When it comes to learning a language , your own effort has a lot to say. Whether you are self-studying like me or you have a teacher and school provided materials, nobody is as responsible for your learning as you are. I have always known this and I take a lot of pride in doing my best. I enjoy learning. Teaching on the other hand.. Well, I guess it simply isn’t my cup of tea. I like to help people when they need it but I hate correcting peoples mistakes. Absolutely hate it. Do you want to know just how much I hate it?
When my boyfriend and I moved to our first home the neighbor thought my name was Marlene. Cammilla and Marlene isn’t exactly similar but nevertheless she somehow came to the conclusion that Marlene was my name. I corrected her twice on the very first day of moving in, and then I gave up. More than 5 years have now passed and my name is still Marlene. Needless to say, I started reacting to the name a long time ago.
Could you imagine me as a teacher? Oh god even thinking about it makes me cringe.! Oddly enough, I don’t seem to have problem correcting physical mistakes. When my new coworkers make mistakes I correct them without any problem. I wonder why my brain differentiates between those types of corrections.
I hate doing language exchanges because that involves me correcting people. I always feel more relaxed when the conversation is completely in korean because that way I’m the one getting corrected. Despite hating to correct people I still generally do it. As a learner myself I know how frustrating it is to learn something incorrect. Have you ever been corrected on something that you know for sure that you’ve said a million times before, and then wondered why the hell nobody corrected you from the beginning? By the time it got corrected it had turned into a habit for you to say it the wrong way and now you find it a lot more difficult to learn it properly. You’re left with incorrect knowledge, feeling like a complete idiot – It straight up sucks. I avoid situations that involves me correcting people, but when a correction is actually needed, I will be correcting.
I never put too much thought into this as it just seemed like logical thinking to me and I still have the mindset that you yourself need to take responsibility for your learning. However, recently I realized exactly how badly people can sabotage other peoples learning. I saw a married couple in the store I work at, and the woman was desperately trying to learn Danish, while her Danish husband kept using English when talking to her. She kept talking to us in Danish and we answered back in simple Danish. She walked around asking about the names of different items in the store. She was trying so hard and her husband completely ignored her efforts, leaving her with a constant discouraged look on her face. Even when she passed him some tissue paper, he thanked her using English. Dude! Just give her a simple Danish Tak! He later stated that he didn’t have the right temper to teach her and that it wasn’t his job anyway, since she was taking a class.. Excuse me? What the hell is wrong with you?
Nobody is as responsible for your learning as you are – but other peoples help (or lack of help) can make a huge difference in you learning and in your motivation to keep learning. Not correcting my name might not be that big of a deal, but the whole ‘Oh I don’t mind so I’ll just let it go / it’s not my job so I’ll ignore it’ mindset , is simply no good. It might not make a difference to you but it probably does to the other person. Let’s not be like that guys. Let’s all become better at helping people.
To lighten up my sudden bad mood, I’ll just leave this here! 🙂 – At least I’m not the only one with name correction issues!