Why I Started Sharing My Progress Online and Why It Isn’t Awkward
That means that I’m sometimes walking on the street with a selfie stick in my hand recording myself speaking Spanish and putting myself online speaking French. And believe me, I’m not good at both languages and make a lot of mistakes.
But… Why am I doing this and isn’t that awkward?
How do people react to it?
Is it worth trying? And if you want to try it, how can you overcome your fear?
Let’s discuss these questions in this post because if you plan to do something similar or if you’re already something similar, you’ll find this post interesting.
How/why did I start?
When I was young, I never used social media. I found it distracting. So I had no experience with sharing videos and photos online. And I never planned to become a YouTuber.
The first time when I came up with an idea to share something of my progress online was when I was preparing myself for the IELTS exam. For the people who don’t know what this is, this is an English exam that I had to take to prove that my English was at least at level C1. It was necessary for my studies.
To prepare myself for the speaking section of this exam, I filmed myself every day. After two weeks, there was an obvious improvement in my accent and the way I speak. I also noticed that I spoke with more confidence. Because every time when I filmed myself, I heard how I could improve myself and I could also see my gestures.
Since I like to learn languages, I thought it’s a good idea to record myself in other languages as well to see how I’m improving. I wanted to share this progress with other language learners on the social media accounts that I created for this website.
Why it is awkward to put yourself online speaking a foreign language
I know, the title of this post is “Why I started sharing my progress online and why it isn’t awkward.”
But to understand why it is not awkward, we first have to understand why it is. Does that make sense?
Okay, even when you know that filming yourself can help you improve, you may think something like, “Nah, I won’t make so much progress” or “nobody would watch it.” Or maybe you will have another excuse not to do it.
Everybody has these kinds of excuses. That’s normal. I also had them and asked myself many painful questions before sharing my first YouTube video and short video on Instagram.
It’s the comfort zone
When you start out doing something for the first time, it doesn’t matter what, but you will feel a kind of a resistance. There are no visible barriers but it takes you a lot of effort to getting something like this done.
Something we are doing for the first time is something that lies out of our comfort zone. We, humans, find it comfortable to stay in our comfort zone and most of the times use our excuses as reasons to stay where we are.
This can be a reason why you may think that it’s awkward to put yourself online speaking a foreign language.
Why it isn’t awkward to put yourself online speaking a foreign language
Now you understand why it can be awkward, it’s time to talk about the opposite. It can help you leave your comfort zone.
You’re not the only one
I discovered that I’m not the only one who had this idea of sharing her progress online. There are even some language learning challenges on Instagram called #LanguageDiaryChallenge and #IGLC that encourages languages learners to share a word or a sentence in their target language.
Seeing other people practicing will motivate you to do the same.
It can be interesting to some people
I never thought that someone seriously would watch my videos until I received my first message on Instagram saying something like “Hi! I’m a student and I’m practicing French for my exams and I think you’re doing great.” and sometimes I still receive some compliments.
So even when you think that it’s pointless, it can be interesting to some people.
Something similar also happened to me when I was filming myself outside in Spanish. A man came to me to ask me how I learned this language and if he could follow me on YouTube to see my progress.
The comments will encourage you
Nobody left me a negative comment so far. Some people are just surprised that someone puts the effort into learning their native language and sharing her progress online because it isn’t common for them.
When I upload a new video, native speakers tell me my mistakes, which is really useful for me. And I receive some encouraging comments.
It’s easier to find language exchange partners
Also, some native speakers leave me private messages to ask me if I need help. So if you’re looking for people to practice with, sharing your progress will help you reach people who are willing to help.
I already use HelloTalk to find language exchange partners so I don’t accept that.
Is it worth trying?
Making videos for Instagram is like an exercise for me. I know that it will be publicly visible. So I need to eliminate my “ehhms” and silence between sentences. Therefore, I repeat some of my sentences frequently before making a video and that helps me a lot.
I noticed that I speak a bit faster every time after making a video.
If you haven’t tried it yet and if you’re wondering if it’s worth trying to share your progress online, it definitely is. It helps you improve your speaking in a foreign language, find language exchange partners, and meet new people with the same sorts of interests online.
Each time when you get an encouraging comment, you will feel motivated. Since you will be surrounded by people with the same interests, who are also learning, you won’t lose your motivation easily.
If you want to try it, don’t forget to join the challenges on Instagram!
Featured image by Tom Sodoge via StockSnap