Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Shalom everyone! Ma Hamatzav? Ani Mekave Shehakol Beseder! (I hope everything is OK).

The past week was really intensive here in Jerusalem. New students arriving from all over. All starting courses at different levels. I love the excitement of meeting a new student for the first time. Always something new, always an interesting story. We also started to film a short video about the Ulpan. It was definitely an experience! As a linguist, I can definitely say that I am a man of words. Expressing myself has never posed any major difficulty for me, not even in front of a lot of people. But having a camera in front of me and being asked to talk about the Ulpan was completely something else. The phrase "Try not to think about it as explaining to the whole world about what you do", that sentence didn’t really help me… All of a sudden, I found myself stuttering and even putting together a sentence correctly became a major task. In Hebrew, like in English, we have a saying, “ Whatever does not kill makes you stronger.” I guess I’ll live to tell the tale!!
Now I would like to give something to think about…..
If you were given 1 minute to think about things that annoy you in learning a new language, (not Hebrew of course, because that is always fun ☺ ), what would you say? Would you say 'being stuck for words' was one of them? I am sure that that you would. Often for people who are very articulate in their native language, a great challenge is to learn how to express complex thoughts in a very simplified form. This challenge is usually caused due to a lack in vocabulary. How many of you can identify with the lady in the poster below? I think I can imagine…
Until next time,
Shabbat Shalom!
Gil Pentzak
Ulpan Aviv - Director

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