Sunset from the Malecón in Havana, Cuba.
Let's be honest. I put up a gorgeous photo to make you look twice and maybe continue reading. But it IS pretty, isn't it?
Last summer I crossed off that line-item from my bucket list: travel to Cuba. Since college I have wanted to experience first-hand all what I had read, studied and heard about for so many years. But when I got there, the only thing that mattered to me was chatting with the people.
Oh sure, the architecture and the art and food and the cars - that was all great, too. But being in Cuba, just like it is whenever I travel, it was all about the people. Lucky for me, I talk to everyone. Doubly lucky for me, so do the Cubans.
Language is about people, so too, is language learning - in my opinion. I am delighted there are colleagues who are true pedagogues and methodologists who will debate and argue, and otherwise get caught up with levels and pyramids and rubrics, as they are the wonderful balance to the folks like me who just want to chat. All the time. With everyone. About everything. It takes all types.
There seems to be hot discussion as of late as to the best way to teach/deliver/present world languages to students so that they can learn/receive/acquire such. I'm not so sure that the how matters nearly as much as the why. Language is for communication between people.
Say what you will about my Spanish (read: it's not perfect), but even with its imperfections, Jorge, our bus driver in Cuba, was pretty happy to yak it up with me while he was carting us around. His face lit up every time we talked. That's my why.