Saturday, June 15, 2013


I WAS going over the article about the 20-year-old Oxford student who speaks 11 different languages – as well as another article – and learned (and was reminded) that no single method of learning a language is the best.
Alex Rawlings, the student, said his mother spoke to him in Greek, French and English.
In a way he picked up on what the mother taught him and then he learned others when he went to school, or on his own.  

The point that came to mind was using different methods should help complement each other – learning by speaking to others, using a text book, video, YouTube, etc.

There was also the point that some methods work better for some people than others.
Some people can easily pick up languages by listening to others speaking it. Others need basic rules/grammar with text (as in English or French) to identify words and work out the correct pronunciation.

Some time ago in England, people taught learning grammar rules often hindered students from learning languages (like French). Now, they realize that grammar rules are important – important for English as well as any other language their students would like to learn.

From experience, I have come to appreciate English better (as well as revisiting the basic parts of speech e.g. noun, verb, conjunction, adjective, etc – things we learned in school) when I delved into studies in French.
The basic structure of language also is important to note as in recognizing the order of the SUBJECT (S), OBJECT (O) and VERB (V) in a sentence. See the examples in these languages:
1. PIDGIN:       Mi harim yu.             (S-V-O)
2. ENGLISH:    I hear you.               (S-V-O)
3. FRENCH:     Je t’écoute.              (S-O-V) (Je te + écoute)
4. MOTU:         Oi lau kamonai.       (O-S-V)

As you can see in Pidgin and English (for this sentence at least), the structure is the same. That is not the case in French or Motu.
Students of French must understand that.

Notice that in Motu the object is usually placed before the subject. It seems weird? Well, that is its structure.
All languages have their own “weird” rules. You should learn them to be confident in the use of the language that you are studying.

C’est une nouvelle semaine. Bonne semaine. Bon chance. (It is a new week. Have a nice week. Best wishes/good luck.)   

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