If you’re anything like me, you talk about practicing your Spanish more than you actually find time to do it. For many people, it’s been since high school, which, is getting further and further away. Our lives are busy and sometimes it’s hard to figure out a time to practice a foreign language.
The same applies for many of our native Spanish speaking neighbors here in Costa Mesa. Because of this, we recently launched Language Learning Night.
A night once a month where our native English and Spanish speakers are both teacher and learner all in the same evening. You get to feel awkward and unsure for half the evening and confident and helpful for the other half.
Mika’s mission is to build whole relationships. Part of building relationships is the ability to put ourselves out there and feel unsure. I love the quote by Nelson Mandela that says, “If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his own language, that goes to his heart.” It’s our desire to foster an environment during our Language Learning Nights to not only help people gain more practical knowledge, but to also hear from each other’s heart.
Darren, one of our native English participants says this of his experience, “The language exchange is a beautiful opportunity to get to know our neighbors in a setting where we all feel a little vulnerable. Speaking a foreign language to native speakers can be nerve-racking, but as we go back and forth between English and Spanish, I'm reminded that we all are learning and practicing. I was worried about feeling dumb when I'm trying to speak Spanish, but everyone has been super patient and encouraging!”
As a native Spanish speaker, Loly has said this: “My experience at the Language Learning Night was amazing. This class is very important for me, not only because I have to learn English, but because is part of my daily lifestyle. Due to the way we practice a foreign language, it helps build my confidence with communicating with more people around me.”
We all want to hear and be heard; to learn and share what we’ve learned. Are you ready to share your English and make some new friends?