Joaquín has taught me so much and shared so many stories with me. He is a saxaphonist in Desperdicis Clínics so music is the topic that we explore in our conversations. And it is through music that he has found what happens when you enjoy learning English.
Joaquín told me this story just before summer started. He was at Sonar, backstage because of his work, and the time was right. Ryuichi Sakamoto was standing there, so he walked up and said hello, spoke about music and then asked for a photo with him. Ryuichi suggested the backdrop and they took this photo!
“That’s new.” I said. “How did that happen?”
“It was easy.” he said. “I really wanted to talk with him and I felt I had enough English for this.”
“Have you ever done this before – just walk up and say hello to a famous person, in English?” I asked.
“No. This is the first time. Before I didn’t take the risk. I feel much better with my English now. I found a way to enjoy learning English and this has changed me.
“So, what is this new way? How do you learn and why is it enjoyable?”
“It’s quite easy:
•First, I find a topic that really interests me. I begin to research it on the internet. Mostly, I watch videos and read articles.
•Next, I write about it. I take my time and find new ways to express my ideas.
•Then I practice reading it out loud and finally, I record myself. Sometimes quite a few times.
Once I have a recording that I like enough, I send it to you (Rachel). In our next session, we re-read it, make a few changes and continue talking about the topic and finally, what I learned from this whole project.”
“This is my way and basically, I find the whole experience enjoyable! It makes my learning easier, more enjoyable, lighter and changes how I feel when I speak English.
There is freedom in knowing that I can open my mouth and find enough words for my ideas. It makes conversing in English more fun for me. Also, I’m beginning to feel that English is another one of my languages. My ‘other language’. I need it and I want it because I’m a freer man with it.
AND, I get to talk with some of my favorite musicians!
In case you are interested, here is what I wrote and recorded about meeting Ryuichi Sakamoto.”
“Once again, I went to Sonar Festival in Barcelona. This year was the 25th edition and it was very Special for me. Today I can tell you, I’m enjoying and learning English at the same time and I have improved my level a lot. This is one of the reasons that has allowed me to have the opportunity to meet and talk with one of my favorite musicians“Ryuichi Sakamoto”. Wow! I am a lucky Man!!!”