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Did you take Language Learning in School Seriously?


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When I was in Junior High School, we were taught French and we never took it seriously while others were taught Arabic. In Senior High, most of us dropped the languages completely, so we could have time for other social activities.

Now, I see the loss of not paying so much attention at language learning.

What's your story? Did you take your language learning at school seriously?

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I was taught a total of 3 languages in secondary school, none of which I took seriously.

Dutch: the class was way too loud to even read the first sentence, so I never made it to chapter 2.
English: I kept getting 10 out of 10 for each test/exam without any effort, so I never felt like learning it.
German: I only had it in the first 2 years of school, but I never felt like learning it because it was way too hard back then.

I have always been passionate about the English language, while for German: not so much.
Even more proof that passion and interest actually do matter.

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All throughout grade school and high school, the district made language learning mandatory. However, there was little to be gleaned from the lessons. I did excel in Spanish during elementary school--and was placed in accelerated classes because of it. But when I got into Intermediate school, the Spanish courses switched to Italian (why, I don't know), then back to Spanish, and then to nothing my 8th grade year. If there was something, it was horrible enough to make me forget. In high school, I took French for 3 years then in my 4th year gave up with the language classes being a free ride to an A on my report card and took a harder, more intellectually challenging elective. On the side, I taught myself Japanese. 

I didn't want to learn to translate French. I wanted to learn how to speak it. But the teacher, in spite of being fluent in English, Italian and French, taught us in English, had us watch movies with subtitles, and assigned a text book where everything was presented in both English and French. I couldn't learn like that :(

Maybe you could say I was a little too serious (still am) about language learning, haha.

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I didn't have an English teacher per se, my junior high one didn't know more than we did back then, lol.  So no,  I never took her lessons seriously.  She just made us check our English text book, read a couple things and by the end of the lesson she just wrote words in English, made us write them down in our notebooks and asked us too look them up in a dictionary at home.  That was it. 

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I did in elementary, not so much in high school. We were supposed to learn English at a higher level. but few of my classmates were not up to the challenge, to put it mildly, and we started with present simple. I took matters to my own hand and started watching a lot of movies and series with English subtitles and picked up a "few" phrases, sentence structures and whatnot. 
Then we started studying German in the last 2 years. Well, the teacher was bad and we didn't learn anything. Now, I'll try to learn it during the summer, seeing I live right next to the Austrian border. 

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I'd like to think that I did. English was taught to us from elementary to high school and even up to college. And during all these stages, I did quite well in my English subjects, as well as Literature. So with that, I think I did take language learning very seriously even back then. It did help that my teachers and professors were very knowledgable in the subject they were teaching.

All my English teachers and professors were experts in the language and taught the subject or topics very well. They have passion for it as well, they make you want to listen to them which not a lot of teachers or professors can do. I guess there were some boring ones as well but despite that, I can understand the topics because the subject truly interests me. 

I can remember my English teacher in high school, I loved him. He always has this smile on his face and he makes teaching English easy. You can grasp the lessons easily because of the way he is teaching them. He is also the one who encouraged me to join the inter-school essay writing competition. To this day, he is the one I look up to when it comes to language learning.

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During elementary schools, I got the best grades in my english class. But for me that was far less remarkable than being an ace in Maths or Physics, Which I had just fairly average grades, thus I didn't take too seriously the stuff I learned from school english teaching.. And also didn't learn much english more than just grammar and a few vocabulary. I acquired  real english insight from playing text heavy computer role playing games such as Planescape Torment, Baldur Gates, Fallout, The Witcher etc. 

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I don't know about others, but I didn't have the opportunity to take foreign languages until (senior) high school. I took 4 years of French and I took all 4 years seriously. I studied really hard and paid attention in class. I have always had a passion for learning languages and I think learning French in high school motivated me to look at other languages. 

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I did because I knew that knowing another language could be advantageous to my college applications.  I also lived in an area where you had to know Spanish to get a job. It still holds true to this day. If you are not bilingual you will not get hired around here. 

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I took most of the stuff I studied seriously in school and language learning was one of them. I remember my first day of French class I was thinking, "What did I get myself into?" But the teacher was very nice and fashionable and pretty and so French that I wanted to be just like her. A few months into my French class, I realized that I was actually learning another language! I thought that it was an amazing achievement and so I continued to study hard and have retained what I learned in high school throughout the years.

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I went to a school where learning Chinese was a must and was part of the curriculum and I didn't really take it that seriously although I had to just so I could pass. Now I can appreciate that I at least have another language I can depend on as an adult, though in still wish I would have been given more of a choice back then since it did take up a lot of my time and if it were up to me I think I'd have spent it learning something else to be completely honest. 

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I didn't take it as seriously as I should have in High School. We were only offered Spanish, but I enjoyed it and it came easily to me. Our teacher even sent me as a school representative to the State Testing Competition. I don't think I even placed. I should have tried harder back then. I love languages, I was just too immature to appreciate that I would always have a love of languages. 

