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September 15, 2011

"Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish."

"Stay hungry. Stay foolish."

That's how Steve Jobs concluded his graduation speech at Stanford University in 2005.

I like that idea, but it may be because....

...both things comes easily to me.

I am always hungry to learn and experience new things and, at my best, I am not terribly concerned about looking foolish as I learn or attempt something new.

Steve Jobs urges us to "connect the dots" as we look over our lives and attempt to make sense out of where life has taken us. He also urges us to find what we love. Life, he says, is too short to waste on anything else. Don't settle.

If you want to see the speech, you can look here - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D1R-jKKp3NA or if you want to read it, click here - http://news.stanford.edu/news/2005/june15/jobs-061505.html.

Learning a language is real work. It is as crucial, elemental and challenging as any other skill. I guarantee that you will mangle vocabulary, grammar or accents that will give you away as not being a native speaker. As you travel and meet people in your new language may applaud - or laugh at - your attempts at communication.

Don't worry about it. And don't be shy. As one college professor of mine used to say, "Mumble loudly". If you don't know how to pronounce a word, say it so someone who does know how to pronounce it can help you say it correctly. And then you'll never make that particular mistake again.

My philosophy is, if you need to make mistakes, at least make new ones.

My job here at this blog is to give you encouragement and resources so you can learn - or teach others - English.

Here are some resources I can recommend. If you use or work with popular films, here is a great index of recent films with plot summaries, characters, vocabulary and much more. Check it out here - http://www.eslnotes.com/.

And if you need a quick test - and refresher - on verbs and verb forms, look here - http://a4esl.org/q/h/0101/ig-modals.html.

There's a wealth of information and resources online. Send us any links that you think any teachers, students or even just regular curious people might find interesting or useful. Let us all know about words that make you crazy, aspects of language and expression you find challenging, and be sure to let us know what it is about English and language learning that you find confounding, infuriating or endlessly intriguing.

Listen, read and speak. Make your new language your own.

My best to you as you make your way through this intriguing , constantly shifting linguistic landscape.


About the author of this entry:

Morf has a B.A.from the Evergreen State College in Olympia, Washington, USA and an MAT (Master's in Teaching English) from the University of Washington (Seattle, WA, USA). And, as much as Morf loves writing this blog, he is always open to other opportunities either blogging or teaching. You can contact him at mmorf@mail.com.

Posted by mmorf at September 15, 2011 01:04 PM


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