Never let mistakes stop you...

Hello everyone,

Today is officially my first time blogging, and is there really a better subject to write about than something you love the most? Learning languages is one of my biggest passions and pleasures in life. But the start was quite rough. My first English teacher at school used to call me a “slabenkaya” which means ‘weak, not bright’. The grades I would get were not so bright either. I hated the classes, didn’t do my homework and even developed a rare pre-English class "head/stomach/tooth/etc. – ache". But one day everything changed. That was the first day of a school year when we found out we were going to have a new English teacher.  She was bossy, demanding and looked nothing like a typical Russian teacher. She was wearing jeans, sitting on a desk and had a strong American accent. The books were also new: big, bright and didn’t have a single Russian word in them. Even the best students were intimidated so when it was my turn to answer I prepared for the worse and decided to at least say as much as possible. I knew I was making all the mistakes in the world but she wouldn’t interrupt me and when I finished she gave me a full mark. When one of the students who got a lower mark told her I had mistakes she answered: “She is not scared of speaking. I don’t want you to think about mistakes for now, I want you to feel the language, fall in love with it”. Our jaws dropped. Suddenly a boring core subject with grades, tests and endless homework turned into a fun and fascinating exploration of a new world, its culture, traditions, literature, cuisine, fashion and much more. Suddenly homework became interesting, classes – very short and even grammar – easy. Suddenly I became one of the best. Suddenly I found myself looking forward to the next class. That was love...

Till this day I keep thinking of that episode and the role it played in my life. It made me realize that such concept, as “talent” is just an illusion. We can succeed in what we do and be the best only if we fall in love with it, completely, helplessly and for good. So in the words of my role model and mentor: “Go ahead, don’t be scared of making mistakes, be adventurous, explore through language and find your passion”.


Yana D.

Professional linguist with over 8 years of teaching experience

100+ hours
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