Chapter XI – Part 13

$ Do you believe that the limits of your language mean the limits of your world?

$ My body language is limitless, my telepathy and my intuition, which are  ways of communication, are limitless too, so no, I don’t believe that because I don’t believe in limits.

$ It’s easy to adore you.

$ I know.

 

Chapter XI – Part 12

$ Last but not least, the sheet of paper. What does it read?

$ Frustration, impatience, helplessness, tension, control, perfectionism, underconfidence, lack for words, poor hearing…Scary.

$ What would your life be like if you didn’t carry around the old baggage of these thoughts?

$ I don’t know what to say.

$ You don’t need to say anything. Your sigh of relief and your relaxed shoulders say everything. Take this sheet of paper, matches and this ashtray and just burn it.

Dust

Focus on everything you did today: you realized your thoughts, came to the conclusion they didn’t serve you, you put them down, decided to get rid of them and did it. Your task now is to believe that it is as easy to kick them out of your life as to burn this piece of paper. As if you went to your plastic surgeon with a very specific order.

$ What if I can’t believe that?

$ Act as if you believed. Use your imagination to admire your plastic surgeon’s work. How are you feeling?

$ I feel moved. And hopeful.

$ I’m happy to hear that.

 

Chapter XI – Part 11

Did you like it?

$ Very much. I love this book and I found it even more beautiful in foreign languages because if I read it in English and German I pay more attention and I appreciate more details.

$ Excellent.

$ The fact that I knew the story made the reading quite pleasant and I decided to learn by heart the following quotes:

It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye. Man sieht nur mit dem Herzen gut. Das Wesentliche ist für die Augen unsichtbar.

You become responsible, forever, for what you have tamed. Du bist zeitlebens für das verantwortlich, was du dir vertraut gemacht hast.

Die Sprache ist die Quelle der Mißverständnisse. Words are the source of misunderstandings.

$ I know something about it.

$ What happened with the last quote was amazing. First I read it in English but didn’t realize how much it appealed to me. Only while reading the German version did I notice this sentence. That is why I prefer reading sentence by sentence not page by page.

Chapter XI – Part 10

In diesem Augenblick erschien der Fuchs:

“Guten Tag”, sagte der Fuchs.

“Guten Tag”, antwortete höflich der kleine Prinz, der sich umdrehte, aber nichts sah.

“Ich bin da”, sagte die Stimme, “unter dem Apfelbaum …”

“Wer bist du?” sagte der kleine Prinz. “Du bist sehr hübsch …”

“Ich bin ein Fuchs”, sagte der Fuchs.

“Komm und spiel mit mir”, schlug ihm der kleine Prinz vor. “Ich bin so traurig …”

“Ich kann nicht mit dir spielen”, sagte der Fuchs. “Ich bin noch nicht gezähmt!”

“Ah, Verzeihung!” sagte der kleine Prinz.

Aber nach einiger Überlegung fügte er hinzu:

“Was bedeutet das: ‘zähmen’?”

“Du bist nicht von hier”, sagte der Fuchs, “was suchst du?”

“Ich suche die Menschen”, sagte der kleine Prinz. “Was bedeutet ‘zähmen’?”

“Die Menschen”, sagte der Fuchs, “die haben Gewehre und schießen. Das ist sehr lästig. Sie ziehen auch Hühner auf. Das ist ihr einziges Interesse. Du suchst Hühner?”

“Nein”, sagte der kleine Prinz, “ich suche Freunde. Was heißt ‘zähmen’?”

“Zähmen, das ist eine in Vergangenheit geratene Sache”, sagte der Fuchs. “Es bedeutet: sich ‘vertraut machen’.”

“Vertraut machen?”

