Coucou les French learners,
How has this new year started? I hope not too fast! I know I need to remind myself to slow down.
Living life at a fast pace often leads to stress and frustration. BUT acquiring another language teaches you to take your time and become patient.
When you are acquiring a language, you soon notice that to become fluent is not going to happen in a few months!
You learn to accept that it is going to take time. You learn to surrender to the amazing journey ahead of you. You slow down to discover a new way of thinking, to find another world.
The Journey to Acquire a Language
- will make you a physically healthier person. Research has shown that people who rate higher on patience have lower overall stress levels and less physical illness connected to stress. Watch my video about becoming stress-free when acquiring a language.
- help you to develop a healthy attitude. Improve your ability to accept setbacks. Persevere and succeed. Watch my video about making errors to acquire a language.
- help you have a greater sense of gratitude. Be less focused on what “isn’t happening” and more focused on being present with your journey as it is occurring.
- transform your relationships. Develop the crucial relationship skill of empathy — the ability to understand life from the perspective of another. Watch my video about how crucial it is to understand the content (not the form).
Read more about patience here.
How to develop patience?
Slow down – Ralentis
Very practically, you can pay attention to your breathing. Slow your breathing, breathe deeply, fully expanding your lungs. Taking a few slow “calming breaths” can help you refocus mentally.
The French live sessions always start with a few minutes of relaxation and breathing. My Dear Man and I have also designed breathing videos for the Community Members to relax and focus before starting a French session.
Hélène Colinet explained how breathing is crucial to live well in the last Instant Thé.
Think – Pense
Focus on the big picture. When you listen to a story, try to understand the gist of the story. It is OK not to understand every word, every detail. Do NOT get stuck because you didn’t get that one word! Remind yourself that you do not know every single word of your own mother tongue. Yet you manage to understand your mother tongue! The same happens with any other languages.
Another aspect of thinking is to avoid thinking in dichotomies, as in things are good or bad, right or wrong. It is OK to make mistakes. Thanks to the mistakes you make, you will improve. Mistakes will make acquire more French.
Choose – Choisis
Choose to think about the big picture. Often the difficulties that trigger impatience are smaller things; or are at least only a part of the story. You can choose to focus on one specific difficulty in French, for instance the subjunctive! OR you can look at many other areas that are good, for example “I can understand this podcast, yeah!”. This will allow you to cultivate an “attitude of gratitude.”
With Florence Calvez, we talked about setting realistic goals and to revisit books, to see how much progress you actually made.
Surrender – Abandonne
What you do control is your own self, your thoughts and your actions. Start small. Start by listening to a short story in French. Try to understand the gist of it. Listen to another story the next day. You don’t even have to waste your time looking for an appropriate story, start with the Baby Stage NOW!
Review of the week
Claudia shared a testimony in Spanish, yeah!:
He aprendido mucho con Alice y lo recomiendo 100%. Es profesional, interesante, y las actividades son divertidas. Merci !
What are you waiting for? Join us now and make real progress in French!