Next co-learning session: Thursday 5 August 2021 - sign ME up!
Cat got your tongue?
With face-to-face classes cancelled and travel plans on the back burner, many of us are finding that our once flourishing foreign languages are slowly starting to flounder. This is especially concerning for those of us who rely on a second language for work, or who are trying to learn a foreign community language, or – as in my case – who are trying to keep up with another language at home.
Luckily for us, we live in a world where there are countless ways of keeping our foreign languages fresh in our minds beyond sitting in a classroom or travelling to far-flung destinations. With language apps aplenty and a variety of options for reading, watching or listening to content in pretty much any language we like, it’s easy to keep our non-native tongues ticking over. But to what extent do these aids allow us to really learn the inner workings of a language? Call me old-fashioned, but I need to do things the traditional way: with a big stonking textbook and a trusty biro. But who has the time or headspace for self-study right now?! Well, probably all of us, it’s just a matter of motivation and goals.
Despite the term “self-study”, I for one am pretty terrible at learning alone. Back at uni, sitting in the library preparing essays was always so much easier when a friend was sitting at the same table. Add in a time-limit – an hour until lunch in the Old Bar – and I would see my productivity soar! Fast forward to today. There certainly are some amazing libraries out there, but none of them happen to be at the end of my street. There are co-working spaces, but am I really going to pay to sit and do my language homework? Hell no! Firstly, these spaces are generally open in the daytime. That’s work time. Secondly, I’m from Yorkshire. There is no way I’m going to pay to sit in a room and do something that isn’t even making me money. Thirdly, the time it would take for me to travel to that space and back most likely equals the amount of time I will actually spend studying once I've “grabbed” a coffee, “quickly” looked at the news, and replied to those “couple” of WhatsApp messages, friend requests, emails…
So, I need an environment that's easy to access and available after hours, where I can feel like I'm working to a deadline, and preferably with a sense of community. Enter virtual co-learning! In a nutshell:
What: Virtual co-learning – an online meet-up of like-minded language learners; a motivational environment in which to focus on formal, self-directed language learning while also providing a space to discuss related topics.
Where: Zoom. A link will be sent to registered participants just before the session.
When: Roughly every fortnight, 7-9pm CET.
Who: Aimed at serious language learners.
Why: Because solitary self-study is no fun.
How: A max. two-hour session based on the Pomodoro Technique.
Sound like something for you? Sign up to our next session here!