“Gewiß”, sagte der Fuchs. “Noch bist du für mich nichts als ein kleiner Junge, der hunderttausend kleinen Jungen völlig gleicht. Ich brauche dich nicht, und du brauchst mich ebensowenig. Ich bin für dich nur ein Fuchs, der hunderttausend Füchsen gleicht. Aber wenn Du mich zähmst, werden wir einander brauchen. Du wirst für mich einzig sein in der Welt. Ich werde für dich einzig sein in der Welt …”

“Ich beginne zu verstehen”, sagte der kleine Prinz. “Es gibt eine Blume … ich glaube, sie hat mich gezähmt …”

“Das ist möglich”, sagte der Fuchs. “Man trifft auf der Erde alle möglichen Dinge …

“Oh, das ist nicht auf der Erde”, sagte der kleine Prinz.

Der Fuchs schien sehr aufgeregt:

“Auf einem anderen Planeten?”

“Ja.”

“Gibt es Jäger auf diesem Planeten?”

“Nein.”

“Das ist interessant! Und Hühner?”

“Nein.”

“Nichts ist vollkommen!” seufzte der Fuchs.

Aber der Fuchs kam auf seinen Gedanken zurück:

“Mein Leben ist eintönig. Ich jage Hühner, die Menschen jagen mich. Alle Hühner gleichen einander, und alle Menschen gleichen einander. Ich langweile mich also ein wenig. Aber wenn du mich zähmst, wird mein Leben wie durchsonnt sein. Ich werde den Klang deines Schrittes kennen, der sich von allen andern unterscheidet. Die anderen Schritte jagen mich unter die Erde. Der deine wird mich wie Musik aus dem Bau locken. Und dann schau! Du siehst da drüben die Weizenfelder? Ich esse kein Brot. Für mich ist der Weizen zwecklos. Die Weizenfelder erinnern mich an nichts. Und das ist traurig. Aber du hast weizenblondes Haar. Oh, es wird wunderbar sein, wenn du mich einmal gezähmt hast! Das Gold der Weizenfelder wird mich an dich erinnern. Und ich werde das Rauschen des Windes im Getreide liebgewinnen.”

“Der Fuchs verstummte und schaute den kleinen Prinzen lange an:

“Bitte … zähme mich!” sagte er.

“Ich möchte wohl”, antwortete der kleine Prinz, “aber ich habe nicht viel Zeit. Ich muß Freunde finden und viele dinge kennenlernen.”

“Man kennt nur die Dinge, die man zähmt”, sagte der Fuchs. “Die Menschen haben keine Zeit mehr, irgend etwas kennenzulernen. Sie kaufen sich alles fertig in den Geschäften. Aber da es keine Kaufläden für Freunde gibt, haben die Leute keine Freunde mehr. Wenn du einen Freund willst, so zähme mich!”

“Was muß ich da tun?” sagte der kleine Prinz.

“Du mußt sehr geduldig sein”, antwortete der Fuchs. “Du setzt dich zuerst ein wenig abseits von mir ins Gras. Ich werde dich so verstohlen, so aus dem Augenwinkel anschauen, und du wirst nichts sagen. Die Sprache ist die Quelle der Mißverständnisse. Aber jeden Tag wirst du dich ein bißchen näher setzen können …”

Am nächsten Morgen kam der kleine Prinz zurück.

“Es wäre besser gewesen, du wärst zur selben Stunde wiedergekommen”, sagte der Fuchs. “Wenn du zum Beispiel um vier Uhr nachmittags kommst, kann ich um drei Uhr anfangen, glücklich zu sein. Je mehr die Zeit vergeht, um so glücklicher werde ich mich fühlen. Um vier Uhr werde ich mich schon aufregen und beunruhigen; ich werde erfahren, wie teuer das Glück ist. Wenn du aber irgendwann kommst, kann ich nie wissen, wann mein Herz da sein soll … Es muß feste Bräuche geben.”

“Was heißt ‘fester Brauch’?” sagte der kleine Prinz.

