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  • Writer's pictureW. Austin Gardner

What to accomplish in the first two years 6

Language Learning

1. One of the best ways to identify with my people and belong is by being a learner. What is more important than their language? How do you feel about foreigners that come to the US and do not want to learn our language? Our country was known as the melting pot. Folks came from all over, but everyone learned our common language. They may retain something of their previous culture, but they knew how to fit in here. That is what you must do.

2. “Thinking positively about language learning is a crucial aspect of the learner’s approach.”

3. “You can successfully learn another language. Successful language learners -- both children and adults -- begin with an underlying knowledge that a language is learned rather than taught. And they know how to take advantage of the abundant resources available to them. These resources are the people who speak the language.”

4. “It is motivation that determines ultimate proficiency in a second language.”

5.“Language learning is a social activity, and it must be learned through relationships with people.”

6.“One has to make mistakes in order to learn from his mistakes.”

7. “The problem is not one of ignorance but of cultural isolation.”

8. “..failure to learn foreign languages results primarily from false attitudes towards culture.”

9. “Most adults subconsciously resist the idea of becoming ‘childlike’ to learn a language...yet this role is unavoidable.”


1. Our attitudes are revealed by the little things we do for people: the little gestures that cost us almost nothing.

2. They are revealed in our interest in the people, our entering into their joys and sorrows.

3. They are revealed above all in our love for them.

4. It is not our skill in the language or our competence in our work that is going to win their heart: it is our attitude, especially our attitude of love, that is going to influence them.

5. On the other hand, it is our bad attitudes that are going to repel them: our inconsiderateness, our condescension, our criticalness, our indifference. Such attitudes will neutralize months of ministry.

6. “The single most important area of your life and ministry will be in the realm of attitudes.”

7. We are guests. Have the attitude that we are a guest in their country. Guests are reserved, grateful, and discreet. Guests are dependent on their host for many things. Guests honor, not denigrate, their host. Too often, missionaries have acted as if they were schoolmasters and the nationals were children.

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