Magazine topic: 
Life around the world

Practice makes perfect

by : 

Sometimes in life, when the moment's right and you can’t think of anything else to say, there’s nothing better than opting for the perfect saying.  Here, in France, one saying has become more important and relevant to my life more than ever and that’s the old gem, ‘practice makes perfect’.  And guess really does!    

I’m now in the second month of teaching as a language assistant and whilst I honestly do love my job, at times it is incredibly trying.  Most of my classes here are what the French called ‘Euro’ classes; that is to say that the students have extra English lessons and are therefore meant to be the better linguists.  However, when I ask my students to describe their favourite film and they can’t won't even tell me the name of ANY film, sometimes, I really do wonder.

Don’t get me wrong, my French is far from perfect and I remember exactly how it felt sitting in a classroom having to speak a weird, unfamiliar language in front of my classmates and a native speaker and yes, it is very intimidating.  But it’s only now that I’m a language assistant myself that I understand how valuable their role is.  Assistants provide an opportunity for foreigners to listen to a real, authentic accent, learn everyday phrases and of course, offer a chance to practise speaking with a native.

The thing with languages is that there is always something new to be learnt.  Whether it’s vocabulary, grammar, or simply working on your accent and fluency, you can always improve.  I really want to help these students become the best linguists they can be, and have the potential to be, but unless they start to help themselves there’s only so much I can do. 

But this article isn’t only to moan about my students (I promise!) I suppose it’s also a reminder to myself of everything that I want to achieve on my year abroad and what I need to do to get there.  Before I came to France, I had no doubt that by the end of the year I would go home fluent.  Now I’m here, I’m not so sure anymore.  My job is to teach English so there’s the catch 22 and all my friends here are fellow English assistants so its just easier speaking English together.  I have, however, bought a French book and pick up a French paper everyday but both somehow end up thrown in the bottom of my bag, unread.   

So I guess there’s only one thing left for me to do tonight: pick up said book and start taking my own advice to become a better linguist! 


Do you agree with Katie that 'practice makes perfect'? 


Forever_in__dream's picture
Forever_in__dream 12 June, 2016 - 13:41

I totally agree with Katie. I came across this quote a year ago when I began to learn English. Many things were difficult for me, English learner: I didn't understand TV-news in English, watching movies in original was impossible, I didn't understand all these verb tenses and other constructions...So I decided to give it a try, and it worked! My level in English has become higher than it was in that time (from pre-intermediate to upper-intermediate). Now I can look at tasks of exam I'm going to take without fear and I hope to pass it well. But I realize that it's not end: there are so many words and features to learn, difficult texts to understand, art films to watch. "Practice makes perfect".... I see this again and it gives me motivation to practise more. Everything depends on your efforts, and my own experience proved it.

0 users have voted.
mss's picture
mss 21 April, 2015 - 16:59

I agree, because I used to get B- in sciences but now I get 98! I was working hard and I asked Allah to help me ..My teacher is proud of me and I get the biggest grade in 10 classes.

0 users have voted.
justcricketforme's picture
justcricketforme 14 March, 2014 - 12:14

It's very right! I'm horrible in Maths but this time, I got an A plus grade in my Maths exam. That's because of the practice i did.

0 users have voted.
dzeni's picture
dzeni 28 February, 2014 - 14:20

Yes, I agree with Katie. Practice really makes us perfect. At the beginning nobody knows everything but if he or she practice a lot and tries then he or she will achieve the goal and be perfect in it.

0 users have voted.
Fatime143's picture
Fatime143 8 February, 2014 - 11:46

I agree with Katie.Practise is the act of reharsing a behavior over and over.For-example playing a musical instrument well takes a lot of practice.It is a method of learning.

0 users have voted.
besirchez's picture
besirchez 12 January, 2014 - 10:11

Useful advices from this text, congratulations for that she/he wrote....
Yes of course, pracice is a main option to complete something that you haven't still complete.

Without practice you can't reach it what you aim for ......

0 users have voted.
Ash94's picture
Ash94 23 November, 2013 - 14:38

Hi All,
Yes. I'm also 100% agree with Katie. Without practice, you can never be perfect, even if it is a talent of yours. I'm good in delivering speeches. But I also never go on to the stage at ones without practicing my speech even if I'm a experienced speaker.
Best regards, Ash

0 users have voted.
learningenglish282's picture
learningenglish282 21 November, 2013 - 02:19

yeah, I totally argee. Learning english was very hard for me at first but then after practising using it, i can say that it's not really difficult. Making mistake is not a big deal, it's a great way to improve your English, though.

0 users have voted.
Natalija's picture
Natalija 18 November, 2013 - 16:38

Yes, I completely agree. Without practice, you can never reach perfection. It includes everything-language, sport, art... I am a ballerina and I know how much I have to practice to be perfect. I have to spend hours and hours in front of mirror practicing. You may have talent, but if you don't practice, you have no chance to achieve some high goals.

0 users have voted.
Lavender's picture
Lavender 20 November, 2013 - 23:01

Hi Natalija, yo are so right.
And could you share with me more about how you practice your English speaking skill?
Thank you... Have a nice day :)

0 users have voted.