“Auch etwas in Vergessenheit Geratenes”, sagte der Fuchs. “Es ist das, was einen Tag vom andern unterscheidet, eine Stunde von den andern Stunden. Es gibt zum Beispiel einen Brauch bei den Jägern. Sie tanzen am Donnerstag mit den Mädchen des Dorfes. Daher ist der Donnerstag der wunderbare Tag. Ich gehe bis zum Weinberg spazieren. Wenn die Jäger irgendwann einmal zum Tanze gingen, wären die Tage alle gleich und ich hätte niemals Ferien.”

So machte denn der kleine Prinz den Fuchs mit sich vertraut. Und als die Stunde des Abschieds nahe war:

“Ach!” sagte der Fuchs, “ich werde weinen.”

“Das ist deine Schuld”, sagte der kleine Prinz, “ich wünschte dir nichts Übles, aber du hast gewollt, daß ich dich zähme …”

“Gewiß”, sagte der Fuchs.

“Aber nun wirst du weinen!” sagte der kleine Prinz.

“Bestimmt”, sagte der Fuchs.

“So hast du also nichts gewonnen!”

“Ich habe”, sagte der Fuchs, “die Farbe des Weizens gewonnen.”

Dann fügte er hinzu:

“Geh die Rosen wieder anschauen. Du wirst begreifen, daß die deine einzig ist in der Welt.

Dann wirst Du wiederkommen und mir adieu sagen, und ich werde dir ein Geheimnis schenken.”

Der kleine Prinz ging, die Rosen wiederzusehen:

“Ihr gleicht meiner Rose gar nicht, ihr seid noch nichts”, sagte er zu ihnen. “Niemand hat sich euch vertraut gemacht, und auch ihr habt euch niemandem vertraut gemacht. Ihr seid, wie mein Fuchs war. Der war nichts als ein Fuchs wie hunderttausend andere. Aber ich habe ihn zu meinem Freund gemacht, und jetzt ist er einzig in der Welt.

Und die Rosen waren sehr beschämt.

“Ihr seid schön, aber ihr seid leer”, sagte er noch. “Man kann für euch nicht sterben. Gewiß, ein Irgendwer, der vorübergeht, könnte glauben, meine Rose ähnle euch. Aber in sich selbst ist sie wichtiger als ihr alle, da sie es ist, die ich begossen habe. Da sie es ist, die ich unter den Glassturz gestellt habe. Da sie es ist, die ich mit dem Wandschirm geschützt habe. Da sie es ist, deren Raupen ich getötet habe ( außer den zwei oder drei um der Schmetterlinge willen ). Da die es ist, die ich klagen oder sich rühmen gehört habe oder auch manchmal schweigen. Da es meine Rose ist.”

Und er kam zum Fuchs zurück:

“Adieu”, sagte er …

“Adieu”, sagte der Fuchs. “Hier mein Geheimnis. Es ist ganz einfach: Man sieht nur mit dem Herzen gut. Das Wesentliche ist für die Augen unsichtbar.”

“Das Wesentliche ist für die Augen unsichtbar”, wiederholte der kleine Prinz, um es sich zu merken.

“Die Zeit, die du für deine Rose verloren hast, sie macht deine Rose so wichtig.”

“Die Zeit , die ich für meine Rose verloren habe …”, sagte der kleine Prinz, um es sich zu merken.

“Die Menschen haben diese Wahrheit vergessen”, sagte der Fuchs. “Aber du darfst sie nicht vergessen. Du bist zeitlebens für das verantwortlich, was du dir vertraut gemacht hast. Du bist für deine Rose verantwortlich …”

“Ich bin für meine Rose verantwortlich …”, wiederholte der kleine Prinz, um es sich zu merken.

Chapter XI – Part 9

Have a look at an excerpt from “The Little Prince.” First read one page in English, then one page in German. After a while, start reading one sentence in English and its translation into German. Make notes when you find something interesting and/or useful.

It was then that the fox appeared.

