The Language Thread!

(I’m prefacing this with my fear that this thread will be a total flop, and I’m not sure what I’m even hoping to get from this, but I thought it would be a nice idea, if it does work.)

I thought it might be a cool idea for those of us who are learning (or at least attempting to learn!) another language had a place where we can talk about our language learning, which languages we’re learning, and maybe even get some suggestions if we’re getting stuck (almost like a little language-learning mini-group). (Personally, I just think it’d be fun to talk about languages!)

Any other Berries out there learning a language? I’m most advanced at [name_m]French[/name_m] (I think I’m almost conversational!), but I’m attempting to learn [name_m]German[/name_m] and Portuguese, too, and I’d like to learn Italian, American Sign Language, and Russian, too. I’ve been using a free app on my iPod–duolingo (which also has a corresponding website,!)–that has given me a really strong [name_m]French[/name_m] base (and I’m using it for [name_m]German[/name_m] and Portuguese right now, too!). I can use it for Italian once I’m ready to start that, too. I took Spanish in college, but it was never a huge interest of mine, so it’s sort of slipped away, for the most part, unless I’m really trying (especially since I’m more focused on [name_m]French[/name_m]; they’re similar enough to be confusing when I’m trying to remember my Spanish!). I also have an old [name_m]French[/name_m] book from when I was going to take it in college; I’m slowly making my way through it, but it’s really basic stuff, so I’m not sure I’ll learn too much more from it.

Does anyone have any favorite methods to learn/brush up on a language, when you’re self-teaching?

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I know quite a bit of [name_m]French[/name_m], but it was mandatory in school until I turned 15, then I chose to take it until I was about 17 :slight_smile: I also know a little bit of braille and a bit of ASL. I had a placement in high school at a school for the visually impaired/deafblind, so I ended up picking up on some of it :slight_smile: I know numbers 1-10 in Braille, and certain names/objects (bathroom, [name_u]Haley[/name_u], [name_m]Colyn[/name_m], [name_m]Daniel[/name_m], etc). I wish I could properly read it, I know most of the letters in the alphabet, but I normally get them all confused as I’m trying to read it! With ASL, I can say ‘thank you’, ‘I love you’, ‘lunch’ ‘[name_u]Haley[/name_u]’, ‘camera’ and ‘[name_u]Noah[/name_u]’. :slight_smile: I learned some of the students’ names :slight_smile:

I’d love to finish learning Braille and ASL, I know a tiny bit of BSL (British Sign Language) as I have a penpal called [name_f]Melissa[/name_f] who is fully deaf, but I don’t know too much of it :confused: I’ve always wanted to learn Welsh as well.

[name_f]My[/name_f] mother tongue is European Portuguese, which has more diverse phonetics than any other Romance language so I’m lucky (I admire anyone who is able to learn Portuguese verb conjugations). I speak English fluently, Spanish decently, and a little [name_m]French[/name_m] (I don’t speak it very well although my reading and oral comprehension is good) and know some basic [name_m]German[/name_m]. I studied English (for 7 years) and [name_m]French[/name_m] (for 3 years) in school and now I’m reading Languages at University (English, [name_m]French[/name_m], and [name_m]German[/name_m]).

I learned English almost intuitively by watching cartoons, movies (luckily here dubbing is for little children —*we are exposed to foreign languages from a very early age), listening to English music and later reading books in English. Romance languages like Spanish and [name_m]French[/name_m] are very easy to pick-up by Portuguese speakers so it’s very intuitive process as well (for instance, I understand Italian fine even though I’ve never studied the language). [name_m]German[/name_m] is another story —*I love languages so to me is fascinating to learn one virtually from scratch. I started at 22, so unless I move to a [name_m]German[/name_m]-speaking country I doubt I’ll ever become fluent (I don’t find the Grammar especially difficult but I do have a hard time memorising gender and declensions) but my goal is to get to a European B level. In this case I think I’m benefiting a lot from a structured, class environment. I also think having a native teacher is very important.

