great question for a short story. He raised his eyebrows and asked which short story and I relied The Great Gatsby. It was short in comparison to some of the tomes of nonsense I was reading at the time!
I didn’t grow up thinking about being a teacher but I did know that I loved languages. I had to work very hard at it but I loved it. Being able to study languages at University brought me into contact with the most flamboyant, cultured, opinionated and gorgeous hearts I have ever met. People who felt at home in different languages, people who took on different personas in different languages and people who soaked it all up and became more themselves.
Being a language learner gave me the confidence to be brave, to throw caution to the wind and to try new things ( constantly reminding myself when in Rome etc…..) It showed me I could be resilient, get over a broken heart and think on my feet. Having the knowledge of languages allowed me to have the most wonderful adventures that contributed to my ever growing love of culture and communication.
Having realised the potential these skills could give someone,my interest in passing these on was ignited and the journey to into education. However, what I didn’t bank on was finding a family. The most multicultural, wild, energetic and inspiring family. People I have had the privilege of working with, learning with, coaching, and learning from. The most amazing linguists,the most committed teachers and inspiring friends.
The people who get your geekery for grammar, the vitesse of your speech patterns and who gesticulate as much as you do.
Had it not been for languages I would not have had the chance to teach the most inspiring young people, yes, that’s you COB, EC,DMcL, AC,CMc and all the other tesoros.
Had it not been for the love of languages, travel and a bit of taking a leap of faith I wouldn’t be who I am now. Which means I would not have met so many of the influential people in my life and I think things would have been very different for me. Maybe there would still have been manolos and methodology but maybe it the mammy. Had I not been on a big adventure, I would not have. Been in a certain place and then the rest is histoire.
Points carried over.