It is never to late

Many of our elderly students have doubts whether they should keep on learning a foreign language even though their progress is very  slow and therefore quite frustrating.

I’ve just read an article about a 90-year-old woman from Kenya who started going to elementary school together with her grandchildren. She hopes to inspire the young and make them aware of the importance of education.

My elderly students also tell me about their grandchildren’s awe when they realise that granny too has some homework to do! I think this might be a motivational clue for a large number of elderly students. For many, passing on experience and teaching by example is utterly satisfying; not to mention all the basic words of a foreign language that you might never learn if it hadn’t been for your grandchildren!

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-30935874

In the following video, learning a foreign language is mentioned among other activities you might want to take up later in life. The bottom line is that experience might impede us, as well as help us to master a new skill.In the case of a  foreign language, the interference of your mother tongue is the most difficult to overcome.Most elderly students can’t help translating every word into their own language , which slows them down and basically makes learning and teaching more tedious.

http://www.wsj.com/articles/its-never-to-late-to-learn-new-skills-1420587063

And finally a Ted talk on the topic:

 

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On Sleeping and Learning

Among many positive cultural differences you will notice if you move to sunny Spain, there is certainly one shocking revelation  that may be utterly confusing: generally speaking people, meaning adults and children alike, don’t seem to get much sleep!

The first time I saw children playing football at 1 a.m.  while their parents were enjoying their beers on one of the many city squares (“So what? It’s summer!”, they explained), I was left speechless and then, obviously,  I went green with envy : at that age, I had to be in bed by that time, no matter the season!

Then, I still remember my upstairs neighbour some years ago, yelling into her mobile phone on her balcony at 2.00 a.m. ( sharing is one of the most positive  Mediterranean traits , isn’t it?).The same lady would then wake her two young daughters up at 7 am, in the same gentle manner and manage to get them out of the house by 7.30!  I can imagine the state in which these girls went through the school gates!

I guess it isn’t really so bad, as their teachers  must have gone through the same or similar ritual  before coming to work, so it all ends up in some 2 slightly unproductive hours before the first school break and – breakfast  at last!

Irony aside, in this post I’d like to make you aware of the benefits of sleep, help you get rid of the idea that it is a waste of precious time, and help you study in a more productive way. Believe me, I’m a devoted follower of a good night’s sleep and  well as a sympathetic teacher who hates seeing tired children  doing their imposed after school language classes.

Therefore, if you are having problems learning and you thing you might be sleep deprived, here are some tips and explanations from good old TED ed:

 

The following video is one of the many you might want to watch if you just can’t fall asleep easily for whichever reason. I’ve chosen this particular one as the language is simple and the pronunciation very clear:

And then this Russian lady, also from Ted talks, has her own theory on why bad decision are being made worldwide:

Have a good weekend and a good night’s sleep!

It goes on

After spending a considerable amount of time reading articles and blog posts about resolutions for this year, we have decided not to remind you that at the beginning of last year most of  you chose to  put “spend more time studying English” on the list.

If at this very moment you feel like you should put “learn  English” on an imaginary or real list of this year’s resolutions again, then  you might want to re-read our very first blog post:

New year, New challenge  http://wp.me/p1de65-f

Since January last year, you might have noticed that OUR goal has slightly changed. The blog is not  only for advanced students, as practice has proven that you  needn’t reach level C1 in order to enjoy English.  However, we are still trying, more or less successfully, to please a wide range of language learners of all ages. It certainly is  an almost impossible task to accomplish. But just as you might encourage a one year old baby taking its first unsteady steps to try again and again  until it gets it right, we aren’t giving up!

“If at first you don’t succeed , try, try again.” hopefully won’t  turn into:

Or:

Or:

Anyway, take  your pick for 2015 and remember Robert Frost:

“In three words I can sum up everything I’ve learned about life: it goes on.”

The same applies for language learning.

We wish you many happy new learning experiences!