Thrown Into the Deep End

deep-end-of-the-poolFrom the title you can see that English makes the most of colloquialism. So if you are missing your colloquial dictionary, the title means forced to learn something quickly with little or no previous training. Literally, it means to teach someone to swim by pushing them into a body of water that is deeper than they can stand up in. The idea is that they will either learn to swim or drown.

Sure it sounds extremely cruel to do, but for some reason the idea caught on and people are pushed into pools all the time. Metaphorically speaking anyway. But everyone knows that this is not the best way to get through a difficult learning curve.

As an example, when I first started working in business, I was asked to give an important presentation that meant millions in sales to the company to important clients that were both new and old. They had spent lots of money to come see the presentation and already had their expectation elevated by my employer. No pressure, right?

This being my first presentation ever, guess who had stage fright. That’s right, me. Guess who’s sales were at an all time low directly afterward. The same guy. My boss thought it would be good for me to have some practical experience at doing these kinds of events, but it really only succeeded in two things; no sales and an affirmation that I was really bad presentations.

It wasn’t until later that I developed my public speaking ability, but only after gradually building up my skills and finding new ways to overcome the fear of facing a crowd.

Learning English is much like this. You wouldn’t take a new English student, and ask them to give a speech in English. You would do it gradually, by getting them used to environment. You would first start with a fluent bi-lingual teacher, who can help the student learn the basics. This technique is call immersion.

However, there comes a point where that student should come into contact with a native speaker and the student be allowed to progress into more and more subjects. Given a vast library of courses where they can become well versed in a multitude of subjects, one subject at a time.

However, getting the student and native speaker together is not always an easy thing to do. Thankfully Sapling Academy has pulled key technologies together to make the transition easy for the student to be with a native teacher. Imagine yourself being able to spend a couple of hours in the foreign country and speaking with someone who is happy to correct and guide you through the nuances of that country’s language. When you’re done, you get to go back to your country and study the things you didn’t say or do properly. I think this lifestyle would be a difficult and if everyone was able to do it, would seem like science fiction.

Through Sapling Academy you can visit a foreign country, meet with an expert, get instruction, and then go back to study more, all without spending all your money on airplane tickets and hotel rooms.

Later, when you’re ready to spend your money on those things, Sapling can even arrange for a short visit with these or other experts to increase your immersion into the foreign culture until you become an expert and can demonstrate mastery of both the language and the culture.

Jumping into the deep end doesn’t seem like such a scary thing now.