Week 8: Months and Family Members… and planning your first conversation!

Welcome to Week 8 of the Kick Start Languages 10 Week Course! This blog accompanies my Week 8 YouTube video which was released yesterday so if you haven't seen that yet check it out here:

Welcome to Week 8 you absolute heroes! We are now dangerously close to the end of the course and you should be approaching the point where you now know enough to have that all important first conversation in the language you are learning! This is amazing! So, this week your main job is to make sure that you seize the day and either pen in that conversation for next week, or better still, have it this week! Get it done! You will be so proud of yourself once you have!

Please note, that I deliberately did not say that you should or would now feel ready to have that conversation! There is a world of difference between being ready and feeling ready and the biggest difference between those who will use this course as a springboard to smashing it in the language you are learning and those who will struggle is, to a large extent, determined on how you react to the knowledge you've amassed over the last few weeks. Assuming you have been following the course and learning what I've been asking you to learn it is a simple fact that you are now ready to have a conversation not that dissimilar to this very clunky and awkward one I had in French last week. I have designed the course to make sure you would be totally ready for this type of first conversation around now. If there are specific bits of the course that you haven't learnt yet you can take a week or two to go back over them if you really feel you need to but once you have learnt the stuff I've asked you to learn you should be around the level I'm at in French now which is summed up on this jilted conversation here:

There is nothing, whatsoever, perfect about this conversation. I make mistakes, mispronounce words and stumble for the words I want to use. However, at no point do I fall back onto English. This makes this a massive success. I will focus on how to build on this first conversation in the blogs over the coming weeks. Your job for now is just to get it booked in and follow through and have the conversation!

If you are like the vast majority of language learners the chances are that even reading these reassuring and encouraging words you still don't feel like you are ready to do this. Trust me. You are. And, what is more, if you are the type of person who is saying to yourself that you are not ready now then you are almost certainly the type of person who will never feel ready to have that conversation. Fact. You will always convince yourself that you need to know that little bit more or that you won't know how to say x, y or z. That is true but, assuming you've learnt what I've asked you to learn, you can easily ask how to say a certain word as I do in the video above. Having this first conversation is such a massive hurdle and so daunting for so many people that I've actually written a separate blog on it here. Please, please, please read it if you have any doubts whatsoever about having or organising this conversation! This really is one of the keys to this course! Do it! Do it now! You will not regret it!

Other than organising or having your first conversation this is another relatively chilled and personalised week. As I've said for the last couple of weeks make sure that you keep building the vocab (verbs, adjectives and nouns) that you feel will be useful to you in the conversations you normally have in English and keep up the unconscious learning. The only things you consciously need to learn this week are the words for the months and a basic range of family members. The family members you need to learn are:

Mother / mum

Father / dad

Brother

Sister

Wife

Husband

Son

Daughter

The reason for this being the minimum list is that you can actually create other relations by using these words and the words 'of'. For example, your grandfather on your mum's side is the 'father of my mother', and your female cousin on your dad's side is the 'daughter of my father's brother'. Obviously this is very clunky but it will get the point across! However, if you want to go all out and learn the specific words for every relative under the sun then go for it!

That's it guys! I know some of you will probably think that I'm ranting about this first conversation but I know from experience that this is a key sticking point for most language learners. There are people who know far, far, far more of various languages than I do but who are too scared to have that conversation. This means that their knowledge of the language they are learning is, essentially, theoretical. There is nothing wrong with this per say and these people will probably be able to read and write the language they are learning really well. That's fantastic but this course is about learning how to 'speak' a language in 10 weeks. The only way to do that is to get speaking! Good luck you legends! I know this is a scary week for many of you so suck it up and smash it! You've got this!

Let me know how you get on in the comments below or on YouTube!

Peace out!

Jonny

 

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