I like the Pimsleur method a lot even though as an adult I find the written word very useful in the acquisition process.

I’d love to study Italian or a non-Indo-European language like Hungarian or Japanese (I used to watch Japanese cartoons when I was younger).

[name_f]My[/name_f] mother tongue is Dutch, and I think I should at least be a fluent English speaker now after all these years. I’m currently trying to focus on [name_m]French[/name_m] and I hope I’ll get a C certificate next year currently working on B2, but it’s hard because my main motivation is not because I love it but because it’ll give me a major advantage on the job market. Luckily I’ve had [name_m]French[/name_m] for 6 years at high school so I don’t have to start from scratch and I am currently trying to immerse myself in the language and hoping it’ll trigger my interest more. Speaking of high school I was forced to take [name_m]German[/name_m] too for a couple of years but we had to choose between either Latin, Ancient Greek, [name_m]French[/name_m] and [name_m]German[/name_m] (English is compulsory) and I chose Ancient Greek with [name_m]French[/name_m] as an extra subject because there was no way I was going to pick [name_m]German[/name_m]. As a Dutch speaker you’re a bit misled because when they just start with simple grammar like verb conjugations and vocabulary you’re like: oh this is SO easy… and then the real grammar kicks in and you just want to give up. So I did give up and I can think of about thousand other languages that’d have my priority. It’s mostly because I know that informal communication with Germans will work out just fine with my current set of language skills. I have been studying Swedish, Norwegian etc. since I was 14 though and that’s been a great pleasure especially since you just pick one of these languages and it’s also a gateway to another language and even the obscure ones like Icelandic and Faroese. I am not quite sure whether my grammar is really up to the standard but I can watch movies in Swedish without subtitles. Again this was a matter of immersion but I didn’t have to force myself, it all came naturally. I’m currently trying to learn Russian through a MOOC (Massive Online Open Course) and I’m wondering how that will work out and I’ll try to take Spanish at uni this year as an extra course and maybe take Russian there too but not as an extra course just as a paid course. [name_m]French[/name_m], Spanish and Russian are all career choices though, but I do find the countries intruiging (I love Russian and Belarusian TV, the culture shock is amazing) so that’s not the problem it’s just that I’d rather waste my language learning time on Hungarian or something. Russian is actually more of a guilty pleasure too, but it’s not such a ‘waste of time’.

[name_m]Ah[/name_m]… I’ve learnt french when I was in high school (self teaching and only for a bit, but yeah… :p). I forgot almost everything after a while, but now I want to start over (I have duolingo app too! :D) I’ve tried [name_m]German[/name_m] and ASL too a few years ago so I know a little. And oh, Mandarin Chinese, just because that’s my heritage and my parents made me learn it when I was in elementary school. But again, I forgot almost everything after years…

So my question is, how do you manage to remember the language you do not use after a while? That’s my main problem, really. I had no one to practice with and/or I got busy with other things. And then I forgot and had to start over…

I love Duolingo! [name_f]My[/name_f] husband and I are trying to self-teach ourselves [name_m]French[/name_m] (although let’s be honest - I am trying [name_m]WAY[/name_m] harder than he is and it was his idea haha) and it’s actually a lot more frustrating than I thought it would be. I took 4 years of Spanish in high school, and I guess I just assumed that it would be as easy as Spanish was to me. NOPE. I can’t tell if it’s because I’m older, or pregnancy brain, or I don’t have a teacher drilling it into my head, or just because [name_m]French[/name_m] is just more difficult than Spanish. Well, whatever it is, I’m trying to push through it. I definitely found that I absorb what Duolingo is teaching me better if I write pretty much everything down in a notebook. I also use the website Memrise, and I have a couple “teach yourself [name_m]French[/name_m]” books to use as reference as well. Someday, someday… though I assume this will be put on indefinite hold once baby arrives.

