In my last post I talked about couples communicating in other languages, and wondered how successful it can be. I’ve also talked about what is sometimes called getting a black-haired dictionary (learning a language from a paramour, in this case a Chinese girlfriend to teach you Chinese). If you have a partner who speaks a different language from you, will it always help you learn that language? Not necessarily.
Depending on your situation, having your partner available to you may be very successful, or not really help you with your language progress at all. Obviously, one of the big factors is the personalities of the people involved. Not everyone is a good teacher, and not everyone is a good student. Some students don’t like being corrected (and some people can’t help correcting others – I’m one of them!), and some teachers find it too frustrating to repeatedly go over the same point. If the teacher already has a good grasp of the student’s native language, it may just seem easier to use that language for communication, and forget about the student learning more.
I know a couple where the husband speaks very little English (but he is currently learning), and the wife speaks very good Chinese. The husband says that his wife is a really bad teacher. I think she may just get frustrated easily and prefers communication to be fast and easy.
Have you been in a relationship where you have been the student or the teacher? How has it worked out?
Comments are closed.Permalink