Langue means “language” in French. Ironically, I’m not studying French right now.

 A son of Korean immigrants, I was born and raised under a Korean household. But I slowly lost my native tongue ever since I entered elementary school. Now a junior in high school, I hold 2 years of Spanish and barely adequate Korean. The semester did little to improve my grasp in the two languages, as I resorted to rote memorization, tons of grammar exercises, much mself_portrait[tl]oney spent for books and courses, to no avail.

Then I encountered the polyglots of the web, who with their inspiring stories, personalities, and philosophies reasserted my motives to think language differently. I realized that classroom language learning wasn’t the most effective method after all. The classroom focused more on separating grammar from music, writing from speaking, than putting the elements altogether as a whole.

Language is not meant to pass a test: it is meant to communicate. A wrong mentality is exactly why countless students fail in language, let alone become fluent enough to speak it. With the right attitude and goals, self-learners are possibly the best learners.

I don’t expect to be the next American polyglot or a Benny the Irishman. But I will persevere to become the world’s citizen.


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