My speaking videos: the why and how

Me speaking #Vietnamese! #languagelearning. At last I feel I can manage a few sentences. How did I do? This is what I am attempting to say: Xin chào – Hello Tên tôi là Kate. – My name is Kate. Tôi là người Nam Phì. – I am South African. Tôi đang học tiếng Việt. – I am learning Vietnamese. Tôi thích đọc quyền sách. I like to read books. Tôi có bo con chuột. – I have 3 rats. Tôi yêu con chuột của tôi. – I love my rats. Họ thích ăn, – They like to eat, họ thích ngủ và – they like to sleep and, họ thích chơi. – they like to play. Cảm ơn. – Thank you.

A post shared by Kate (@thesilentperiod) on Jul 1, 2017 at 2:33am PDT


So I recently started recording myself speaking in different languages and posting on Instagram. I have only done one of each language so far. Because I don’t speak much, my speaking ability is terrible. So I don’t know quite how to proceed really; I will only really be able to show some progress in the languages I am focusing on. I feel might have to stick to those for the time being. 


Why am I doing it? I want to be a bit more present in this awesome community. I want to speak. I currently don’t really speak at all. I don’t learn with a teacher or language partner. That’s just me, and I mostly focus on reading. So the videos are partly a way for me to do some “oral homework”. Another thing is that I want to stand up and say, “I am a woman and an intovert who loves learning languages and wants to be a polyglot.” It is sometimes said that women are under-represented in the polyglot community.

Why did I choose Instagram instead of YouTube? For a few reasons: 1. I am doing this from my phone. 2. I don’t really want to get into any hectic video editing because I don’t have much time. And 3. Instagram allows only a 1-minute video at a time. This is less terrifying than the open-endedness of YouTube. Which leads me to the “how”…


I mentally plan and rehearse a few lines that I want to say. I literally don’t think I would be able to simply speak ‘off the cuff’, but I don’t want my videos to be too well prepared. So, nothing I am saying is really beyond what I am able to say out of my own head. I have just looked up or double-checked one or two words per video before speaking. That is my disclaimer, then.


If you are interested in joining me on Instagram, this is the account I started for my language learning interests: thesilentperiod, and on Twitter: thesilentperiod. Hope to see you there!


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