March 6, 2010

Language Confidence

Every language-learner longs for the moment when they feel totally confident in their second language. I have personally yet to reach that point in Spanish or Arabic, but I took an informal poll of some of my friends that are fluent in their languages. Those that learned English as a second language mentioned that they had begun learning at a very young age and felt confident by their first or second year in school. They would often go to Kindergarten and first grade and speak English in the classroom and then come home to their family and speak their native language. Maddie, whose second language is French, explained that she felt that she had reached fluency when she stopped feeling the need to translate everything into English to fully comprehend the meaning. Many also noted that having dreams in their foreign language showed that they were able to understand it unconsciously.

So readers, when did you begin to feel confident in your second language?

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