Our family and friends adopted a Syrian family a year and a half ago. One of the major challenges they faced was learning English. It’s not an easy language to acquire, especially when you have to learn a completely different alphabet and everything that goes with it.
The dad has had more of a challenge than other members of the family. To help him along with his English, we’ve downloaded a language program as well as directed him to several other sources, mostly on YouTube. As well, he’s been watching several movies, some with subtitles. It is making a difference. His self esteem and enthusiasm are building. Through this process he is becoming much more comfortable with English, and more creative.
Where my ideas come from
I’ve always found that I get a lot of my ideas from reading, particularly magazines that deal with entrepreneurship and technological advances, such as Fast Company, Wired, Inc., Entrepreneur and Forbes to name a few. My collection of books keeps expanding as I keep discovering ‘must reads’. My wife usually gets her ideas from movies and television, as her expertise is writing video documentary and educational material. She’s an avid reader, far more than I am, and I know that spurs her imagination.
What sources do you use?
I invariably find something that’s new, that’s of interest in whatever I read. Maybe I can’t use it now, but I’ll file it away for another occasion. But let me ask you? What sources – books, movies, TV shows, magazines, bloggers and so on – do you use? And do you ask for recommendations from your friends, your teachers, your coaches, your parents?
Is it authentic?
I don’t have to tell you how much material is available to you today. The question arises as to its authenticity. For example, are you confident that it isn’t “fake news”? Are the authors/creators credible? Is what’s written supported by valid facts? Since so much is open to who is interpreting the information, you’d better be careful of the direction you’re leaning.
For me, the presentation's very important
What I really like about first rate sources is not so much as whether I agree or disagree with what I’m reading, but how it’s presented. I’m a stickler for accessibility. Can I easily follow what I’m reading? Am I enjoying the experience? I have a problem with dense material. Too often it looks like a paragraph with no end in sight. Rather than wade through it, I’ll skip it.
Here’s what I want to leave you with. Keep looking for material that will enhance not only what you’re working on, but your own learning. And wherever possible set aside time to do that on a regular basis. As writers will tell you, it’s grist for the mill. And one day, maybe today, it will come in handy.