Public Speaking as an Integral Part of Language Learning
When you spend most of your life living on the road, you naturally become a teacher. I’m sure there are numerous travelers and expats who can attest to this fact. For me, the reason is, as a traveler, you are constantly learning; constantly consuming new information. The next, natural inclination is to unpack or to express what you just learned.
Diana Watson has lived in Taiwan for over 16 years. That comes with a wealth of knowledge and experience. Seeing the changes which have taken place over this span of time has given her a lot to unpack. Her life in Taiwan is just one segment of her overall travel experience.
Apart from being a student of the world, Diana has taken an uncommonly serious approach to the formal, academic side of language learning. From her breadth of knowledge, she is able to call forth the changes that have taken place within her own being, over a lifetime spent as an expat. In other words, she is a natural teacher.
The journey, her own personal journey, along the course of becoming a Mandarin speaker is what Diana spoke to me about. She plotted this journey in as detailed a manner as anyone could. However, it took on a life of its own. She is acutely aware of this area of her life as a journey. The journey came with ups, downs, challenges and victories. It’s not over.
Over the course of our interview, Diana introduced me to a club, of sorts, of which I intend to join. It’s called Toastmasters. It has existed since 1928 and it has chapters all over the world. Diana’s ideas about how to learn a language effectively, make perfect sense. To be considered a speaker of any language, you need to speak the language. Why didn’t I think of that?
There is no better way to exercise the verbal aspect of the language than through public speaking. By honing her skill as a public speaker with Toastmasters, Diana was able to synthesize the knowledge she had gained about language into a teachable format. From this came her platform, Speaking Seed. Diana Watson has created a brilliant and very appropriate course of study that includes 2 books and an organizational method.
More than anything, she teachers confidence. Confidence in language learning does not exist in countries in Asia. Any foreign English teacher will tell you that it is nearly impossible to get Asian students to overcome their shyness. Well, Speaking Seed and its surrounding curriculum does just that. She gives her students the motivational tools they need to engage anyone using the English language.
Diana Watson is a Thought Leader in the field of language learning with a rich academic background. Because we are in the era of COVID-19, we are also in a time of huge uncertainty. She and I both agreed that living in Taiwan has been a blessing at this time. The routine of life has slowed without coming to a screeching halt. It could have been a million times worse.
Although our troubles are mitigated here, we are still apart of the global community. Looking ahead is not as easy as it once was for someone whose main job is to create bridges between different cultures.
As a scholar, as a teacher, as a linguist, as a woman of the world and as a black woman who lives in an Asian society, it’s almost like Diana has lived multiple lives. Bearing this in mind, Diana’s talents, skills and the services she offers make her a highly marketable asset wherever and whenever she may be.