I live in an English-speaking country but I can speak [name_m]German[/name_m] pretty fluently as my mum is [name_m]German[/name_m] and I actually learnt it first but then forgot it. I am learning [name_m]French[/name_m] in school (I have three and a half years left). I know quite a lot of the basics and I really love the challenge of learning it and progressing to harder things. I plan to continue learning [name_m]French[/name_m] and [name_m]German[/name_m] until I finish school.

After that I would like to learn Italian or Spanish or maybe a really obscure language like Gaelic or Welsh.

I have the duolingo app but I haven’t been using it recently because we use different things in school. I find it much easier to learn a language with other people because you have someone to practise with and to check spelling and grammar and stuff with.

[name_f]Cynthia[/name_f] - it is really hard if you don’t have anyone to practise with but the way I relearnt [name_m]German[/name_m] was total immersion (we moved to Germany for a bit). I understand it might be hard for some but maybe watch some movies in that language without subtitles. I find it helpful to watch a movie which I’ve already seen in English then watch it in a different language so I can connect the words and so I know what’s going on. Also reading a book or listening to an audiobook in the language might also help :slight_smile:

I would love to be able to at least have simple conversations in [name_m]French[/name_m] and Spanish. Spanish is of some use around these parts, but [name_m]French[/name_m] in the deep south? I have to go to [name_f]Louisiana[/name_f] to use it at all.

I really wish American schools started teaching foreign language in kindergarten, as it’s very hard to learn new languages in late adolescence/early adulthood.

I actually started off in a little hippie-esque school in Southern [name_u]California[/name_u]. They spoke in a foreign language for half the day. We used English when we did important stuff like math and grammar, but in the afternoons when we did art (it was also a very art focused school), we spoke exclusively in that language. I was fluent in [name_m]German[/name_m] for a while. I moved to [name_f]Arizona[/name_f] and, well, if you don’t use it, you lose it. I am actually minoring in Spanish in college. I haven’t taken a Spanish course in a year, though, and I’m really feeling it. I might need to refresh on it so I’m not completely struggling to speak when I go back in the fall. I took AP Spanish in high school and got a pretty good score so I didn’t really have to take that many Spanish courses to get my minor and I’ve been kind of slacking off. I still understand conversational Spanish. I like listening to other people’s spanish conversations in the grocery store. They don’t think I understand Spanish so I feel like a secret spy of something. :slight_smile:

Maybe I’ll try duolingo! I’ve always had a knack for learning languages (probably thanks to my early childhood start). Italian probably seems like the next easiest language to learn because of it’s similarity to Spanish.

As a [name_m]Briton[/name_m], I speak English as my native tongue. I did [name_m]French[/name_m] from age 4 to 16 and can get by if I’m in [name_f]France[/name_f] on holiday as long as the language used is simple and clear. I know basic bits of [name_m]German[/name_m] from secondary school too. I’m currently learning Esperanto which is actually incredibly easy to pick up and fun to speak. I hope to teach my future children Esperanto so they are native speakers of it. I would love to learn Norwegian in the future as my Grandpop asked before he died that my brother and I keep up the family connections with Norway. I would also like to learn British Sign Language as it would be incredibly helpful in my profession sometimes! Hopefully once I’ve finished my degree I will have some more time to dedicate to language learning.

English is my mother tongue although I can also speak [name_m]French[/name_m]. I have some understanding of Mandarin, Latin and a little [name_m]German[/name_m] as well. I would love to be able to speak Spanish - I’m considering in taking extra classes in it when I have more time on my hands. I would also like to learn a Scandinavian language, perhaps Danish or Swedish.

I’m really surprised that so many people know languages so well through school, I feel like students in my school leave languages classes remembering nothing that they have just been taught.

