Monday, October 6, 2014

The Value of [Foreign] Words: An Exercise in Personal Narrative

The art of the personal narrative was something we explored in our first project. We did brainstorming, wrote segments, and did peer reviewing on our route to a competent story. In this we were explorers, some of us more than others. I am nearly 40 years old, so my narrative essay about my pathway to learning foreign languages and making them part of my life was a bit more like delving into the past. I wish I had treated my writing in high school more like Samuel Pepys, and written about this journey as it was happening. Instead my daily writings were full of my typical teenage angst and only the most tangential comments.

Of course, this essay wasn't just supposed to be an exercise in writing about a choice. We were also supposed to write in a way to make that choice applicable for other people. I will let you be the judge of how well I succeeded in making studying foreign languages interesting and valuable to you.

“Learning a foreign language, and the culture that goes with it, is one of the most useful things we can do to broaden the empathy and imaginative sympathy and cultural outlook of children.”