• Irena Kolbuszewska

Welcome!

Updated: Dec 11, 2021



Passionate Language Stories

This post is divided into the following parts:

1. Welcome – introduction

2. New language learning paths and stories

3. The purpose of this blog - how it can help YOU

4. What kind of content will you find in this blog

You will also find a short vocabulary section at the end of this post for words or expressions marked in italics. Hello and welcome to Passionate Language Stories. As you might have read on my “About” page, my name is Irena and I am the person behind this project. I am a certified language teacher: I am certified to teach both English and French. There are many ways to define teaching, the way I see it is to help you reach your linguistic goals (or even surpass your own expectations) and help you find an easier, more pleasant and especially more effective way to do it. You are on a learning path. But there is NOT just one path. You can drastically change it, you can modify it a bit or you can choose a new path alltogether. I’m here to show you what options you have and give you suggestions.

As you enter on your path, you begin your language learning story. I’ve heard stories of many students who had been studying a language for a long time and were not able to reach their goals, were frustrated with their own level, discouraged and ready to give up. Their story didn’t really have any unexpected turning points, milestones, the feelings of excitement and satisfaction were missing – they didn’t have any possibility to practise the language, test themselves, find out what their real strengths were. They weren’t given any opportunity to discover the beauty of the language they were studying either.

As a teacher, I would like to show you a different path, a path with all these components that were previously missing. This blog is to give you some hints how to spice up your language learning story and tools to help you write a different and more inspiring story of your language learning adventure. That’s the way I view language learning (and teaching) : as an ADVENTURE.

I would also like to share with you my own language learning story, in fact, I tried to learn quite a few languages at various points of my life (as a kid I even tried to learn Finnish and Latin, but I don’t speak any of them), and I had a lot of or some success in six different “foreign” languages (I was able to reach fluency or an advanced level in three of them and upper-intermediate or intermediate in the other three).

Why am I writing “foreign” languages? Well, that’s my first tip. Don’t treat a language as something foreign. You’re getting more and more familiar with it. It’s becoming more and more YOURS. It is your project, your adventure, it’s not something foreign anymore. Take the ownership of it. It will really change your mindset and help you in the long run to acquire it easier and faster.


So what else you can expect in this blog? Well, this is a brand, new blog. My plan is to publish posts at least weekly, hopefully sometimes twice a week. I would like to divide the blog into 6 different sections:


· My Own Mini Language Learning Stories (and what you can take out of them).

· Mindset – here you will find some inspirational quotes, articles about what could be holding you back and how to deal with it, qualities required of a good language learner and a teacher and my beliefs when it comes to language learning and teaching.

· Learning Strategies – here you will be able to read about some hints and suggestions how you can practise language skills (reading, listening, writing and speaking), acquire vocabulary, study grammar in context and use certain resources, such as dictionaries.

· My City – these posts will not contain any learning suggestions, you can just read about my personal experiences and practise your reading skills as well as learn some new vocabulary. I will treat this section as any article I discuss with my student. You will also find there a vocabulary list and short grammar explanations of the structures used in the post with examples to help you understand them faster. I love riding a scooter and sketching different parts of my city (I am also a painter and a sketcher), if I can combine these two aspects, I am extremely happy. This is mostly the perspective I’ll be using while writing about my city or the surrounding area. By the way, when the weather is compatible, you are welcome to come with me on a moped city tour in English or French.

· Artistic Coffee Break – you can grab a cup of coffee and read posts about another passion of mine: painting/drawing/sketching. I will show you some works of contemporary artists, artists who are still alive, relatively unknown and who create fantastic works day by day. You will become familiar with some really great artists, discover their little secrets and techniques, learn some interesting and sometimes pretty unusual vocabulary. Sometimes, I’ll comment on my own work as well. As in the previous category, you will also encounter a list of vocabulary items and grammar structures with examples.


· English for Psychotherapists – as I’ve been working for some years with psychotherapists (as their English teacher), I’d like to share my experience and give some hints about what kind of language psychotherapists may need and how to use it in their day-to-day work with clients who don’t speak their native language. You might also find some inspiration if you work as a teacher, pedagogue, mediator, coach etc. Personally, I find some areas of psychology, especially psychology of learning, really fascinating.


In the future, I’d like to add a French section to this website and start a blog in French. However, we will see how it works out timewise.


Thank you for accompanying me till the end of this post, I hope it’s clear for you by now what the purpose of this blog (and in general, of this website) is. I also hope you will find a lot of information you will be able to use right away to enhance your linguistic journey. Good luck with your studies. If you like this article, please share it on your social media accounts. You’re also welcome to send me a message at passionate.language.stories@gmail.com. Thank you, talk to you soon.


Vocabulary:


To surpass your expectations – do better than you expected. You can surpass or exceed your own expectations, your can also surpass or overcome your limits.

Milestones – a significant stage, event on your way to achieving something or in your personal development. It’s a huge milestone in a baby’s life when they learn how to walk.

To spice something up – to make something more interesting or exciting. People often tend to spice up their autobiographies.

To take the ownership of something – taking responsibility for something, taking action. It is saying it’s my project, I’m accountable for it and I’m capable of doing it. For example, it’s important to take ownership at work and avoid hiding behind someone’s back.

To hold someone back ­ -when something is holding your back, it’s stopping you. Your fears can hold you back and as a result you may not realize your full potential.

Mindset - your mindset is about your beliefs and your attitude towards yourself, others and life in general. It is important to have a positive mindset.

To encounter – here: to find something. For example, if you encounter unfamiliar words or phrases, please don’t use a bilingual dictionary.

To enhance – to improve or to intensify something. For example, working as a volunteer will enhance your experience of living abroad.

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