New Years Resolution #1, to study Chinese with more focus. I've been posting lessons every day on my website Language in Real Life, as well as regularly posting my writing on Lang-8. & I still meet with my language exchange partner once a week to study Chinese & Spanish together.
Last week at work, we got an email from the boss: Since we work in the language learning field, everyone has to study & improve their second language (be it Chinese or English), & we have to do it during work hours. Sweet! I'm getting paid to learn Chinese! Is my job great or what?
I agree with my boss that being a language student gives you a perspective on teaching a language that being bilingual just doesn't give you. If you can speak two langauges fluently, you're no longer a language learner but a language speaker, so your learner empathy is muted.
As a Spanish teacher, I think I lost sight of the struggles, joys & frustrations of learning a language. But now that I'm learning Chinese, I am reminded of what it's like to be a language student. I am able to take my successes & failures in my own learning & apply them to the lessons that I'm writing for English learners, thereby using class time in a much more productive way.
I'm so glad that I've found a job where I can make these kinds of discoveries, where my boss encourages my hobbies & my co-workers actually enjoy shooting the breeze about language structures. Now if only I can get them to let me work remotely (New Years Resolution #2).