I speak, write and read fluent [name_m]French[/name_m], I can read and write Italian and [name_m]German[/name_m], my Italian is conversational but that is just thanks to my husband and his Italian family, it’s still pretty rubbish though and my [name_m]German[/name_m] is bordering in pathetic when I’m talking, I can get by though. I’m thinking of trying to learn some more languages but I’m not quite sure which ones, I’m very lucky that I can really get languages when they are written down and I can learn the grammar very easily (funny as I still haven’t totally mastered English grammar and it’s my mother tongue). I’m not sure if it really counts because it’s a “dead” languages but I really love Latin and I did it in high school up as the language rather than the lifestyle (like Classical Studies, although I did do that too).

I think the most important thing when doing languages is to not give up and power through, also don’t rely on Google Translate (there is a massive difference, I can tell when I’m reading essays the students who have used the textbooks so hence have tried and then the students who have just used GT). If it’s possible I think it’s great to talk to native tongues or talk out loud and listen to yourself, I wouldn’t really take what GT or many other recordings say.

It’s weird, I would of thought I could have given loads of advice as I’m a [name_m]French[/name_m] teacher but when you are in front of a class you just go with the flow and focus on the weak points and follow the textbook syllabus.

You might not remember it at once but I feel like when you’ve learned it once it’ll always be there in your head so you just have to find ways to repeat it and see it again, I decided not to start all over again because I really felt that would slow me down considerably and would only be frustrating so I decided to start a course of which the entrance level was just past high school level. You might discover that there are some basics you forgot and need to brush up but that’s it mostly. Otherwise? Try immersion through music and movies. Sometimes I just watch English movies and see if I can find subtitles in a foreign language. Or just go full on foreign (so spoken + subtitles). That’s the unfortunate thing about language apps and stuff: I feel like it’s amazing if you want to learn a new language, but if you want to brush up, some of it is a waste of time and it will usually never get you past A2 level.

@mollydolally - ha, I am fully aware how awful GT is. I try to avoid it at all costs, but when I’m trying to look up the meaning of an individual word, sometimes it can be helpful. I’ve tried very hard not to let have too much room in my language-learning experience. :slight_smile: Maybe you should hold daily [name_m]French[/name_m] lessons on Nameberry, haha! (I keep wanting to message you, because I keep hearing how you teach [name_m]French[/name_m], and I’m not sure where to go from here. [name_f]Do[/name_f] you have any really great self-help [name_m]French[/name_m] resources? I feel like I know a lot, based on the app I used, but I feel stuck here now, and I want to keep progressing! I keep reviewing on what I’ve learned so far, so hopefully I won’t lose it, but I really want to be fluent, eventually, and up and moving to a country that speaks [name_m]French[/name_m] constantly just isn’t in the works for me right now, unfortunately…)

