In my last blog entry I talked about how my conversation partner and I got the conversation going. About how she was just as active teaching me how we might orchestrate a fruitful conversation as I was teaching her Danish words and phrases. I would like to dwell on this topic for a bit longer.
As we had our first conversations I couldn’t help but think: How on earth did I end up here? When was it I decided that I was capable of teaching a foreigner Danish? The answers came just as quickly as my sudden doubts: Mostly by accident and You never did. It’s a great project though, so I am going to go ahead and do it anyway.
Without knowing much about it, I think this might be a quality most people involved in this project have in common. The willingness to jump in. It certainly takes careful planning and management from the responsible project managers to run this operation, but planning will only get you so far, just as studying will only teach you so much. Eventually you have to stop preparing and do something about it.
This is how I felt when I turned my webcam on for the first time. I bet many of the people out there engaging in what might be their first ever conversation in Danish with a complete stranger over the internet might feel like – they have gone off the deep end. I don’t think they have though.
To me the whole point of Taldansk Online is to provide a training ground. A safe environment where we can hone our skills before jumping in the public pool.
So please, feel free to jump in and share your experiences, if you like. Were you nervous at first, like me, and how did you deal with it?