"I stood still, my whole attention fixed upon the motions of [Annie's] fingers. Suddenly I felt a misty consciousness of something forgotten--a thrill of returning thought; and somehow the mystery of languaeg was revealed to me. I knoew then that "w-a-t-e-r" meant the wonderful cool something that was flowing over my hand. The living world awakened my soul, gave light, hope, job, set it free... I left the well-house eager to learn. Everything had a name, and each name gave a birth to new thought. As we returned to the house, every object which I touched seemed to quiver with life. That was because I saw everything with the strange, new sight that had come to me" (p. 122-3).
I wonder if my students ever had this "realization" in English. Does anybody remember a feeling like this with learning another language? Did it ever just "hit" you and you "got" it?