Using Frustration as Fuel

I understand your frustration about not being able to say what you want. You might even feel silly and frustrated about wasting other people’s time while looking for words. I wish I could tell you that you will never feel like that in our classes, but you will, that’s part of the learning process. At Rubio Dutch, we seek out your frustrations. That might sound weird, but frustration indicates what areas are most important to you. If you are not interested in sailing, you likely won’t be bothered that you don’t know all the terminology for sailing techniques. They are simply not important nor relevant to you. You might, however, get really frustrated when you can’t talk about your children, or your native country’s landscape, or hiking.  

You only feel frustration when you really really want to be able to do something and you are not. A toddler who has trouble getting on her tricycle will feel angry, sad, and frustrated, but the same toddler won’t feel bothered about not knowing how to read until much later. What frustrates you, lets our teachers know where are you are in your process of learning and which things are important to you at which point.  

In class, we set small goals each week, and talk about them in the following class. We discuss how things went in your week (focussing on if you tried, in spite of feeling silly, scared, frustrated) and what you need to do/practice/receive from the teacher to be able to take a step forward. We help you understand why you feel that way, and help you find the right tools not to give up, to keep going in spite of those feelings.

Language learning is not only about accumulating knowledge and practicing, it’s also about managing feelings of perfectionism and doing things that are just a little outside of your comfort zone. With our support, we’re confident that you’ll be able to conquer any feelings of shyness, inadequacy, or frustration to learn Dutch with confidence!

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