Yesterday I was trying to help my university students to identify their feelings towards learning Chinese language. I asked them to write 10 different feelings they associated with learning Chinese as fast as they can. I also asked them to write two or three reasons for each feeling.
The three dominant feelings are proud, stressed and confused. Learning a second or third language, especially Chinese is not easy, so it is understandable that they often feel confused. Most of them feel stressed due to the number of Chinese characters that they have to memorize. Despite the difficulties in learning Chinese, they feel proud because they are seen as being able to take on a ‘hard’ subject. A lot of people perceive them as smart and they receive a lot of praise.
One thing that drew my attention was how their feelings towards learning Chinese influenced their performance in class.
There are two classes, Class A and B, with 17-18 students per class. When I tallied the feelings for each class, I found that in Class A, the students have more negative than positive feelings towards learning Chinese. While in Class B, they have more positive feelings than negative ones. Perhaps it is one of the reasons why Class B consistently outperforms Class A.
Does it mean that if we want to be better in something, then we need to have more positive feelings toward it?
Please share in the comments about what you think.
Learn and Grow
Inge Santoso, B. Com