The distance from Bangkok to Chiang Mai by car is about 695 kilometers. If I travel by bus it’s the same distance, but it takes longer. I can also fly, and though it’s probably less distance, if I factor in travel to and waiting at the airport, it’s questionable whether or not it’s faster.
I’ve noticed that when it comes to language study, everyone wants to talk about how to get where you’re going, but few want to talk about where you want to go!
Yesterday, someone wrote the following in response to a blog post of mine,
Adult brains and baby brains are not the same, adults learn much faster using L1 as a guide. AUA’s approach is a waste of time if you want to communicate and don’t care about fluency.
I’ll admit that at first, I wasn’t impressed with the comment. But I read it a few times and realized that despite the obvious problems (comparing adults to babies is not the same as comparing a duck with a horse, and communicating without some level of fluency is a bit difficult to imagine) the comment is true. Our program is designed for those ‘heading’ for fluency. If that’s not your destination, then it might not matter what approach you use.
How you get where you’re going needs to be answered after you decide on your destination!
What’s your goal? I’ve asked this question of our students perhaps more often that any other – and it’s amazing but most have apparently not thought about it.
Is it possible for adults to become fluent in a second language? Yes. Since 1984, we’ve seen this over and over again. Don’t believe the excuses – your brain isn’t all that different from what that of a child. You’re not a different species – so give nature a chance. Your brain can do again what it once did. Don’t short-circuit the natural processes by getting in a hurry to get from where you are to where you want to be with the promise of some 25 hour course.
It may take you somewhere – but probably not where you want to go.