One of my favorite things in life is language learning, which for me entails studying both Portuguese and Chinese. I don’t think that I am naturally good at languages; I just enjoy studying them. I have no ambitions to become a polyglot. I think that studying Chinese in particular will take me the rest of my life. I currently have five one hour language study sessions a week, which is how I distract myself from all the responsibilities and challenges of my work and daily life.
I think that we are living in the golden age of language learning. There are more tools to study a language than ever before. And with online platforms like Preply and iTalki it’s easier than it has ever been before to study a language. No longer do you have to find the one Portuguese speaker in your town. You can create an immersive experience with language tutors, YouTube or BiliBili. Of course, everyone learns differently, and for many people the structure of a regular class is both familiar and helpful. I’ve just posted an interview with Dr. Kathi Ketcheson on my podcast, Dispatch 7. We talked about how she came to fall in love with Italian, her experiences teaching Italian in community education, why language learning matters, and how her language study and her travels in Italy are connected. If you are curious to hear her interview, you can listen to it here.
Shawn Smallman 2022