hey guys I’ve been meaning to make this
video for a few days because on Monday which is what more or less five days ago
now I went to my first Spanish class at University and I didn’t enjoy it
the second class was better but it made me reflect on the problems which we face
as language learners when we just go to any normal language class and I’ve got a
few notes here I’m a little bit more prepared for this video than any other
videos I’ve made just because I really want to go into a little bit more depth
with this one because I think it’s something that a lot of people have to
put up with it I shouldn’t say put up with it’s more just something which we
all kind of encounter I think at one point or another so to start off with I
thought I’d just describe a little bit what my class was like and it’s not like
the class was horrible the class was fine it’s just there were a few things
which I didn’t like about it and most of them can be pretty quickly broken down
into just too much use of English now in your case it might be Russian or it
might be Korean or it might be Chinese or whatever but sometimes our native
language is just used too much for my liking for example in Spanish I’m at the
point where I do feel that none of the class needs to be in any language other
than Spanish like I will always understand eventually what someone’s
trying to say or whatever someone’s explaining to me they might have to say
it five different ways and they might have to repeat themselves ten times but
eventually I’ll understand if you get what I’m saying
so it just feels never necessary however in this class and part of this is
because it was the first class so there was some admin to get through but all of
the admin was explained in English and then as a result of that the English
kind of seeped into other bits of the class where the teacher would also be
saying other things in English and I was just there like this isn’t necessary I
just want to be listening to Spanish but then the other thing which and I put
this on my Instagram story and the amount of people who messaged me being
like oh my goodness I have encountered the same problem
was just amazing because when I returned to the person next to me or when there
were conversations happening on the table between students often people
would just try and have them in English and I’m there like wait what I’m here to
hablar espanol and what is going on so that’s something which I think happens a
lot in language classes and something which I think we need to be aware of
when we’re going to those language classes now some people have also made a
really good point which is… you don’t always want the class to be a
hundred percent in your target language and I went to a Chinese class at
University I just rocked up, just to experience it and I can see why some of
the class needs to be in English specifically when you’re a beginner and
you have no idea what’s going on you’ll actually progress faster if some things
are being explained in English otherwise you’ll have zero chance of understanding
what they’re talking about so I do understand that but when you’re at an
advanced level and you’re in advanced class because the class I went to was
the highest Spanish entry point I don’t I don’t say that for any other reason
than it should be a class which is in Spanish you know what I mean so that was
what happened with me and what happened in the class and a little bit about how
that generalizes to problems we may face another thing which can happen beyond
just the class not being in your target language enough or people trying to
speak too much to you in whatever your native tongue is, is that the class isn’t
personalized so that can manifest itself in many ways but it might mean that
you’re either doing activities which aren’t aligned with your own goals or
the class isn’t at your pace so that’s number two – and in those scenarios it
can be a little frustrating if like the focus of the class… let’s say you’re
wanting to improve your fluency speaking and that’s specifically your main goal
if then the entire class is all reading and writing sure some of those skills
will translate across to your speaking but it’s
not the needle mover activity to improve your ability to express yourself
fluently in the language if you know what I’m saying so it can be frustrating to
spend all this time in class doing one thing which is whatever the class deems
appropriate if it doesn’t align with your personal goals so that’s why
sometimes it’s nicer to self-study because you can tailor all the time
in which you’re studying the language such that you’re doing the activities which
matter the most to you so two disadvantages can be that people speak
too much in your native language and the class is necessarily tailored to your
interests and your pace of study and that’s not to say that language classes
are bad it’s just they kind of aren’t always the best thing to be doing for
example I can see the use of going and doing a Chinese class with my Chinese
level right now because my ability to speak Mandarin Chinese is non-existent
so if I go to a class I can spend time almost learning how to study the
language for example I could go straight into self studying being autodidactic
with Spanish because it was so similar to French so I not only was able to use
what I’d learned in French but I was actually able to use my study strategies
from French because they were still quite effective with Spanish however
Mandarin Chinese I can tell and I’m sure a lot of people know is a totally
different language it’s a totally different language family it’s a whole
different thing going on so by going to a class even if a lot of it’s in English
or something like that I can put up with it because I understand that what’s
going on is I’m learning how to learn I’m learning the strategies which allow
me to progress in the language I’m learning all the different nuances to do
with that specific language for example vocabulary is going to be an interesting
thing with Chinese because a lot of the time with Spanish
as an English speaker and someone who speaks French I can kind of guess a word
in Chinese with my vocabulary which is starting at zero I’m going to have to
learn everything from scratch and I do know the characters have their own
building blocks but even with that having start from zero I’m gonna have to
pay much more attention to vocabulary than I would have in other languages so
developing a strategy to learn vocabulary and things like that study
strategies for the language will be very very useful and I’ll get that from a
class in addition to that I think I’ll discover the specific areas of the
language which need attention for example I’ll know that I need to pay
attention to tones thanks to having just been to one class and I can tell that
that’s what’s being focused on so much and I can immediately tell that if I’m
using the wrong tones I might not be understood so that’s going to be a focus
in my study but if I hadn’t gone to the class I may not have identified that as
early on in the piece so one of the benefits of going to a language class is
actually learning how to self-study because if you don’t go you don’t
necessarily know how to work your way through the language on your own and
there are other benefits of course and the language class isn’t always
something which is going to bother you it can be a good thing I’ve been to
classes which I’ve really enjoyed it’s just sometimes almost often you
encounter these key problems which I highlighted thanks for watching this
video it’s going to be posted on Instagram and YouTube so if you’re
watching this on Instagram hello if you’re watching this on YouTube hello
and I’ll see you in the next video