Lesson Transcript


Chigusa: Welcome to a special Inner Circle Audio Lesson! I'm Chigusa and I'll be your host. My co-host today is the founder of InnovativeLanguage.com... Peter Galante!
Peter: Hi everyone! Peter here.
Chigusa: In this Inner Circle, we’re talking about…
Peter: Winning Through Failing: How to Succeed with Languages in the Long Run
Chigusa: You’ll Learn...
Peter: ...One, The Result of My 2018 Language Resolution
Chigusa: Two, What Peter Will Do with French in 2019 and Beyond
Peter: ... And Three, How You Can Achieve Your Goals Despite “Failure”
Chigusa: So you can master your target language and reach your goals!
Chigusa: Listeners, welcome back to the Inner Circle.
Peter: Last time, you learned about the power of level appropriate language immersion
Chigusa: And last time, Peter, you promised us 20 minutes of French conversation.
Peter: Yes, that was my goal for the year.
Chigusa: So, here we are Peter. The end of December. You were at 17 minutes last time.
Peter: That’s right.
Chigusa: So, let’s hear it. What’s the good news?
Peter: Well... Chigusa, let’s jump into the first part;.
Chigusa: Part One, The Result of Peter’s 2018 Language Resolution.
Peter: So, Chigusa...drum roll please, I did not reach my language learning goal.
Chigusa: Aw Peter, you were SO close.
Peter: I was. Just 3 minutes more ... but time ran out. Not this year.
Chigusa: What happened, Peter? You failed your goal for the year. For 2018!
Peter: Wow, Chigusa, I love your theatrics. You’re very passionate about someone else’s ... coming up just a little short.
Chigusa: Well, personal goals like learning a language... these things are a big deal for me.
Peter: Well, you’re right. They are a big deal. But to answer your question... what happened?
Chigusa: Yes.
Peter: So, let me just say that while I missed my speaking goal, my reading, writing and listening dramatically improved
Chigusa: Ah. Yeah, but you never set goals for those.
Peter: Well, you’re right. So, next year, I’m going to make a more comprehensive, kind of more comprehensive approach to my goals. But... to get back to your question: These past few years, I took on Italian, German, Spanish, I re-visited Chinese, then French, and of all of these languages... I think if you remember, French was the least exciting for me.
Chigusa: Really? It’s such a popular language though.
Peter: It is. But my reason for learning it wasn’t very compelling. Again, if you recall, my reason for learning was my son was learning it...
Chigusa: ...so you decided to learn it.
Peter: Exactly. I’ve never been to France. I don’t have many French speaking friends...
Chigusa: Ah, it’s like you have very little connection to the language. Very few anchor points.
Peter: Exactly Chigusa. And because of that, I have to admit, I kind of went in with a poor attitude. And for most of 2018, my motivation to learn French has been ... lukewarm at best.
Chigusa: Hmm. It’s interesting though because you still came pretty close to reaching your goal, Peter. Even though you weren’t excited about French.
Peter: Well... Chigusa, here’s what’s interesting. Something happened towards the end of this year with my French studies.
Chigusa: Oh, what happened?
Peter: Let’s get into the second part.
Chigusa: Part Two: What Peter Will Do with French in 2019 and Beyond
Peter: So, what happened was... despite not being too excited about it, I came to really like French as the year progressed.
Chigusa: Really?
Peter: I think as the year went on... and the longer I stuck with it, I created more anchor points.
Chigusa: You have your in-person teacher. I think you enrolled in a class too?
Peter: Then there are weekly Skype lessons. I also eat at a French restaurant once a week with my teacher here in Tokyo. So, I’ve created these anchor points, these anchors that keep me attached to the language.
Chigusa: So, you grew to like it. It’s like if you hate the gym but you find a really good trainer and you start enjoying it. Or a class you don’t want to take. But then your teacher is fun. And your classmates are great people, so you end up enjoying it more...
Peter: Exactly. My French teachers adjusted to my style. When we practice conversations, I like to joke around and say interesting things. I don’t like boring or text responses. Back when I was studying a different language, i won’t name the language but.. The country does border Germany to the east, my teacher... would acknowledge my jokes but quickly move on. Chigusa, she shut me down.
Chigusa: Ouch. And the French teacher?
Peter: All teachers have been really great. They even take time to participate in some of the strange scenarios we create.
Chigusa: I can see why you’re enjoying French now. It’s harder to quit when you have a great teacher...
Peter: ...That you actually look forward to.
Chigusa: So, because you stuck with French all this time..
Peter: ...and I created those anchor points...
Chigusa: ... you grew to like French. Ah, I guess that’s why you came so close to reaching your goal.