“Good morning,” said the fox.

“Good morning,” the little prince responded politely, although when he turned around he saw nothing.

“I am right here,” the voice said, “under the apple tree.”

“Who are you?” asked the little prince, and added, “You are very pretty to look at.”

“I am a fox,” said the fox.

“Come and play with me,” proposed the little prince. “I am so unhappy.”

“I cannot play with you,” the fox said. “I am not tamed.”

“Ah! Please excuse me,” said the little prince.

But, after some thought, he added:

“What does that mean– ‘tame’?”

“You do not live here,” said the fox. “What is it that you are looking for?”

“I am looking for men,” said the little prince. “What does that mean– ‘tame’?”

“Men,” said the fox. “They have guns, and they hunt. It is very disturbing. They also raise chickens. These are their only interests. Are you looking for chickens?”

“No,” said the little prince. “I am looking for friends. What does that mean– ‘tame’?”

“It is an act too often neglected,” said the fox. It means to establish ties.”

“‘To establish ties’?”

“Just that,” said the fox. “To me, you are still nothing more than a little boy who is just like a hundred thousand other little boys. And I have no need of you. And you, on your part, have no need of me. To you, I am nothing more than a fox like a hundred thousand other foxes. But if you tame me, then we shall need each other. To me, you will be unique in all the world. To you, I shall be unique in all the world…”

“I am beginning to understand,” said the little prince. “There is a flower… I think that she has tamed me…”

“It is possible,” said the fox. “On the Earth one sees all sorts of things.”

“Oh, but this is not on the Earth!” said the little prince.

The fox seemed perplexed, and very curious.

“On another planet?”

“Yes.”

“Are there hunters on this planet?”

“No.”

“Ah, that is interesting! Are there chickens?”

“No.”

“Nothing is perfect,” sighed the fox.

But he came back to his idea.

“My life is very monotonous,” the fox said. “I hunt chickens; men hunt me. All the chickens are just alike, and all the men are just alike. And, in consequence, I am a little bored. But if you tame me, it will be as if the sun came to shine on my life. I shall know the sound of a step that will be different from all the others. Other steps send me hurrying back underneath the ground. Yours will call me, like music, out of my burrow. And then look: you see the grain-fields down yonder? I do not eat bread. Wheat is of no use to me. The wheat fields have nothing to say to me. And that is sad. But you have hair that is the color of gold. Think how wonderful that will be when you have tamed me! The grain, which is also golden, will bring me back the thought of you. And I shall love to listen to the wind in the wheat…”

The fox gazed at the little prince, for a long time.

“Please– tame me!” he said.

“I want to, very much,” the little prince replied. “But I have not much time. I have friends to discover, and a great many things to understand.”

“One only understands the things that one tames,” said the fox. “Men have no more time to understand anything. They buy things already made at the shops. But there is no shop anywhere where one can buy friendship, and so men have no friends any more. If you want a friend, tame me…”

“What must I do, to tame you?” asked the little prince.

“You must be very patient,” replied the fox. “First you will sit down at a little distance from me– like that– in the grass. I shall look at you out of the corner of my eye, and you will say nothing. Words are the source of misunderstandings. But you will sit a little closer to me, every day…”

The next day the little prince came back.

“It would have been better to come back at the same hour,” said the fox. “If, for example, you come at four o’clock in the afternoon, then at three o’clock I shall begin to be happy. I shall feel happier and happier as the hour advances. At four o’clock, I shall already be worrying and jumping about. I shall show you how happy I am! But if you come at just any time, I shall never know at what hour my heart is to be ready to greet you… One must observe the proper rites…”

“What is a rite?” asked the little prince.

“Those also are actions too often neglected,” said the fox. “They are what make one day different from other days, one hour from other hours. There is a rite, for example, among my hunters. Every Thursday they dance with the village girls. So Thursday is a wonderful day for me! I can take a walk as far as the vineyards. But if the hunters danced at just any time, every day would be like every other day, and I should never have any vacation at all.”

