The other day a teacher posted a beautiful poem about language learning on Facebook. It was called ‘Learning a Language’ and was by somebody called Olivia McMahon. I instantly googled her but could not find out much, except that she is a poet from Scotland, who also writes text books for English as a foreign language. Her poem has been posted on various blog posts and teachers seem to have used it in assemblies and language lessons. And that’s all I found out.
But the poem is so beautiful that I made a video of it. I hope you’ll like it and if Olivia McMahon ever sees it, I hope she likes it as well.
I think I can safely say that the feelings she describes apply to every language learner. What do you think?
Here’s the text again for you to read:
Learning a Language (by Olivia Mc Mahon)
Learning a language
is like doing a jigsaw puzzle
of a million pieces
with a picture that keeps changing.
It’s like getting lost in a foreign city
without a map.
It’s like playing tennis without a ball,
like being an ant in a field of grasshoppers.
It’s being an acrobat with a broken leg,
an actor without a script,
a carpenter without a saw,
a storyteller without a middle or an end.
But then gradually
it¹s like being out in the early morning
with the mists lifting.
It¹s like a chink of light under a door,
like finding the glove you were looking for,
catching the train you thought you were going to miss,
getting an unlooked-for present,
exchanging a smile.
And then one day it’s like riding a bicycle
very fast downhill.
The cookie settings on this website are set to "allow cookies" to give you the best browsing experience possible. If you continue to use this website without changing your cookie settings or you click "Accept" below then you are consenting to this.