Peter: You might be right, Chigusa.
Chigusa: Ok Peter, so now what? What happens now with French?
Peter: Well, I have core group of languages that I maintain and study ... all the time. These are the languages I want to keep... for life.
Chigusa: Oh, what are they? English?
Peter: Yes, Chigusa. There’s Japanese and Chinese, which I use daily. Then there’s Italian. I do lessons twice a week. So, it’s more maintenance mode, not great progress but i can still talk and i still have fun talking with my teachers.
Chigusa: And is French now on the list?
Peter: Chigusa, stop the presses because It is. And it’s funny because if you asked me back in January, I would’ve said “No way. After 2018, no more French.” So, even though I failed at my goal of speaking - originally 30 minutes and 20 minutes of French, I’m continuing on with my French studies.
Chigusa: Wow, that's pretty incredible...that despite failing, you’re still keeping at it.
Peter: I guess you could call it “Winning Through Failing” Chigusa. Or not failing but learning. Plus, I like being a student. It’s fun to try new things. Try new languages... and experiment with language learning techniques. Using our websites to learn. So, I shouldn’t use the word failure because learning a language is really more like a marathon.
Chigusa: Ok, now, what about the listeners. What can they take away here?
Peter: Let’s jump into the 3rd part.
Chigusa: Part Three, How to Achieve Your Goals Despite “Failure”
Peter: Or as we can maybe say... setbacks. So, listeners, now that you’re in your 12th month of learning...
Chigusa: ...you’re either coming close to reaching your goals...
Peter: ...or you’re coming up short.
Chigusa: So, if you’re close to reaching your goal, congratulations.
Peter: And if you’ve come up short, like I did, like with French....
Chigusa: ...then, let’s talk about time frames.
Peter: So, I mentioned before about this “marathon.” So, with every language goal we set, we always suggest a time frame.
Chigusa: For example, reach 3 minutes of conversation in... 1 month, or learn 100 words in ... 1 month.
Peter: And if you think about it, we have time frames for pretty much everything in life. For example, graduate in 4 years.
Chigusa: Lose weight by summer... or finish a book in 2 weeks.
Peter: So, with that in mind, here are some things you need to know: It’s ok to push back the timeline.
Chigusa: Yes. If you came up short on a goal... it's okay to give yourself more time.
Peter: Because we’re all operating on different timelines anyway. Some of us are busier than others. We have school. Work. Commitments.
Chigusa: Some of us need extra time to review and practice.
Peter: The main point and the main takeaways... as long as you have a routine in place...
Chigusa: ...you’ll be fine. Give yourself more time.
Peter: I like that. If you didn’t reach your goal in 1 month, it might take you 1 and a half, or 2 months.
Chigusa: But, you will get there because language learning is just an equation of effort...
Peter: ...and time.
Chigusa: So, just because you failed to reach a goal in 1 month or whatever finite time you set...
Peter: ...that doesn’t mean you’ve failed for good. This is a mistake most language learners make.
Chigusa: They fail once and walk away.
Peter: When really, all you needed was more time. Maybe another month or two. It wouldn’t have been a failure if you gave it more time.
Chigusa: And it’s like that Einstein quote: "It's not that I'm so smart, it's just that I stay with problems longer.
Peter: Great quote Chigusa, but yea that guy was really smart. But you understand the idea. It applies exactly to language learning.
Chigusa: So, Peter. What’s your goal for next month? And what language will be doing next?
Peter: Let’s... uh, get back to that in 2019. I need a vacation first. Language is hard work but again, it’s more of a marathon than a sprint and the real success and the real reward here in my mind is that i exposed myself to a language i didn't expect to get so much from, and i got so much than i ever could’ve expected. So stick with it.
Chigusa: So listeners, we hope you enjoyed this language journey with us.
Peter: And before we go for the end of the year... We hope that you found success in your language and have reached your goals. And even if you didn’t. And though i didn't reach my finite goal, HAVING the finite goal helped motivate me to study, and by studying, and finding the right routine for my life and the right anchor points, French has now become part of my weekly routine i'm not willing to throw away even though myhe challenge is over... and again, as i mentioned, i didn't expect that. So keep that in mind, if you miss a goal and you’re looking for more motivation. Stick with your language. Again, it’s a marathon.
Chigusa: Well said Peter. Listeners, remember, new Inner Circle lessons are coming in 2019. Have a Happy New Year, and we’ll see you soon!
Peter: Thank you again and best of luck in 2019.


Chigusa: Well, that’s going to do it for this special Inner Circle lesson!
Peter: Bye everyone!
Chigusa: Thanks for listening, and we’ll see you next time.