So the little prince tamed the fox. And when the hour of his departure drew near–

“Ah,” said the fox, “I shall cry.”

“It is your own fault,” said the little prince. “I never wished you any sort of harm; but you wanted me to tame you…”

“Yes, that is so,” said the fox.

“But now you are going to cry!” said the little prince.

“Yes, that is so,” said the fox.

“Then it has done you no good at all!”

“It has done me good,” said the fox, “because of the color of the wheat fields.” And then he added:

“Go and look again at the roses. You will understand now that yours is unique in all the world. Then come back to say goodbye to me, and I will make you a present of a secret.”

The little prince went away, to look again at the roses.

“You are not at all like my rose,” he said. “As yet you are nothing. No one has tamed you, and you have tamed no one. You are like my fox when I first knew him. He was only a fox like a hundred thousand other foxes. But I have made him my friend, and now he is unique in all the world.”

And the roses were very much embarrassed.

“You are beautiful, but you are empty,” he went on. “One could not die for you. To be sure, an ordinary passerby would think that my rose looked just like you– the rose that belongs to me. But in herself alone she is more important than all the hundreds of you other roses: because it is she that I have watered; because it is she that I have put under the glass globe; because it is she that I have sheltered behind the screen; because it is for her that I have killed the caterpillars (except the two or three that we saved to become butterflies); because it is she that I have listened to, when she grumbled, or boasted, or ever sometimes when she said nothing. Because she is my rose.

And he went back to meet the fox.

“Goodbye,” he said.

“Goodbye,” said the fox. “And now here is my secret, a very simple secret: It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye.”

“What is essential is invisible to the eye,” the little prince repeated, so that he would be sure to remember.

“It is the time you have wasted for your rose that makes your rose so important.”

“It is the time I have wasted for my rose–” said the little prince, so that he would be sure to remember.

“Men have forgotten this truth,” said the fox. “But you must not forget it. You become responsible, forever, for what you have tamed. You are responsible for your rose…”

“I am responsible for my rose,” the little prince repeated, so that he would be sure to remember.

Chapter XI – Part 8

16. What motivates you most? (tick 3 factors)

- my teacher’s approval

- approval of other people (my friends, my boss etc.)

- noticing the progress – yes

- tests, exams

- outstandingly prepared classes, difficult topics

- possibility to influence my language course

- working fast

- indulgence, understanding and patience of my teacher

- my own mistakes

- other people’s criticism

- falling in love with a foreigner – probably

- potential promotion and/or a pay rise – yes

- my own development

Others:……………………………………….

That’s it.

$ Right. Today I have promised to show you how you can learn both languages simultaneously and in a pleasant way.

Chapter XI – Part 7

$ 15. Do you agree with the following statements? Mark with 1 – 5 (1 – I completely disagree, 5 – I cannot agree more).

- It is a pleasure to learn a language. – 1
- It is difficult to learn languages. – 5!!!
- Speaking various languages is a must nowadays. – 5
- I speak foreign languages every now and then. – 3
- I speak foreign languages at work. – 5
- My language coach is supposed to teach me. – 2
- My progress depends on my language coach. – 2
- My language coach is supposed to support me in the process of learning languages. – 4
- In future I’d like to speak a couple of foreign languages.

No comment. I am realistic.

$ Assuming that the reality is not an image which you have made.

$ That’s a thought.

- Foreign languages are fascinating.

Can I mark with a zero?

$ Of course you can. I promise not to take it personally.

