The Linguistics students were asked to speak to the other students here regarding their experience with the linguistics training that came to an end in December. We decided to share with you what they had to say.
(Photo and words shared with permission) From right to left:
Josh: After taking the qualifying aptitude pretest I had this huge confidence but I learned pretty quickly in the actual program that I’m one of these guys that is good at Linguistics but has almost no tolerance, no patience for it. I thought “How am I going to make it through this thing. Lord, this is a marathon and I’m already giving up at mile 1.” But the Lord reminded me of a very important biblical truth that self-control and patience is the fruit of the spirit. “Self-control, patience and endurance is something you have to trust me for” so at the 6 week mark I was like: “OK, Lord here we go. Day 1. I’m trusting you for the self-control. You kind of have to meet me here Lord because I’m not going to make it.” Day 2 – “Trust in you.” Day 3 – … I look back now at the end of the training and I can sit at the desk for 10 hours a day and I know “Wow, Lord anything more than 2.5 hours can’t be me.
One of the things I learned the most about in this course is team work. I had an awesome team and I look back on it and say we went through Cherokee (Our time in Oklahoma) pretty smoothly. A lot of our crucial team members who were on our Cherokee team and in the Linguistics class were the ones who were willing to assume that the other people were coming from good motives… When we would run into an issue, there were certain key players on our team that were encouraging the rest of the group to give people the benefit of the doubt. “Make allowance for each other’s faults” so to speak as Colossians would say. The biggest thing that I learned about Linguistics at a team level is that – the grease that smooths the gears often is just the willingness to step into a conversation and assume that the other person is coming from good motives.
Make allowance for each other’s faults. Col 3:13
Carissa: One of my favorite things was to work with Josh (her husband is in the picture next to her) – we got to work together – bounce ideas off each other and realize that our strengths and weaknesses are in very different places. The areas that he is really strong, I’m weaker and some of the areas that I’m really strong, he is weaker. It’s so cool being able to go through that learning process together and realize how we can complement each other better
One of the hardest parts for me was adjusting to parenthood while taking linguistics. After I had our baby I really wanted to keep doing all the work and still be a really good linguistic student. But I realized that I needed to trust God to being able to scale back and say “OK I’m going to work on it a certain amount of time and after that I need to walk away from it and just be a mom.”
Rachel: I decided to take Ling because I really felt like it was going to help me to get better at things I wasn’t good at. There is a lot in language and grammar that I’m not good at. Especially grammar –Now that I’ve taken it I really can’t imagine going overseas without having some of that heads-up on how a language works.
The linguistics course helps to break the language into parts and into pieces and you can see the things you know, what things you need to find out, and you can have tools as how to target those things. And you really are going to be a lot more efficient in language learning and even in putting the pieces of language together.
Other things that were really helpful was learning how to work the software. There is so much software that makes language learning and linguistics so much easier and so much more efficient than it was even a couple of years ago.
Candice: I’m not a linguist but I’m married to one. I’m a Ling wife. Stephen is OK with me saying that he did not do well on the qualifying aptitude Ling pre-test at all. He is not naturally wired for Ling and so doing Ling was hard for him. But we would never trade the experience for the world. As he went through the work he said “I don’t know how we could have went to the tribe and written down a language without the Ling training.” This kind of training has such eternal value and such great worth for what you are going to be doing in the tribe.
Andrew : We got to learn to figure out what goes into a language and how do you put it together. We learned to figure out where in the language puzzle (to use a puzzle as analogy) are the edge pieces, what is the front, what is the back. Ling taught me how to start to organize.
I also found that in those 8 weeks during the practicum my wife and I (my team, all of us) put into practice almost every single course that we took during the Missionary Training. It wasn’t just about linguistics it was actually about life and it was about the whole church planting program.