 

 

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At high school, we were put at a disadvantage because our Language department was constantly changing, with staff regularly leaving - thus, we would rarely have the same teacher for more than two weeks at a time. When it came to selecting which groups people would be put into ("sets"), I wasn't put in as high a set as I would have liked, despite feeling I was more than capable of being in the highest level group. Eventually I was "promoted", and then I really started to love learning the language.

I only wish I'd carried on studying it after school!

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I didn't take studying French seriously at school, ths had little impact on my ability to learn the language over 10 years later. I lived in France for two years and found that there's a big difference between what you learn at school at what you'll need to communicate effectively. This is especially true for speaking. The most important thing is constant attention and dedication to learning a language, whichever way you chose to do it.

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  • 1 month later...

I take all my classes seriously, especially language. I would like to think that I pick up languages pretty easily, since I had no problem when I took Spanish in middle school, Chinese in high school and Korean in college. Foreign language has always been one of the few subjects I actually cared about. Rather than looking at it as an asset, I found it genuinely fun to master a language. It felt more immediate and practical, you know?

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I didn't take the work seriously, but I did learn a lot of Spanish. I liked speaking the language, but when you are in class, and you start skipping assignments that teach you how to write in the language, it's damn near impossible to catch up. 

Many students in the class played around, and I did as well, but I still learned with the students who also wanted to practice what the teacher was teaching. 

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In elementary, as well as high school, we were taught the English and Filipino languages.   I feel more fluent in English because it has been my mode of communication, from writing papers to e-mails, and other formal writing.  I also feel more comfortable expressing myself in English, so it was more of a natural instinct for me to learn. Besides, with the exception of Filipino, English was always our mode of communication for all other subjects.  I rarely use Filipino except when conversing with my friends and classmates, and as a result, I never took the class seriously.  The only other class which we were taught was Arabic, as I was studying in a Filipino school located in an Arab country.  i have recently completed my Elementary Japanese i, and because I was an enthusiast of the Japanese language, I always took the class very seriously.  I had wanted to ace the Elementary I class but came up short, and although the score was enough for me to pass the next level, I am not satisfied with my progress.

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Sadly, when I was growing up, we had no free foreign language lessons in primary or secondary school. They were always available in private schools, and I went to state owned schools or you could pay to take private lessons. Luckily, state schools do now offer French and some [to a lesser extent] Spanish, Italian and German. I wish I'd had that when I was growing up because I would definitely have focused on languages. It wasn't until I got to university that I was able to do French, and even then I could only take it as a minor. But now it's offered as a major. Clearly, I grew up in the wrong era LOL

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I actually am in HS right now and no, I don't really take it seriously. I don't really take any class seriously, I just pay attention enough so that I don't go lower than a B grade lol. Maybe if I was actually interested in learning the language, then yea I would pay attention since it's a class you would otherwise have to pay for, and it's something you want.

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Maybe I was the exception to the rule, but I really enjoyed learning French in school. Maybe I was never that great at it, but my friends and I had fun making up silly sentences with the vocabulary words we were given. The first sentence I ever remember making up completely in French was, "He threw the monkey out the window." LOL As you can see, some immaturity was at play with my interest in the language, but it was still very good for me to play around with words and make up my own thoughts.

Even though I did enjoy it and pay attention for the most part, I still wish that I had put even more effort to it than I did. I guess I always feel that way about any skill, though. I know I'm capable of more...

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I was required to take three years of language in high school, and I tried my best to take it seriously. I chose Spanish, and I have forgotten most of what I learned back then. I wish I had taken it more seriously. Now that I am working and traveling, I am trying to learn the language and it would be so much easier if I wasn't practically starting over.

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I was already curious about languages when I was at school, unfortunately I was also interested in other subjects as well, so I left most of my language learn for after school. I remember I had to give up one of the subjects that I had in order to learn German, I ended up putting it to the side and learnt it after I  graduated from High school.

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It varied greatly and depended not only on my own interest but also how passionated our teacher was about the subject and teaching it to others.

Unfortunately, after 4 years of German classes I learned nothing. However, we had a teacher who would mumble to himself and spend one hour with his back to the class whilst scribbling on the black board. His approach was to have as little interaction with the class as possible....and unfortunately, it was the wrong approach for most of us. By the time that the problems were brought up and we received a new teacher it was to late. Maybe it's an insufficient excuse on my own behalf - but at that age I needed a motivated teacher to push me in the right direction.

In other languages i was fortunate to have amazing teachers - our English teacher had the.most delightful Cockney accent. Whenever he felt that the class was loosing interest he would switch it up by changing his accent to Welsh, Scottish, or another random accent and get our full attention again. 

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I took three years of Spanish and two years of French very seriously because I wanted to travel Europe and look at art and architecture.  But my teachers didn't really teach us well. None of us could used the words properly in even a simple conversations.  I got really good at writing in high school but I still couldn't recognize certain words.  My dad made fun of me because I didn't understand a guy asking me if I wanted to buy a soda in Spanish.  So, while I was serious, it was for nothing since I couldn't apply it to real life.

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