I wrote my first notebook entry in italki. I was suddenly reminded of LingQ’s writing correction feature as people commented on my introduction.
Am I the only person who feels too fragile to accept criticism from strangers?
I don’t mind the Korean friends correcting me. We’ve had conversations, I know these people, they are gentle with me.
Yet I feel crushed that my little attempts to form sentences get so much criticism. It was like that back in June when I tried writing on LingQ, and now here in September on italki I feel the same way. I feel very vulnerable when I make mistakes.
I just want to pull the covers over my head and cry over these criticisms. I want to give up speaking in any public way.
Strangers have NO IDEA how hard it is for me to try to form some Korean words.
It takes very little to get this turtle to pull back into her shell.
I can remind myself of Toastmasters and learning to welcome criticism there. I need the comforting compliment-criticism-compliment sandwich that makes criticism easier to swallow. I also have to be receptive. I didn’t realize the notebook was public. I thought it was my own private notes. So the criticism came like a softball out of left field, knocking me right off my feet.
To anyone out there who thinks somehow I have it easy learning Korean, let me tell you, it isn’t so. Some day I’ll share my story about losing my own native language, and how I still struggle today to be able to write sentences in English, and how learning a second language has helped me reconnect the brain pathways to my native language.
Feedback and correction is an important part of the process of learning. However, for some, it is best served gently, kindly, judiciously, and with much encouragement.