The joy of studying languages
I adore language learning. It’s intricate and complex, yet logical and repetitive. I love that through studying a language, I can also learn about culture, traditions, history, etymology, and so much more.
Though the title of this blog suggests otherwise, the main goal of language learning for me isn’t academic, it’s practical. I want to be able to effectively communicate with the people who speak the language I’m learning as their mother tongue.
I didn’t consider how enriching and enjoyable that could be until I went on the Spanish exchange which was ran by my school. Until then, I’d been learning Spanish for three years but hadn’t actually spoken it at all outside of the classroom. Living with my exchange partner’s family was a fantastic experience, and it showed me how much Spanish I’d actually learnt, but more importantly, where the (many) gaps in my vocabulary were. That experience pushed me to study it at A Level, where I became much more confident and fluent.
I decided to swap from Spanish to Italian at university, so I took an Italian module in my first year. I’m so glad I did – it took me a few weeks to get through the frustration of not being able to remember anything of what I’d covered the week before, but even then I was still enjoying the lessons. The classes also gave me an opportunity to meet people studying different degrees, so it was quite a social thing to do. While that’s not the reason for choosing to do it, it was definitely something I enjoyed about my lessons this year. By the end of the year I could actually speak some Italian, and I’m planning on continuing to study it this year.
So, if you’re considering learning a language, whether it’s through an app or in a class, I would really encourage you to do it. Even though I don’t study it as my degree course, it’s something that I’m very interested in, and I think it’s such a worthwhile thing to do.