10 Lectures for a Fresh Undergraduate @HSS Lecture 5 : My Experience of Learning a Foreign Language
Nowadays, it is becoming increasingly important to acquire a foreign language, as a useful tool as well as a unique life style.
To begin with her talk How English Has Influenced Me, Prof. Li Lan mentioned that learning a new language felt like discovering a whole new world, because a new language could provide a fresh vison, knowledge, culture, and manner to language learners. What’s more, Prof. Li provided many useful tips from different angles of English learning by sharing her own experiences, such as, how to avoid the misunderstanding respectively in English and Chinese, what we should pay more attention to while we are speaking English. At the end of her talk, Prof. Li quoted that “Rome was not built in a day”, and warmly encouraged students to conquer the difficulties they may meet in the future.
Dr. Liu Mengbin shared her story about how English changed her destiny. Starting with a beautiful song Blowing with the Wind, Dr. Liu briefly reviewed her English learning experience and the way that English influenced her life. She believed it is extremely helpful to keep a constant studying in one foreign language. In addition, she mentioned the progresses she has made in English learning and recommended several famous movies and songs, such as, Beauty and the Beast. She used the excerpt of Three Passion that written by Bertrand Russell to end her talk.
"Three passions, simple but overwhelmingly strong, have governed my life: the longing for love, the search for knowledge, and unbearable pity for the suffering of mankind. These passions, like great winds, have blown me hither and thither, in a wayward course, over a great ocean of anguish, reaching to the very verge of despair."
Ms. Laura Jones-Katz started her speech by pointing out her understanding on the meaning of learning, culture, and self-acceptance. It was strongly advised to make as many mistakes as we can and seek for the real passion deep in heart. Meanwhile, some vivid pictures of her childhood and places she used to study at were presented to students. In this way, Laura described her multi-cultural experiences in diverse countries by telling some meaningful stories that happened in Germany, Italy, Belgium, and China.
In the Q&A session, some students worried about keeping the balance of learning two different languages at the same time, some asked for listening and speaking tips, others were concerned about upholding sustainable enthusiasm in English studying. Aiming to deal with the above problems, the three speakers kindly explained and provided valuable opinions and advises respectively. As a famous Chinese saying goes, “no pain no gain”, the main idea of their answers is that learning a foreign language needs heartfelt passion and persistent hard work.