Monday, March 4, 2013

Proverb: You reap what you sow

Do you recognize the proverb on the first line? It says, "You reap what you sow." It's a common English ADAGE that means we eventually get what we put out. Good DEEDS and words bring nice things back to us, while evil words and actions BOOMERANG negativity back. Michele in the TOEFL class came across this 4-line poem on one of her apps and asked what it meant. After we went over the vocabulary (REAP & SOW), most of the class quickly got the idea and said they had a similar expression in their language.

REAP - to collect; harvest; get
SOW - to plant; cultivate
ADAGE - a saying; proverb
BOOMERANG - to return

The poem is sort of an extension to the proverb. Do you agree with it? Can you think of a situation in your life when you thought of a goal, acted on it, made a habit of your actions until it became part of who you are, which then helped you reach your goal?

Sow a thought; you reap an action.
Sow an action; you reap a habit.
Sow a habit; you reap a character.
Sow a character; you reap a destiny.

Interestingly enough, the proverb, as well as the poem below it, is also true with language learning. If we act on our desire to improve our language skills and do it regularly, our actions become habits, which become part of who we are, and before we know it, we've reached our goals of speaking English fluently. Do you agree? Do you have a similar ADAGE in your language?

What are you doing on a daily basis to make your desire to speak English fluently come true? Are you reading a news article a day? Are you reading and reviewing your old grammar exercises? Perhaps you are recording yourself reading English and listening to yourself speak correct English on the train. Feel free to share below, on our Facebook page, or @NYLangCenter on Twitter. We hope to hear from you.

Written by Joe Yu, ESL instructor