Learning Project

Watching YouTube videos in another language is cool.. right?

I have many things to catch up on this past week! It has been a busy one!

Last week I created the video of me practicing Afrikaans with my roommates. Turns out, my boyfriend sent his parents the video, and then they sent it to a bunch of family members. Pretty sure that means I am famous?

This past week I visited my students from internship. When I arrived my co-operating teacher introduced me to a new student from SOUTH AFRICA! In my head, I thought, “Okay Amy, this is it, you got this!” And I said, “Goeie more, *insert name!*” Translation: (Good morning, ____!).

His initial reaction (complete shock some random knew his language):


I smiled and said, “I don’t know much, but I am learning! His response after realizing that yes, he was not imagining things. This random lady really did speak the language:



Then we both laughed with each other and immediately bonded.


 Later we were discussing what else I know in Afrikaans, and he reminded me about needing to use gutteral noises (You know, like, hacking up a hairball noise) when pronouncing words. He lit up when he was teaching me how to pronounce words correctly. When I was getting ready to leave he came and hugged me, and told me that if I learned all the Afrikaans words we could speak to each other in the language!

Insert heart melting.

I could never have guessed that learning Afrikaans for a school project would influence me in this way. The fact that I was able to welcome the student in his own language is so encouraging. In education we always talk about how it is important to do this and how much it may mean to a student. I never knew what it would feel like to experience it first hand, but it really was a bonding experience for the both of us. It was one of those moments as a teacher when you do a little happy dance.


You know when you go down a deep dive on YouTube and do not know how you started at a food recipe and ended up watching animal hoarders? I had something like that, but with watching a bunch of YouTube videos of people speaking Afrikaans. I never understood much at all, but my goodness was it entertaining!

I started trying to find cooking videos in Afrikaans. I love cooking and could spend hours watching cooking videos, so I thought that I could understand some of it! This is when my confidence failed me. BUT. I did find this absolutely adorable video of siblings making the traditional Afrikaans dish, Melktert.


So after this video I really wanted to challenge myself. I looked up vlogs in Afrikaans. I love watching vlogs in English, so this is the same right? Right? WRONG. I barely understood anything this man said in the video, but the toddler speaking Afrikaans was worth the watch.

The video also reminded myself how the language has very gutteral sounds and requires the ability to rolls R’s. WHICH I CANNOT DO. Lol. Stay tuned to see if I can learn this technique!



2 thoughts on “Watching YouTube videos in another language is cool.. right?”

  1. Hey Amy!

    That is so wonderful that you were able to have an experience with a student that was so meaningful. Reading you blog post about your encounter with this student and that the student was teaching you touched my heart. It’s incredible how great of a bond you can create with another person just based on learning their language. I started to learn the French language when I was 4 and I have continued with it ever since. You never realize how much you have benefited from knowing a second language until you meet someone who speaks that language. Even though you can’t speak the language great, those who do speak that language are so supportive and they want you to continue learning it. I definitely found that being able to speak a second language has helped me become a part of so many other communities that I wouldn’t necessarily be apart of if I only spoke English. I hope you will agree that knowing/learning a second language is such a special gift.

    This was such a great and meaningful blog post!



  2. I love this! Such a great read on a dull Wednesday morning because as a teacher you can’t honestly ask for anything better than to have that connection with a student. It truly is an amazing thing to be able to communicate with someone in another language! I am so glad that you got this experience and that you can see how this learning project can truly broaden such horizons for you and your abilities in the classroom. It really is a benefit for you and such a gift like Shantel said!
    I totally feel ya on the Youtube though! It is a never-ending pit of videos, especially with the automatic play next now, like half my life wasted by! Although it definitely is a great place to find awesome videos and encouraging ways to learn. I love these vlogs and I think the more you listen to them the better your ‘R’ rolling will be!
    Keep up the good work! Your dedication to this learning project is very admirable and I love that you continue to find ways to make it fun for yourself and everyone following with you on this journey!


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