Lesson 15

Who Is Talented

The next day is Friday and I go to school again. I am happy that I go to this class not only because we have a great teacher. I like this class because there are students from many different countries in our class. Some students are from Europe. Some students are from South America. There is also one student from Japan and one from South Korea in my class. This is good for me because the students don’t speak my native language. When I speak to them, I have to use only English. It is very good for my practice.

Today, we have another new student in our class. Her name is Sofia. She is from Argentina. At the beginning of the lesson, Sofia says that she thinks that she doesn’t have a for studying languages, but she wants to work hard to be better.

My teacher asks her, “Why do you think that you don’t have a talent?” She answers, “I think that I don’t have a talent because my sister learns English very fast but for me it is difficult.”

Then our teacher asks everybody in the class, “Do you think that you have a talent for learning languages? Please put your hand up if you believe that you have a talent.

I look around the class and nobody puts their hands up.

My teacher smiles, then she says, “Now, I want to tell you something. Many people think that you need to have a talent if you really want to learn a new language. I agree. Yes, you need to have a talent if you want to learn a new language, but I also believe that you already have a talent for leaning languages.

Why do you have a talent? You have a talent because you already learnt one language, which is your native language. You were successful at learning your native language and you speak that language fluently. All people who can learn their native language have a talent for learning languages.

Why do many students believe that they are not talented? The reason is this. There are people who are super-talented. Yes, it is true. These super-talented people remember new words very fast and for a longer time. Maybe you know these people. Maybe it is somebody at your work or in your family. There are not many of these people but they exist. I believe that this can be Sofia’s sister as well. Learning a new language is fun for these people and they can do it easily.”

Sofia says that it is true, that her sister is really better than everybody else.

Our teacher continues, “It is true that these super-talented people exist. It is a fact and we can’t do anything about it. And it is not a problem. The problem is that we compare ourselves to these people and if we don’t learn as fast as they do, we think that we are not talented. I want to ask you for one thing. Please do not compare yourself to these super-talented people. Yes, they are lucky and they have an advantage, but you can be lucky too and you are super-talented to do other things. Maybe you are more talented than others when you learn to sing, swim, play tennis, count numbers, cook, or repair cars. People are not all the same. It is a beauty of this world.

Now, you can believe that you are also talented, maybe not super-talented, but talented. When you believe that you are talented, learning English will be easier for you.”

These words from our teacher are very helpful for us. I know that I am talented at playing football and tennis. Now I know that I am also talented at learning English. It is great.

And what is also great is that there is a school party in the evening. I really look forward to this party. I know that some girls from our class are going there. I hope that our new student Sofia is also going to the party. I know Sofia for only one day, but I like her very much.

If you can speak your native language, then you have a talent for learning English.