I know this post already sounds a bit bossy, but you’ll thank me later.
First, let’s address ‘don’t stop!’
Today I had lunch with a client who has been taking Spanish lessons with Fluency Corp for almost 3 years. Lately he’s been traveling a lot, and he’s had to miss quite a few classes. I could see in his eyes that he was tired. Tired from travel, tired from running his architectural firm and tired from trying to attend 4 hours of private Spanish lessons each week.
I said, “Don’t stop though.”
“I know,” he said. “I almost stopped last month when I was traveling a lot.”
I said, “If you stop now, then you’ll start to forget it, because you don’t have anyone else to speak Spanish with during the day. IF you’re not learning, then you’re unlearning. I stopped my weekly French classes 5 months ago, and I regret it deeply. I didn’t have time anymore, but now I’m slipping. I wish I hadn’t stopped, but now, all I can do is schedule 2 hours weekly of private lessons and prepay for 2 months.”
I, the language teacher, had gone against her number 1 rule: don’t stop!
(I can promise you that I will restart French private lessons next week. Cross my heart.)
Please email me next week to keep me accountable: firstname.lastname@example.org .
The new client that makes me so frustrated is the client who says, “I’ll start taking English or Spanish classes when….(insert excuse here)
- work/life is less hectic
- I can dedicate 10 hours a week to study
- I have more money
- blah blah blah
There is never a PERFECT time to begin studying a language.
Oh wait, there is! It’s NOW.
If you start today, then you will be conversational in a couple of years (depending on number of hours studying each week, of course) if you follow the Fluency Corp plan for true fluency. This includes a whole lotta talkin’.
Let me combat each of the above reasons, which are the most common reasons not to start studying NOW.
Work is too hectic: when is work not hectic? Exactly. Never. If you can find 1 hour a week to watch Netflix, then you can open your computer and meet your fluency teacher on Skype for 1 hour. We make it fun!
Life is hectic: life is always hectic. Learning a language is a 3 or 4 year goal (again, depending on number of hours per week). There is never going to be 3 to 4 years that are perfectly calm. Learning is what happens in the midst of life happening, so why not throw a language into the mix? When you’re making more money because you’re bilingual, then I can say that learning that new language actually made things a little less hectic for you.
I need 10 hours a week to study to become fluent: WRONG! We don’t want you to spend 10 hours studying. That’s ridiculously boring. We only ask that you ALWAYS. COME. TO. YOUR. LESSON. I didn’t do my French homework for 3 years, but I never missed a lesson and now I can speak French. Practicing with your teacher is the most precious study you can do all week.
Not enough money: Ask a friend to join you or we can give you a partner that will cut the cost almost in half. I have one student that takes 1 hour every 2 weeks. Is this ideal? Absolutely not. Is he learning? Absolutely. He refused to wait until he had the money to take 2 hours weekly. He’s learning Spanish and he’s using it every day at work, putting flashcards on his dashboard in the car to refresh his memory as he drives around all day. Now THAT is dedication, and he WILL become fluent.
So, please, don’t stop and don’t wait. Congratulations to all the students who signed up for lessons this week. I’m proud of you.
And please, bug me about my French and Japanese lessons at email@example.com and use this same email to talk about private language lessons at your office.