On the Myth of Fluency – the difficulties of language learning, by Ella Harold


I’ll start with an anecdote.

I was twelve years old the first time I went skiing. Skiing was something I’d heard of, and, once my name had been pulled out of the hat to determine who got a space on the school trip, it was something I’d thought about, dreamt about, even, without really having very much idea at all of what it really was. My excited expectations were built entirely on pre-conceived ideas; on glossy brochures and friends’ photos and movie scenes. My daydreams were filled with blue skies and white snow; saloppetes and ski boots. I knew it was something I wanted to do. It didn’t occur to me that there might be more to it than that.

Our first day at ski school started at the foot of the main lift, that would take us from the small Austrian village, nestled in a valley of towering white, to “the slopes”…

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