Happy St Patrick’s Day everyone!
Patrick is the patron saint of Ireland and his day is celebrated on March the 17th. He is famous for bringing Christianity to Ireland, so St Patrick’s day began as a religious feast but it is now celebrated internationally as a festival of Irish culture with parades, dancing and lots of food and drink. However, probably the most common association with St Patrick’s Day is the shamrock.
Ah, the shamrock. Evergreen, national flower of Ireland, symbol of luck. Don’t we all desire a little bit of luck just for ourselves? Do we find luck or does it find us? I’m not sure about that but I do know I can grow my own shamrock in a pot.
I’ve read that shamrock plants need some time in darkness to rest. It is called the dormant period. What is it trying to rest from, I wonder. Poor little shamrock – is it already tired before even showing its tiny self to the world ? I can’t blame it , though. Life can be hard when you’re green.
I’ve been learning English for such a long time but it still isn’t perfect. How can I be familiar with the rules of how to use articles but still struggle to apply them correctly? I’ve been teaching the difference between “make” and “do” for ages but sometimes I just don’t know which one to use. In this situation one might find it hard to believe I’m still making do.
I travel to work by tube. My trip is long and I sometimes daydream. When I think about work and studies, it often comes to my mind that learning a language resembles growing a shamrock or any
other plant. Surely every learner is familiar with the dormant period when the seed has been planted and a lot of effort has been put into learning new words and rules and yet, you open your mouth and… nothing comes out! Nothing! Don’t worry though – just like the dormant shamrock, your newly acquired skills need time to rest and settle in before they can be shown to the world. It’s crucial not to give up.
All stages of the learning process are equally important, including the dormant period, and however unproductive it might seem at first, it gives the foundation for further growth. Remember – the first shoots of your language competence, however modest they might seem, should be celebrated with joy.
Good luck with your English on St Patrick’s Day and beyond!
Activities (you can comment below):
1. Answer the following questions:
- What does the phrase ‘dormant period’ refer to in the text?
- What do you usually daydream about?
- Do you believe in good luck?
2. Try to think of situations in which you could use the following phrases with the word “luck”.
- a stroke of luck
- push one’s luck
- have more luck than sense
- pure luck
- beginner’s luck
- Just my luck!
Why don’t you explore other expressions with this word?
3. What does this expression mean in Irish?
Lá Fhéile Pádraig Sona Daoibh!