Chapter VI – Part 3

$ A genuine schoolgirl has spoken: it’s not about what I learn; it’s about passing the exam.

$ Hihihi! Ok. I’ll do it. You are my expert. You know your job. I trust you. So I am supposed to prepare those subjects and my thoughts are supposed to be in a situation where I don’t learn the language, but use it.

$ Right. Let me draw your attention to two questions. Firstly, the language is not a separate being. It’s a part of life. You don’t learn a language for a theoretical purpose but in order to communicate with other people with the help of a language. Imagine that you are standing in front of a mirror and you decide: I want to firm my buttocks. So you go to your personal trainer, you tell him what you need, he elaborates a plan of your work: nutrition, swimming, walking and some buttocks-oriented exercise in a gym. And you think to yourself: I’ll only go to the gym because firm buttocks is the only thing I care for now. Does it make sense?

$ Hm.

$ Human body is a whole so if I want to heal a part of it I need to have a look at the rest, too. And at its current environment. In your case, German is like a muscle, say, one group of muscles.

$ And imagining that I use it in a particular situation is a part of the program of my work.

$ That’s the point.

$ Secondly, let me tell you about the results of some research. Well, the authors of the research wanted to check the impact of body language, pitch of the voice and spoken language on everyday communication, more specifically, for how many per cent of everyday communication each of those factors was responsible. I emphasize: everyday communication because if it comes down to discuss the conditions of getting a loan I need hard data and neither my body language nor my counterpart’s body language play a major role in this. So, what do you think the result was?

$ I don’t have a clue. You formulate your question in such a way that it seems to me that the spoken language got surprisingly little per cent.

$ That’s good thinking! So they are responsible for 60%, 30% and 10% respectively.

$ You don’t say.

$ It says: while learning a language in the classical meaning of the word, we work only on 10% of the target communication.

$ How is it possible?

$ Imagine that you are talking about something to your boss and he is saying: that is very interesting. In the same time he is yawning. What did he tell you in fact?

$ That he is probably bored with what I’m saying.

$ Or maybe more tired than interested in what you are saying.

$ That appeals to me.

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