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St Mary's Church of England Primary School

Building a bright future for ourselves, our school and our community

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St Mary's Church of England Primary School, Yew Tree Road, Slough, England, SL1 2AR

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A poem


A poem by Olivia McMahon


Learning a language

is like doing a jigsaw puzzle

of a million pieces

with a picture that keeps changing.

It is like getting lost in a foreign city

without a map.

It is like playing tennis without a ball,

like being an ant in a field of grasshoppers.

It’s being an acrobat with a broken leg,

an actor without a script,

a carpenter without a saw,

a storyteller without a middle or an end.


But then gradually

It’s like being out in the early morning

with the mists lifting.

It’s like a chink of light under a door,

like finding the glove you were looking for,

catching the train you thought you were going to miss,

getting an unlooked-for present,

exchanging a smile.


And then one day it’s like riding a bicycle

very fast downhill.



What do you think of this poem?

What is learning a language like for you?


In a piece of paper, complete the sentence below. Then, write your name, year group and the name of your class. Finally, give the completed sentence to your teacher, please.


Learning a language is like...


I will start... for me, learning a language is like a never-ending treasure hunt.