@c@29 - erm, for [name_m]French[/name_m], it was interesting! It was a rather strange experience for me, because I took two years of it in high school, was going to take it in college, but I couldn’t get into the class I needed, so I was forced to take Spanish for 4 semesters then (and ohmygoodness, I kept saying things with a [name_m]French[/name_m] accent, or even accidentally replacing Spanish words with [name_m]French[/name_m] ones, for the longest time! I felt like I was trying to talk with cotton balls in my mouth, lol.), and then about 8 months ago or so I tried to start learning [name_m]French[/name_m] again. It took me a while to find–I had been planning on trying to get [name_f]Rosetta[/name_f] [name_m]Stone[/name_m] for my birthday, or [name_u]Christmas[/name_u], or something, but then my sister’s friend was using duolingo to learn Spanish, so I figured I’d give it a try. I really liked it, for the most part, because I was getting quizzed, rather than just reading a text book and trying to remember everything, while I wasn’t being quizzed at all. It also helped, because the order of information they presented was not the order I’d learned [name_m]French[/name_m] in during high school, so I felt like I was having information refreshed (verb endings for different pronouns, greetings, basic stuff–ohmygoodness, they didn’t even present numbers until more than half the way through their [name_m]French[/name_m] course!), but I was also learning new verbs, like manger and boire, which were hammered in straightaway, but I don’t think I ever got in high school (I didn’t even get to a foods section until rather late in [name_m]French[/name_m] 2). The one thing I don’t like is you get very little in regards to grammar instruction–you just sort of intuitively learn which goes where, but very rarely do you learn any rules. I’m still trying to figure out how you can tell when to use “de”, “pour”, or “à” before the infinitive form of verbs ([name_f]Molly[/name_f], please explain!!!). :confused: I have googled some things, like the difference between “l’herbe” and the other words used for grass, for example. I’m hoping reading the [name_m]French[/name_m] textbook I have will fill things in. I’m sort of terrified that this is what’s going to happen to me again, but I feel like I really just need someone I can talk to in the language I’m trying to learn. (We could even do that here, if you all wanted! I’m not sure how it’d work, since we’re all trying to learn different languages, though…) [name_f]My[/name_f] best friend was [name_m]French[/name_m], and she was going to help me trying to learn the language, and talking to her in [name_m]French[/name_m] and stuff, but she passed away almost 3 years ago now, so the only other people I can talk to in [name_m]French[/name_m] is pretty limited (my cousin lives in [name_f]France[/name_f], but she’s originally American, and I’m not sure how good her [name_m]French[/name_m] is yet?). I tried seeing if my best friend’s little sister would email back and forth to me in [name_m]French[/name_m], but I still haven’t heard a response from her, and communication with Ang is pretty spotty in general, haha! Sometimes @bonfireazalea will answer my posts in [name_m]French[/name_m], and occasionally we’ll message back-and-forth in [name_m]French[/name_m], just to try and keep it going a little, and I try watching videos in [name_m]French[/name_m], too. It’s hard! I wish it were easier to keep languages at the forefront. I know in [name_u]America[/name_u], it’s hard especially because no one seems to have the desire to learn another language. It’s always “you’re in [name_u]America[/name_u]; you speak English now”. I know lots of people who frown on teaching your child another language when they’re young, and I think that’s just stupidity.

Also, I think it’s really frustrating to watch films with both the audio and subtitles in the foreign language. I don’t think I’ve seen one film where the words matched up! :confused: It was really jarring with the first movie I watched this way (Pride and Prejudice!), but I’m more used to it now. I love watching films that have some [name_m]French[/name_m] subplot written into it, too, because then there’s actually [name_m]French[/name_m] spoken, and I can generally pick up the gist on that really well.

@julylacs - that sounds great! I’m trying to learn now because I want to be able to speak pretty much solely [name_m]French[/name_m] to my children, when I have them. :slight_smile:

Cool thread.

First of all, I very much disagree that it’s harder to learn a language once you reach late adolescence. Yes, children are born with an innate ability to learn one or more languages, but they do so automatically because they have to - this doesn’t mean it’s not a challenge for their brains. Raising a bilingual child for example is not a done deal just because the parents speak different languages - you have to make the child believe that it has to learn both languages, otherwise it won’t - it will learn the language it perceives to be useful. Everyone instinctively wants to take the route of least resistance when it comes to language. Most anybody will learn a language when they absolutely have to. Children tend to be less self-conscious about making mistakes, which is useful, but on every other front, as an adult you have them beat. Adults are cleverer than children, we are better at learning, we can take a more organised approach. I mean, for one (very significant) thing, we can speak our own native language far far better than a 5-year-old. And most adults have at least some basic knowledge about grammar and linguistics, so we simply understand language better in general. So don’t let yourself use the excuse, “Oh it’s too late, I should have started learning years ago, I’ve missed my chance”!

It’s all about two things: enthusiasm and necessity. You need at least one, and preferably both, otherwise you’re not going to succeed. Like most English kids, I learnt [name_m]French[/name_m] at school from the age of 11 - 16. I enjoyed it to a certain extent, but I wasn’t that into it, and although I understood in a vague way that a second language was useful, I didn’t really understand it. Like most teenagers, I had a lack of foresight when it came to what being an adult would actually be like and the only use I had for [name_m]French[/name_m] was getting good results in [name_m]French[/name_m] exams. I never learnt [name_m]French[/name_m] to a high standard, I learnt it to pass exams, and when there were no more exams I promptly forgot it all. Well, most of it, anyway.