$

- The limits of my language mean the limits of my world. (Ludwig Wittgenstein)

I like this statement very much. On the one hand, it is so down-to-earth. If I speak English, I can communicate with 1.5 billion people. After I learn Spanish, the number grows up to 2 billion. Including Chinese it is 3.2 billion. On the other hand, it is symbolic: if I learn a language I adapt a new way of seeing the world through this language. For example: in my mother tongue there’s no present perfect tense. Consequently, if I dream of speaking foreign languages and visualize that, I can say either: ‘I learned English’ or ‘I will speak English.’ And since I got to know the meaning of ‘I have learned English’ I can combine the cause, the process and the present effect so that the perspective of my dream that has come true changes completely.

$ In Chinese you don’t have proper tenses at all, which transports you automatically in the spacetime, where everything happens at once.

$ Fascinating.

- In my age / in my profession / in my country / ………………………it does not make sense; does Bill Gates speak any foreign language? – 1
- I prefer reading the original version than the translation. – 1
- I enjoy every opportunity to speak foreign languages. – 1
- I take every chance to know more about languages I learn. – 2
- It’s difficult to discourage me. – 1
- I avoid speaking in foreign languages. – 5
- I am very strict. – 4
- I like having everything under control. – 5
- I have fun meeting foreigners and discovering their culture. – 2
- I don’t say a word unless I’m sure there are no mistakes in what I’m going to say. – 4
- I am a total and utter disaster at languages. – 4
- I have bad experience from school. – 4
- I lack opportunities to speak languages I have learned. – 2
- English is omnipresent. – 5
- I don’t learn languages because I go on holidays abroad; I’m happy to go abroad because it’s a pretext to learn a new language. – 1
- If you want to learn languages, you must have a teacher. – 3
- If you want to learn languages, you have to attend a course. – 1
- Since you can speak your mother tongue, you are able to master other languages. – 3
Others:……………………………………………………………………………………

Next question:

Chapter XI – Part 6

Let’s move on.

$ 14.

1) What are 3 most important advantages of learning on your own?

- I determine the pace at which I learn

- I organize my time

- It costs nothing

- It helps me get away from it all

- I decide what serves me best

- I choose articles, books, exercise, methods

- I practice self-discipline

- I can find out what I really don’t know

- I can prepare questions I want to ask my teachers; consequently, working with them is more fruitful

- It reminds me of the influence I have on my life

- I am able to determine the best place, time etc. to learn

- It is great fun

- It rejuvenates me

- Others – what?

2) What are 3 most important disadvantages of learning on your own:

- I am not systematic

- I cannot just decide and get down to study

- I cannot plan how to learn

- I decide to learn, I don’t learn and I have bad conscious

- I don’t have time

- I don’t feel motivated

- I procrastinate

- I get stuck when there’s something I don’t understand and nobody to answer my questions

Others – what?

My answers don’t surprise you, do they?

$ Whether they surprise me or not is not essential. If you’re really interested: they don’t. What is essential is whether you realize what attracts you to learning on your own and what discourages you from doing this. What’s next?

Chapter XI – Part 5

9. Using of which above mentioned skills do you enjoy the most?

$ There is a difference. I enjoy reading the most. And listening to the songs. Amazingly, I don’t enjoy writing by itself. In fact, I find it exhausting.

$ There’s something to it. Thomas Mann said: A writer is a person for whom writing is more difficult than it is for other people. Next question is interesting, too.

10. Using of which above mentioned skills do you find the most challenging?

$ Hmmm. Speaking, listening and writing are dead even. All of them are challenging but each of them is challenging in a different way. If I were to chose one, however, I’d say speaking. Next question:

11. What type of learner are you?

visual
auditory
kinestetic
I don’t know

Visual – no doubt about it. I can’t hear anything.

$ Can you please put down on your sheet of paper: poor hearing? Or better: my opinions about my hearing that have been slowing my process of learning foreign languages. Right. Question twelve.

12. Taking into account the type of learner you are, do you know how to use your potential best?

$ Actually, I don’t. I like writing, reading, making notes, I prefer regular student books with colorful pictures to copies.

$ Are you good at working in a messy room?

