I am not someone who naturally pics up on learning other languages. In school, I’d have to work my tail off to keep up because other languages don’t come easily to me. Over the years I’ve come to understand my strengths and weakness. I can memorize vocabulary words easily but stringing out sentences in the correct tenses requires more thought on my part. I can understand conversations and translate text in a language I’ve studied, but struggle with speaking and pronouncing words incorrectly.
That is why I love Duolingo. I’ve written about this app before, but I continue to sing it’s praises. This app allows you to practice the language of your choice in 5-10 minute lessons so there’s no excuse to not fit in practice. You work on your vocabulary, comprehension, listening, speaking, and conversation skills. It holds you accountable and encourages you to go back to practice on previous lessons when it thinks you may be rusty.
I have been a bit of a Francophile since childhood and I’m dying to improve my French skills. So one of my first challenges is to continue with the good Duolingo habit I’ve got going.
From pre-school to graduate school, I was a student for twenty years straight. It didn’t stop there though. When I worked in higher education I took courses for fun and take classes on Skillshare and through local annexes just to learn something new. I even did two semesters towards a a second master’s when I thought I wanted to pursue a doctoral degree. I’ve since decided while I love school, that path wasn’t for me.
While I may never be Dr. Rosenberg, it’s safe to say that I’m a life long learner. I’ve recently added a new type of course to my continuing education. I’ve started taking improv classes. I did improv in high school and college. At one point I thought I was going to major in theater, but I haven’t gotten on stage in or out of a classroom since undergrad.
I was terrified. What if I sucked? What if I didn’t like theater any more? What if I liked this so much that I would regret giving it up? All my fears were put to rest, because the class is simply fun. I’m having a good time rediscovering something I used to do and am realizing that it’s never to late to go back to something that you used to love. I have no idea what this will lead to but it feels like reconnecting with a long lost friend. It’s comfortable and we’ve started where we left off.
If you don’t have a new skill or challenge that is calling to you at the moment, I recommend picking up one from your past instead.