I have been to a few places in Europe, not from my own choosing but because my family and I were refugees of war there during the ’90s. In the course of those travels, I have had the opportunity to briefly take some foreign language classes. I was 15 at the time, and it seemed like I had no problems with language learning; it just came very natural to me. Three things could have played a big role in my early language ability: I was very young, so the hunger for learning was easily met, or Latin languages use the same alphabet as my native language, which made things easy for me, or I was immersed into a new culture and had no choice but to learn this new language. It certainly could have been all three!
I have not taken any foreign language classes here at PSU, but I so wish I had, if I could have fit them into my schedule. One particular language of interest to me, which is becoming a global language, is Arabic. I am mostly working on it on my own, using various books which all claim to hold the secret to successful learning, but so far that secret has alluded me. I admit, I do not practice as hard as I should and do not get the opportunity to mix with Arabic speakers much, but those reasons should not hold me back that much. One thing I know, however, is that languages like Arabic require a shift in thinking and that has not been easy to do.
Your suggestions are more than welcome!