Nowadays I would describe myself as bilingual in English and Icelandic. Well, of course my English is better than my Icelandic by a long way, but I am certainly fluent, and my reading comprehension is excellent. I was able to achieve this primarily because I was passionate about it. I was fascinated by Iceland, and especially Icelandic literature, which is why I initially started. I learnt it all alone, because of course I didn’t know any Icelanders back in [name_f]England[/name_f] - I bought a book and took the online course from the University of Iceland. Then as soon as I could I started reading children’s books, then moved on to simple pop. lit. I would get a dictionary, start reading and look up everything I didn’t know. It was frustrating to read at such an excruciatingly slow pace, because in English I’m a very fast reader, but this was my number one learning method. I also used Icelandic films with English subtitles, and then with Icelandic subtitles, to practice with the spoken language, repeating things I understood. The problem was I didn’t have anyone to talk to in real life, so I was just talking to myself. After university, I moved to Iceland and worked as an au pair in Reykjavík for a year. This was a great opportunity, because the young kids didn’t speak English so it was Icelandic or hand gestures, and the rest of the family was very good about sticking to Icelandic with me, repeating things, speaking clearly, correcting mistakes, helping me out. They were great.

Then after that I just stayed in Iceland, after a while I went to the University of Iceland to study translation, course taught in Icelandic. Icelandic is my professional language now, but English is my home language. I am a translator so it is very important to keep my native language skills up as well :wink:

[name_f]My[/name_f] top advice:

  1. [name_u]Love[/name_u] it, or need it, or both. If you can’t honestly say that you tick at least one of these boxes, you probably are best giving up.
  2. If you can tick those boxes, don’t give up even when you get to hard points. You will get there.
  3. If at all possible, put yourself in situations where you have to use your language, where you can’t ‘cheat’ and slip into your native language.
  4. [name_u]Read[/name_u], read, read. As much material in your language as you can. You will get a good feel for how the language works outside silly educational example texts and vastly expand your vocabulary, if you stick at it. You will never grow out of this sort of learning, no matter how good you get it will always be helpful to read.
  5. If you can, talk with natives as much as possible. Ask them not to switch to your native language.
  6. Consider popping over to WordReference! The forums there are excellent, and have been a big help to me throughout my learning career. You can discuss points you are having trouble with with other learners and native speakers. If you have trouble accessing native speakers, this is a good option. The Nordic Languages forum is so friendly and helpful, I love it.
  7. Oh, and if you’re serious about it (and hopefully you are) do be prepared to spend some money on QUALITY dictionaries, both translation dictionaries and monolingual dictionaries in the language you’re learning. I subscribe to two online dictionaries, and they knock the socks off the free one.