$ I’m not sure. I used to tidy up my room before I got down to work and I always thought it was my procrastination tactic. Namely my room was very clean when I was a student and the end-of-term exams were approaching.

$ On the other hand, it could have been your instinct: somehow you knew that visual learners need order in their workplace.

$ I like this interpretation. Next time when I tidy up instead of working I’ll feel less guilty.

$ Guilt’s place is also on your sheet of paper. Good. Next question.

13. How much time a week do you learn languages on your own?

up to 1 hour
1 – 2 hours
2 – 3 hours
3 – 4 hours
4 -5 hours
more than 5 hours.

$ Every week is different but it’s 2-3 hours on average. Among grown-ups with full-time jobs and family, who can afford learning more than 5 hours a week?

$ If you transform learning languages into your lifestyle it’s natural to learn unintentionally much longer than 5 hours a week.

Chapter XI – Part 4

$ Definitely, I don’t learn systematically. I make a giant leap and then rest for a long time. Which is not a proper rest either because I have bad conscious not doing what I wanted to do and I distress with visions of what my life could be if I made giant leaps more often or even all the time. Procrastination is a technical term for this, isn’t it?

$ Nature is neither systematic nor does it procrastinate. It never rains at the same time, the same quantity of water. There’s no deadline for rains, no norms.

$ But if it rains too much, there are floods; if it doesn’t rain for too long, droughts kill plants.

$ I just wanted to show you procrastination from a different point of view. Do we want to become immortal or to learn languages?

$ Both would be nice. When you are immortal there’s no hurry anymore. In fact, learning languages can help you kill time, which is eternity.

$ Anyway, if you think you want to get rid of your procrastination, bad conscious, judgments about systematic learning write it down of your sheet of paper. Number five.

5. Which methods would you like to develop?

$ I would like to learn languages through the culture of the countries where they are spoken. I know a group of women who started to learn Spanish because they were fascinated with flamenco. Some people take up Italian because they fall in love with Tuscany.

$ What are your first thoughts when you think of languages you learn?

$ I won’t tell you, they are not decent.

$ No comment. And second thoughts?

$ Work: my boss, meetings, mails, contracts, phone calls, business trips.

$ Let’s leave it to your subconscious mind. By the next time we meet collect every piece of information related to the culture of the English and German speaking countries that you come across: an author, a composer, an artist, a building, a memory…

$ “You’ll never beat the Irish no matter what you do, you can put us down and keep us out but we’ll come back again”.

$ You see, it works. Would you like to develop more methods?

$ Mind maps are very tempting.

$ Good to know it. Next.

6. Development of which language skill is the most important for you? Mark with 1-4 (1-the least important; 4-the most important):

listening comprehension
reading comprehension
writing
speaking

$ All of them are important. However, I feel the most hopeless at speaking. That’s what I’d like to start with. Listening is sometimes a big challenge for me. Reading seems quite manageable. What I like about writing is that I can choose the best time for me to do it, while speaking and listening are sort of forced on me. I can look up as many words as I want to, ask colleagues to proof read my texts. I mean mostly my emails and reports.

$ I see. Number 7.

7. Acquiring of which above mentioned skills do you enjoy the most?

$ Surprisingly (or not surprisingly) my answers are the perfect opposite of the ones in the previous question: listening comprehension – 3, reading comprehension – 2, writing – 4, speaking – 1. Does it make sense?

$ Yes, it does. It is more natural to enjoy carrying out a task that is easy but not too easy than performing a very difficult one. That’s probably why humans prefer relaxing in front of the TV than doing sports outdoors.

8. Acquiring of which above mentioned skills do you find the most challenging?

$ I have never thought I am so consistent: speaking is the most challenging, of course.

$ What are your associations when you hear: speaking foreign languages?

$ I know what I want to say and I don’t know how; lack for words; the words I choose don’t reflect what I want to express.

$ Can you please put it down on your sheet of paper? Right. Shall we move on?