How much don’t I know

So this is the start of Phase 2! Weekly private lessons (along with everything else) I’ve made a timetable so I know which bits I am doing each day.

Just before our Skype lesson, Lilia sent me the textbook to download as a PDF. It’s a custom one, so I can’t share it, although it makes me smile because it is so remiscent of the GCSE text books I used for years. The lesson we did yesterday was about Cinema, TV and Theatre. How often have I done that in French and German? 🙂 There are accompanying audio files too, available online.

textbookOddly enough, for someone well used to online meetings, I was quite nervous for this first time -perhaps because I felt the distance across the internet would hinder my understanding? It was of course easier face to face, despite the online connection being very good. We both had our webcams on and she directed me to look at certain pages of the book and we went through the exercises together. Only occasionally did I struggle with the sound through her microphone, but on the whole the Skype lesson was excellent and I felt much less anxious by the end. I think I was also nervous in case I had forgotten everything we had done a couple of weeks ago in St Petersburg – and I didn’t want to make a bad impression! I want to be a good student!

Again the lesson was 98% in Russian and again it was tiring but extremely rewarding. Yet this time, I was much more aware of how much I don’t know, rather than how far I have come. Instead of being happy that I could understand and communicate for an hour and a half entirely in Russian, including correctly identifying and declining accusative nouns and adjectives, my mind kept going to the things I can’t say -the declensions and conjugations I can’t recall. I’m starting to see how big a job this is, learning a language to a degree of competency. In fact, I felt somewhat discouraged.

But maybe seeing the BIG picture is  a positive sign, rather than a discouraging one. ‘The more you know, the more you realise you don’t know’. Maybe I’ve reached a level of understanding where I know what I need to know, even if I don’t yet know it – and while that might be daunting, at least it means I know what lies ahead 🙂

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