I feel the same way about [name_m]French[/name_m] and Spanish. Personally, Spanish never really appealed to me. [name_m]Even[/name_m] though it is a romance language, I don’t think it is beautiful (no disrespect to Spanish… it’s just an opinion). So I took five years of [name_m]French[/name_m] in high school (up to a level 4) and remember most of it. I read [name_m]Le[/name_m] Petit [name_m]Prince[/name_m] by [name_f]Antonie[/name_f] de [name_m]Saint[/name_m]-Exupéry and [name_u]Les[/name_u] Misérables by [name_m]Victor[/name_m] [name_m]Hugo[/name_m] frequently in [name_m]French[/name_m] because I love the language and the books so much! I also have a Bible (called La Sainte Bible) in the [name_m]French[/name_m] language. I don’t think I made any improvement in my [name_m]French[/name_m] until [name_m]French[/name_m] 4 when we began to read all sorts of I things. Once you get to a certain point, reading comprehension helps. I think even if you are at a level 1, you should be reading books in that particular language, even if its a child’s book. [name_m]Reading[/name_m] allows you to learn new words and the colloquial language you wouldn’t pick up in class. Now, obviously, classes are the most effective way to learn the material. Frequent quizes and tests really help. But if you’re not up for a class, or least a physical class, you can always learn online! It helps to have a friend with you. I’ve always wanted to learn Scottish Gaelic, but unfortunately, not many places offer it, so I decided to learn Irish Gaelic this past spring. I bought one of those CD packages from Living Language (for probably about $20). I like this because it has the CDs that you can listen to and a website that you can quiz yourself. It even has an app that shows you spelling and pronounciation, which I find helpful for Irish Gaelic because the words are pronounced differently than the way they appear. Other languages I was thinking about learning were Korean (I have a friend who’s Korean, and I think this will help me bond closer to her), Swedish, Italian, [name_m]German[/name_m], Welsh, Turkish, and Croatian. Odd list, I know, and I know its almost next to impossible to learn all of these languages. But I love languages so much! Another language I’d love to know is Hebrew, but I feel like I’m at a disadvantage for not being Jewish, or better yet, a Jewish rabbi. Has anyone ever taken any of these languages (besides [name_m]French[/name_m], I mean)?

@ash: I’m more than happy to help where and when I can! :slight_smile: I think one of the best ways to learn a. Language is through experience, there is only so much a textbook or an app can teach you. I spent a year in [name_f]Italy[/name_f] in university and I spent every summer of university in [name_f]France[/name_f] working in restaurants to better my [name_m]French[/name_m]. It really does so much! It also helps better the accent.

I was going to recommend WordReference, but @jackal beat me to it. I don’t use the forums, just the translator. It is sooooo much better than google translate. It gives you several different versions/meanings depending on the context and puts it into a sentence for you. I think there is also something which shows a verbs and all the different endings it can have (this might not apply for all languages, but I use it mainly for [name_m]French[/name_m]) and tenses.

Also, as a student, teachers like [name_f]Molly[/name_f] just make it so much more fun and easier to learn a language. [name_f]My[/name_f] [name_m]French[/name_m] teacher is so fun and engages us (we had a fashion parade when we were doing clothes!) and I find it’s always better to learn with other people and to talk to a fluent speaker face to face. So thanks to all the language teachers out there :slight_smile:

@cheshirekat: I think, especially with languages, it’s important to make it engaging and fun. We always play word bingo in my classes, we also play word association games but in [name_m]French[/name_m] which can be difficult but sometimes you need that, [name_m]French[/name_m] hangman and we always come up with silly sayings to remember things.

For instance with numbers (which I’m constantly told by students, suck) I teach this trick:
74= soixante-quatorze = sixty-fourteen = 60+14 = 74
98= quatre-vingt-dix-huit = four-twenty-ten-eight = (4x20)+10+8 = 98
It’s about breaking down the numbers little by little and then soon enough you know the numbers pretty well, but it is very easy to mix up 60s and 70s and then mixing up 80s and 90s, I think the [name_m]French[/name_m] just like to confuse people. :wink:

However some things just have to be learnt by heart, like the present tense:
1st group verbs like manger become:
Je mange
[name_f]Tu[/name_f] manges
Il/elle/on mange
Nous mangeons
Vous mangez
Ils/Elles mangent (which is just said mange)

It goes on and on with the other two groupings of verbs and loads of other types of tenses like future, imperfect, passé simple and passé composé and loads more! It’s just a case of learning them, there are really no tricks just learning them, but it isn’t as important in exams nowadays to know all of the tenses.

Eh, for some kids, sure. I was one of those contrary people (still am) who does not like organised fun or theatrical stuff. I actually preferred olden days style grammar exercises, quiet study and learning clear rules. I pretty much shut my brain off for all the ‘games’ in [name_m]French[/name_m] lessons. It’s not possible to suit the learning styles of every kid in the class, though, and my style isn’t really in fashion these days.

I think that’s another reason I had so much more success learning by myself in young adulthood.