I teach English as a second language and I find a lot of people take the "ability" to speak (a language) for granted. Somewhat they believe they've been born with this skill... This is kind of true - just think about the dumb- but you must never forget that you had learnt your first language, too! Even though you cannot recall, you have made effort and have spent some years of your life with learning it

“Language is not a genetic gift, it is a social gift. Learning a new language is becoming a member of the club -the community of speakers of that language.”

Nowadays in our "high-tech" world, we think we can do everything via an app! I hear it so many times from language learners that now it will work (i.e.: they believe they'll finally be able to learn to speak their target language) because they've downloaded the <younameit> app! Then my naive question would follow: "So how much time are you  going to spend with it each day?" Answers vary but I find the common belief is that these apps will magically teach the "downloader" without learning... No need to spend time on it regularly - and what's more important CONSTANTLY! Although, that is not the case...I love these apps (have used some myself to extend my vocabulary in other languages) but there is no learning  without spending time on it! And what we must not forget: no-one can teach you what you don't learn yourself!

I need to admit, I struggle to learn a "third language"...Mainly because I don't scarify enough time and also I tend to shift between languages...I try to learn Polish for a while then change my mind and think it would be easier to "wake my German up"...But then back to Polish because it would be "cool" to speak it...Then I'd try both, parallel - which is exhausting, so I would take a break...After a little while, I would then start it all over again - because it's boring without learning! So, yes,  I would love to have a "magic app" that would just teach you ALL!

I recently read an article about a guy who invented an in-ear translator device to chat a French girl up! This is what I call commitment and love (and genius of course). On the other hand, using these devices is nowhere near learning the true meanings of the words in an other language...Not the same kind of understanding. I don't think a conversation with the help of a device could be as deep as a "real one"!

As a bilingual, I believe, learning a language means picking up a different way of thinking, learning another culture , too! Hence I find, no app can teach you as effectively as another human being! Maybe because I'm a teacher myself or maybe I'm not "high tech" enough...(you may call me "old fashioned") ... I'll accept! But one thing is sure: "language is not a genetic gift", it's something that you have to work for!

Published by Kati(e) Mesfy