According to the scientific research, all the languages derived from the same source, meaning that all people once spoke the same language. As time passed, many modifications related to this main tool of communication occurred – and as a result, over 6,000 new languages came to life across the world.
Language is not only a set of codes defining group communication. Despite all the changes and differences, the language has always been a key basis for dialogue between peoples and nations. Regardless of religion, skin, race or ideology, human beings tend to establish contact through language, thus contributing to intercultural exchange.
This is what our today’s guest, Lucie, believes in. She also believes in Global Citizenship: we are all citizens of the world and we can communicate as long as we have the capacity to learn each other’s language, so why don’t we?
Let’s get to know more about Lucie and discover the world of diverse international opportunities together with her! In this article Lucie is happy to share with you her genuine passion for languages – besides, a surprise awaits you at the end of the article.
Let’s start with a brief introduction. How would you define yourself, Lucie?
I’m a French teacher and I love foreign languages. I enjoy sharing knowledge with other people and it inspires me to see their progress. I have always wanted to help more people to learn French, that’s why I have created my Instagram page and my YouTube channel uniting French lovers from all over the world. For me, sharing means helping, and helping means making others happy. So, I just want everyone to be a bit happier!
What’s your attitude to a language?
For me, language means more than just understanding what a foreign person says; it’s an opportunity to discover a new culture, to get closer to someone from another country, to have an insight into their thoughts, lifestyle, habits, customs. I’ve always been a sociable person and for me communication is crucial.
How long have you been learning French? What motivated you to choose this language?
It’s already been 14 years that this beautiful language is part of my life. At school my father always used to tell me: ‘Learn English, it will help you’. But when you’re a teenager, you don’t really focus that much on the future and all the possibilities it may bring. After graduating from school, I absolutely wanted to study foreign languages at university. I didn’t get enough points to choose English as a major, but honestly, I was somehow tired of English because I had so many English classes at school.
That year a French trial group opened at my university, basically from scratch. There were students who could speak English, but never studied French. We were supposed to learn French as fast as possible to reach the same level as the students from another group who had been learning French for many years at school. My mum encouraged me: ‘Give it a try!’. And I tried. I am so grateful to my parents for helping me with the choice of my future profession! To tell the truth, it was a big challenge for me: by the end of the course, only 6 out of 12 students remained. But we won!
How would you describe your linguistic background and current multi-language usage?
After English and French, I learnt Spanish. I was planning to travel to Barcelona, and I wanted to speak Spanish with the locals. So I studied it daily by myself for one month – and finally, I could speak a little bit: do the grocery, ask for directions, have small talks on the beach. I was so happy and at that moment I told myself: languages aren’t as difficult as we think!
Then I gave up learning Spanish, and some years later I moved to the Maldives to teach French. Since I had enough free time, I learnt Italian within one year. I managed to advance so fast because I had a lot of practice with Italian native speakers.
Currently I’m based in China. Besides learning Chinese, I got back to Spanish. Chinese helps me in my daily life, while Spanish is for my soul ☺️ So I speak fluent Russian, English, French and Italian; Spanish and Chinese are now in progress.
How do you feel when you change between two languages?
It’s a strange and pleasant feeling to be able to speak several languages. Sometimes it seems to me that the brain is about to explode, but it makes me happy. During my Spanish classes I often use some Italian words because these languages are similar, so my teacher understands me anyways. But sometimes I insert Chinese words – and it sounds weird 😃
How do your language skills enrich your personality and activities?
Languages are not just about career goals. Languages have shaped my personality, influenced my habits, my tastes, helped me to be more open-minded and understand the others better. All of us are different and similar at the same time. We are all human beings. Everyone should realize it – and taking up a new language is yet another valuable reminder for all of us.
Do you think language learning may lead to losing dialects and culture identity?
We all remember the story of the Tower of Babel, when God destroyed it, which led to numerous languages on the planet. Every language is unique and beautiful; we should preserve its identity, traditions and customs that come with it. However, we should also understand that languages are always evolving, and this is a natural process. Especially now, when people travel the world and meet foreigners, getting in touch. I don’t think that we can completely lose our own language, instead, we can make it even richer. In my opinion, we shouldn’t just borrow – let’s share as well! This would be a perfect exchange.
What is the biggest positive consequence that learning a language has had in your life?
I’m currently working in China in one of the biggest cities in the world and right now I’m being interviewed in English for an international blog. Isn’t it a positive consequence?☺️ I also worked in the Maldives, one of the most beautiful places, I met so many interesting people from all over the world, which also influenced my personality. Learning languages gives me a great opportunity to learn something new every day. So you’re never bored!
What is the most amazing intercultural experience you had thanks to speaking another language?
In 2016 I won a French language teaching training in France. French language united a hundred teachers from different countries. It was amazing! Different ages, nationalities, religions, skin colors, hair, clothes, but all of us loved languages.
As a teacher, what is your favorite aspect of teaching?
Being an enthusiast. When students see their teacher loves what he/she does, they will be more motivated, this will push them. I remember one of my students at school told me: ‘Miss, you are so enthusiastic … that it even scares me’ 😃 It made me laugh, but it was a wonderful compliment for me.
What is your approach to French teaching? What kind of experience would you promise to your students?
During my classes I always prefer a communicative approach, with emphasis on the spoken language and oral skills development. Communication is what all of us want when we learn languages. Of course, my students also do grammar exercises and written translations at home. I try to mix and balance language aspects: to be able to speak, we must have a solid grammar base.
Choosing an approach also depends on the objectives and preferences of a student. If they must pass an exam or enter the university, the communicative approach will not be sufficient: more reading and grammar exercises are required. For me, as a teacher, it’s very important to first understand the needs of my students and to choose a program specifically for them based on that. I want my students to be successful and enjoy learning!
Do you plan to learn more languages? What are your language goals?
As I have mentioned, I’m learning Spanish and Chinese. I’m focused on these two target languages. I’d like my Spanish to be fluent enough and as for Chinese, I want to learn more Chinese characters. It takes a lot of patience! In future, I’d like to learn the basics of Arabic and German as well.
Do you have the same passion as Lucie? This question is for you!
The passion for languages is truly one of the greatest passions. Studies proved that language acquisition enhances the mental capacities of children. Therefore, helping your children learn multiple languages, you will help them discover the world and become global citizens. At groupado, we do believe in building a global community. That is why language learning is a big part of online experiences shared on our platform, such as English online class, Spanish online class, Arabic online class, German online class, and Mandarin Chinese online class.
Are you still looking forward to Lucie’s surprise? This is the time to reveal it.
Lucie and groupado share the same vision: we see the world as a global community. Thus, she will team up with the whole world and join groupado community as a creator! Which means – from now on you can enjoy engaging experiences full of inspiration and valuable knowledge together with Lucie on groupado.
More details are on the way, stay tuned!