When I started to write this blog post I had a completely different idea - I was thinking to talk about the Estonian language our national language, my son Eli Jacob hears and speaks and etc. Plus all the stories of how some languages have helped us in certain situations and countries and. While I was halfway through with my blog post, I accidentally closed it. ( it was saved ) but then I had a thought. - What about my "Dream big " and language - and those who know me, they know that I believe in dreams, destiny and
connecting the dots. So here is my version of how language connected my dots and made my dreams come true.
As far as I remember, I was 5 or 6 years old there was a TV -show of a professor who was teaching the French language. Back then it must have been once a week or maybe it was 1 day for 30 minutes, I can`t remember exactly. And I remember myself taking notes with my pen and notebook ( Those days we had no iPads, online courses or any alternatives that are available today). I was living in a very small village with limited options for education and languages, honestly what were my possibilities? Chances of learning French were close to 0.
I was fascinated by the French language, it just sounded beautiful. I can`t remember back then how much did I actually learn, for sure it definitely wasn't enough. But then I had a dream from a very early age. In Estonia, you start a school when you are 7 years old and like I mentioned before I was living in a small village and there was no option or whatsoever to learn French or having some influence.
In Estonian School System you start learning Estonian, followed by English and Russian and finally either German or French. As time passed and years went by, I had forgotten all about my French Dream!
"Dropping out of the High School"
After many years, I decided to move out of my little village. One day, I got into a better and bigger School, it I had many options and possibilities. Then I left my small home village. Honestly, I must admit I didn´t do well in the first year, I was about to drop out. I somehow didn't feel that I fit in there...
For my English teacher I was the stupidest and laziest person on earth, for her I was the one who dosent show up for the lessons, do not learn anything and etc. Same with Russian didn't understand a word and as a result I failed most of the tests. since they were all grammatical and I had no clue about it. Back then my Russian was more like - ( U menja jest cabaka) I did little better in German since it just started and all we had to do is to remember words and learn from the basic and that wasn't so hard. I felt that I do not know anything and I am quite useless in fact - and on top of that, my teachers were reminding me that in each lesson.
"I started to connect the dots "
No idea why our education system is built on tests and points while it could be a lot easier and better to learn while it is still fun.
I guess I was looking for something where I could fit in and feel better suddenly there happened to be a French after-school course ( so here is the next dot).
I immediately signed myself up there and had 90 minutes course each Monday. It did go really well in the beginning, the teacher was nice, she was helpful and as we all were there from self-motivation then it obviously made it easier to learn & no tests to be afraid of. But like I mentioned before, this first year in a new school got on me finally, and I decided to give up. I left the school 2 months before the year was about to end. And the reason was quite simple, whatever I did or I didn't the results were always the same... So I didn't see the light at the end of the tunnel...
"When I left the school I also quit the French Lessons... "
Although my teacher called me back and asked me to fix a few problems here and there with my lessons and continue that I could finish high school. I decided to give it a second try.
Yes, I did graduate! I must say a thank you here for my teacher who invited me back and still had this belief in me. As at this point, I didint believe myself.
After graduation and hearing about everyone how they are going to Universities to study this and that. I knew I can`t get into any University since I didn't take the foreign language Exam. ( its one requirement there). But my English teacher reminded me at least once per lesson that: "Birgith, you are not going to take the English exam as you are going to fail ... "
Well, then I knew that University is not for me... Fine by me, I knew that life has a plan for me.
And as far as I knew, I met up my childhood best friend by accident, we weren't in contact about 3-4 years since we both moved away, different schools and friends. She had just arrived back from Switzerland and told me that she knows a family who is looking an au-pair in Geneva and if I am interested.
And yes there was my next dot - a few weeks later I had my first flight to Switzerland. Which is now my home last 8 years. I met here some of the most amazing people who are more family for me than I ever felt back at home. I have got to travel over these 8 years more than I could have ever imagined. I have met people from all over the world, with different background, stories, languages, food and a lot more. And of course, I met the love of my life here and also having my own family here now.
And if you are thinking of whether I speak French or not - then Yes! I do, not perfectly. But definitively better than my Russian or German.
"So dreams do come true .- When and Where? We do not know until we connect the dots." If you would like to connect your dots, then have a look at this campaign!
So that`s why if you ever feel inspired by my story ESL Is giving away amazing Scholarship. You can win a scholarship of CHF 4'000 for a language stay worldwide of their choice with a bonus of CHF 1'000 to make of their dreams come true on sight (bungee jumping, road trip, etc..)
So whatever your dream, the destination you want to discover and the language you want to improve you can take advantage of this unique opportunity by entering the online contest.
What you have to do: share the hashtag #DreamBigWithESL