Sam Brotchie (2015)
Sam studied not just one language but two: German and Russian. He is also teaching English to speakers of other languages. Sam believes that learning German at Daramalan was the heart of his love of languages.
Which language did you study at Daramalan College, and how did it help you in life?
I studied German at Daramalan, which created significant opportunities for me both during and after my time at school. One of the earliest of these was an externally funded, month-long trip to Germany to travel around the country and learn German with other school students from across the globe.
Through learning German at Daramalan, I discovered I had a passion for languages, so I continued studying German at university and began studying another language, Russian. At university, I received a scholarship to complete a six-week German course in Germany, during which I could visit more places around the country. I then went on a semester-long exchange, partially funded by a scholarship, to Russia, and graduated with a Bachelor Honours Degree, in which I produced Russian-to-English translations that were later published.
After university, I took a short course and obtained a certificate in teaching English to speakers of other languages.
Looking back, I realise it was learning German at Daramalan that was the heart of my love of languages and allowed me to enjoy unforgettable life experiences. Danke, Daramalan!
Why do you think it’s important to learn a new language?
Learning a new language grants you greater access to different cultures and domestic and international travel. Through this, you acquire a deeper appreciation of people, customs, food, arts, literature, history, philosophies, sports and more. It is this appreciation that creates a special respect for others, enabling you to become more weltoffen (“open-minded”) and gain different Weltanschauungen (‘world views’) and therefore reach a state of self-enrichment.
Additionally, learning a new language not only teaches you about your first language(s), but it also gives you a head start in learning even more languages!
What is your advice for current students?
I would advise current students to:
think about why you are learning a language and focus on your interests to inspire you to learn;
experiment with different learning strategies and find out what works for you to learn a language;
know that making mistakes in a language is a necessary part of learning and improving;
actively seek out opportunities to practise and improve your language ability;
remember that school is not the only place that provides opportunities to use your language; and
not be disheartened if your language ability becomes ‘inactive’, as language ability is like a volcano—it may become ‘dormant’ but can become ‘active’ again!
Posted By , 05 Jun 2023