Learning the language…

August 1, 2011 at 9:13 AM Leave a comment

My brain is buzzing with strange words as we fly past signs in rural France. I’m on the back ofย  Kurt’s motorcycle so there’s no whipping out the dictionary or asking him (he didn’t get the helmet intercom and wears ear plugs, sometimes just around the house :-))ย  I’m flooded with French on TV, newspapers, and I lost my @#$%^&! Kindle on the airplane, so there’s no escape.

I was lucky to make friends with Genevieve who runs the bed and breakfast chalet where we stayed for 5 days in the Alps and had a friendly rock-climbing guide who also helped me avoid making an ass of myself in French. Still not that great at climbing but that’s another story.

Here’s a few things I’m reminded of as I try to teach the language of science in a few short weeks from now:

1. It’s TIRING. I have to have breaks and time to integrate new words.

2. I have to need the word, say it, use it in a sentence, turn it over in my mind like an interesting pebble, see it written. For each word.

3. It really helps when a word is linked to something I already know. Handy that English is really French with an English accent. Or vice versa – huge overlap of vocabulary.

4. It’s so fun when I get a phrase right and someone understands first time. Makes me want to try again.

5. I don’t mind when someone corrects me gently – it’s nice to feel listened to. But when someone instead of helping, just switches to English, that’s sort of annoying. It’s a delicate balance, like helping students just enough, but not too much.

6. Espresso makes everything just so much more vivid ๐Ÿ™‚

Oh, dinner time! The cathedral bells are tolling 8 through the open window.

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Entry filed under: Reflections. Tags: , .

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