Guest Speaker on Language

Pin-Yi Li
2 min readDec 16, 2020

Last week during class we had a guest speaker on language acquisition. The guest speaker is someone who claims that he is fluent in only seven language but in reality he is able to communicate in more than twenty. As someone who is also fluent in multiple language I felt that the speaker was truly an inspirational person. The reason why I am able to speak so many language is because of the environment I grew up which required me to learn them in order to communicate. However, the speaker himself is interested in language therefore, he invested time into mastering them. In order to become a polyglot you have to be consistent with using the language you are learning so that the sentence structure and usage is not easily forgotten.

During his speech the speaker showed pictures of how his adventures in acquiring the language. The speaker said that in order for us to be fluent we must speak with native speakers to practice and gain confidence. I felt that this was a good method to learn as I realized that a lot of Taiwanese people are scared of speaking as they fear that they might make a mistake. Nevertheless, the reality is that native speakers like to encourage new learners as they are grateful that we are willing to learn their language. I also believe that making mistake while speaking a new language should be normalized instead of looking at it as an embarrassment as its is a process of development.

For someone to become a polyglot you must have a lot of interest in language. The speaker shocked me when he said that he was still traveling when Covid-19 was on the rise. During that time I was also outside the country of Taiwan however unlike the speaker I did not know the gravity of Covid and believed it would not reach Europe. The speaker on the other hand did not fear discrimination and was not insulted when people joked about him being asian as he learned the language in the countries he traveled. As he spoke of how people reacted to him and his response to them I could feel how deeply integrated he was into learning language. As he said language is not something you that you learn it is something that you must acquire by yourself.

As someone who wishes to become and English teacher in the future I think that it is important for students and teachers alike to expand our own horizons. One of the possible actions we can take to make this happen is traveling or communicating with native people like the speaker did. Although, it might be hard for this to be achieved by everyone there is a way we can get into contact with native speaker. Technology is improving a lot through the years and there are plenty of language learning safe application that can make this happen so there is no need to fear that this might be impossible to achieve.

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