The Art of Learning

Yolanda Wegner, February 6, 2023

There are many ways to absorb a new language and practice the words and rules of English as you learn them. One of these ways is through creating art together.

In the context of English class, I have the privilege of helping my student to discover her talents and beautiful gift for creating things.

After an hour of learning new vocabulary, grammar, and pronunciation, we spend the last part of class doing hands-on art activities.

One of these was a twisted copper wire tree sparkling with glass beads, its roots clinging to a weathered rock. Making trees like this is a hobby of mine and, after seeing a picture of one, my student was inspired to make one of her own. The first difficult choice was the color. After some consideration she chose a gorgeous mix of blues, and we could start threading the beads onto the wires and twisting them into twigs and branches. For weeks we laboriously worked on our tree and little by little it took shape.

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We had time to talk as we worked, practicing following instructions and discussing many topics including trees and rocks and how they form, all in English.

When the glue was dry and every root and branch in place, it was ready for her to pack up and take home for her family to see, and for her to keep.

I imagine that after weeks of classes and hard work it is incredibly rewarding to walk out with not only a better grasp of English, but also a beautiful work of art in your hands, and a whole world of opportunities in language and practical skills opening before you!

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Photos courtesy Primavera English