Arika – Nacogdoches, Texas, USA

Arika

Speaks: English, Spanish, Czech

Is practicing: Spanish and Czech, and helps at the English table

Work: English teacher

Why attend SpeakEasy: Living in Prague as an expat it is difficult to integrate into the local community. A lot of Arika’s friends only speak English, and, for her, it is a barrier to meet Czech people. SpeakEasy enables her to meet Czechs and speak Czech, and the atmosphere is very welcoming. SpeakEasy also provides her with a way to maintain her level of Spanish.

Tips on how to learn a language: Don’t be afraid to speak or to make mistakes. Actually, better interactions come from making mistakes – funny errors in speech can lead to explanations on differences in language and ways how to say things (Example from Czech: I’m in the park – can accidentally come out like: I’m on the sausage). So mistakes are OK and it’s a fun way to break the ice. To practice language: listen to people on the tram, read things in the newspaper. Arika practices her Czech at least 30 minutes a day, but not all at once, and as part of her daily activities. Language is the way to connect with people, so don’t let language be the barrier. Even if you don’t always meet people who are receptive, don’t let it stop you from speaking.

Personal: Postcard exchanging with postcrossing.com (registration in a database to send and receive postcards from all over the world). It’s good for practicing language. Arika also enjoys reading, cooking, and entertaining friends.

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