I’ve language studied on and off for a little over 10 years. I’m not fluent. (Note on and off, never full-time.) I can get around on my own and feel fairly confident when talking with the locals. That is until my 10-year old, or worse my 6-year old, corrects me.
POP! My Confidence busts like a needle piercing a balloon.
I know that children just naturally learn the language faster, but it doesn’t stop the sting. For expample:
“No Mom, that is not how you say it.” Yeah, that makes me feel real confident.
“MOM, (giggle) do you know what you just said? You said (giggle) ___“. My balloon of confidence is popped.
I could get angry with them. I could get depressed about my lack of language. Honestly, I’m sure I have been guilty of both, but here is what I try to do.
1. Smile and laugh. If you haven’t learned to laugh at yourself, language learning will teach you with or without children. Also, I believe laughing with your child(ren) teaches them to laugh at their own mistakes.
2. Embrace it. Use those little language dictionaries on legs to your advantage. It saves time and gives your child(ren) opportunities to use their language outside the classroom. You can always practice when they are not around.
3. Study More. This is maybe taking a few language classes at a local university, or hiring a tutor to come to your home once a week. It could even be a language exchange with a local friend. Just something to help you increase your language ability.
What strategies do you use to guard against that needle getting too close to your balloon of confidence?