New language nerves

I’m sitting on another plane, about to embark on a new Asian adventure, and I’m quite glad that I’m much more excited than apprehensive.  For the first time, I will not only be teaching a language, I will also be learning a new one.  I’ve dabbled in several languages before, mostly for pleasure and general interest, as well as to get along a little easier in non-English speaking countries.  This time, as well as all of the aforementioned reasons, my learning will be professionally motivated and sponsored, so there’s a lot of added pressure to perform well and learn fast.  I’m hoping that I will be able to impress my new colleagues as well as surprise myself.

Because I am an accuracy-based language learner, I find it difficult to just ‘give it a go’, and I have a strong desire to get things just right before I say them.  I find it a little bit stressful to be in situations where I need to ‘wing it’ (make it up as I go along) with a new language.  This isn’t exactly conducive to getting a lot of practice and learning more quickly, so I am going to make a concerted effort to just jump straight in, and not worry too much about being completely correct all the time.  Our harshest judges are often ourselves, so I think I will just give myself a break for a while, not think too hard about the small mistakes, and really appreciate those moments of clear communication (which will hopefully happen more often as time goes by!).

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