Mid-Course Evaluation

Week three of the summer language course and I’m both encouraged and discouraged by my language skills after one year in Lithuania.  It has been a great boost to my confidence that I can understand almost everything we read and the teacher says.  Oral and reading comprehension — definitely in the greatly improved category.

However, I’ve been discouraged at how difficult it is for me to speak grammatically and with how small my vocabulary is.  I am speaking better, but the truth is that — other than using Lithuanian on a daily basis — I haven’t really invested much time in memorizing words or practicing grammar.  I thought I’d pick up a lot more vocabulary simply by osmosis instead of taking the time to really learn the new words I encountered every day.  Of course, that doesn’t work so well in the long run.  It is easy to be lazy when I can make myself understood and when people consistently compliment me on my Lithuanian language no matter how poorly I know I speak.

But, then again, maybe I’m just being too much of a perfectionist. It’s been really useful to re-focus on grammar and identify what I know well and what I need to work on.  And I’m motivated to maintain my Lithuanian language ability when I am back in Seattle.  After all, I expect I’ll be back in Lithuania in the future so I’ll have more opportunities to continue learning and maybe one day I’ll actually be fluent.

About amanda

Creating academic and public environments for the humanities to flourish Researching Soviet and Eastern European history Engaging people and ideas as a writer and interviewer Traveling as much as possible View all posts by amanda

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