Friday 3 May 2013


The first two weeks of my time in Colorado were to do a course called PILAT, an acronym that stands for Program In Language Acquisition Techniques.  This means for two weeks from 9-4 I spent my time learning how to learn a language.

We spent a lot of time doing phonetics drills which trained our ears to hear the difference between different sounds, and trained our mouths to say them.  I am grateful that God is the one who created language and our mouths which means, in theory, all those sounds can be perfectly articulated.  Some of them I definitely struggled with, and am very grateful that a lot of those sounds don't exist in Czech! I also became very grateful that Czech is not a tonal language - in some languages whether your voice gets higher, lower or stays the same can all lead to different word meanings!

We also spent time learning different techniques for learning language, with lots of different techniques we can incorporate into our lives that will help us learn.  I will admit that I was really rather skeptical about some of the techniques as thy were so foreign to me, and so unlike how I'd learnt French and Spanish in school.  However, my skepticism disappeared when we spent three mornings (three hours each time) learning a language. I was in the Russian group which was fun and a lot of the sounds and even some of the words were similar to Czech.  It was encouraging to see how much Russian I was able to understand at the end of that time.

All in all, PILAT was a very practical time and I left it feeling like Czech might actually be something I can learn, especially with the tools I was equipped with during the course.  I know that it will still be a long road, and I'm sure there will be future blog posts dedicated to the hilarious mistakes I make but I'm excited to be learning Czech.

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