Saturday, I got to spend some time with some local girls who are seniors in high school. They are planning to come to school at LCC, and they wanted to practice conversational English, so LCC set us up to meet at a sweet little coffee shop downtown Klaipeda.
I was so excited to meet with them and see where they were at. At LCC, everyone has already had their English skills tested, and they have refined it by speaking to most of their international friends here in English. So I was excited and honored to be a part of these girls’ first interactions with English speakers outside of the classroom. One of the girls was very self-conscious about opening up and speaking in English. It was mostly fine, because her friend was very talkative, and there was never an awkward lull. I really wanted to get across the fact that it’s important to speak, and maybe mess up even, right now and with me, cause I can work with her and hopefully gently correct, but I was just reminded by how nervous I can get to speak Lithuanian and German, both of which I’m just starting now.
I’m so embarrassed to speak a new language, especially to a native speaker, even though they are the best ones to help. I am so afraid to butcher their language. But from talking with these wonderful girls, and from trying (and admittedly failing) to speak Lithuanian with my roommates, I’ve learned something important – If I wait to understand something fully before do it, I will never do anything, and it will take longer to understand it.