This week I had a lovely experience which gave me the opportunity to observe a group of people with different levels of English knowledge (to all of them the second language) in a debate.
While some participants in the discussion were happy to be able to express their thoughts in a very simple way by using simple words and even adding body language and smiles instead of the words they did not know. Others were unsatisfied to only express their thoughts correctly, they wanted to play with words and to add humour and puns to their speech and failing at this, they felt sad.
I’m a teacher but also a human that is searching for the key to happiness and at that moment, my human part could not wonder, why despite their good performance compared to the group some were sad and others so happy even if they weren’t by far good in expressing their thoughts.
Thinking of this, I came to the conclusion that not the level in which we are makes us happy and self-satisfied but the effort we put to overcome challenges we face. Each effort is rewarded by our brain with endorphins and when we pass a difficult point we feel happy. This is why participants in the discussion were radiating happiness and satisfaction not according to their performance compared to the group but according to the effort they were investing in transmitting their thoughts.
Coming back at my mission as a teacher I clearly see that this brain mechanism can be and should be used in the learning process, this is why you should challenge yourself to smartly grow your language level.
You will never improve if you will not leave your comfort zone. Read materials that are hard for you, keep the dictionary close to you and to each new word learn not only the translation but two or three synonyms. Do not comfort yourself just knowing the meaning, try to use them in sentences or you risk to don’t learn them at all. Apply this rule to audio, video or written materials you are working with and challenge yourself as difficulty level daily, in time, this will help you to improve your language level but also will bring you satisfaction in the process.
What about you dear reader, do you feel happy after you accomplish something that was difficult at the first sight? Do you think we can use this brain process in other aspects of our life? Share your thoughts in a comment below…
Best wishes to you all,