Symphonic Saturday – Language

music1I haven’t been doing anywhere near as much as I’d like with music lately because my home is rather upside down while I paint.

I’m really frustrated right now though. I’ve been trying to learn to speak French for about 30 years now. Every course I take is the same thing. It always ignores how humans actually learn to speak their first language and they instead sit you at a desk and get you to write out and conjugate verbs.

This is a big problem for a few reasons.

I need at least a part time job and most in Ottawa require at least the ability to speak French. Or they’d really prefer it, which means if it’s you or someone who can who are competing for the same job, you’re S. O. L.

The thing is, people learn their first language mainly by hearing others speak it. There’s about 4 years plus the 9 months in the womb where they just listen, mimic, and finally start putting words together.

So what am I doing about this?

Well, I’m exploring a new way. I might sign up for FluentU once I’m passed the level where I can learn a bunch for free on YouTube by watching children’s programs. They have good articles about this and I’m glad I discovered them. It’s my dad’s 74th birthday and he’s French, so it’s a cool day to have found it.

Tonight, I’ve been watching sing-along shows to get some music in while language learning. Sure, it’s not Vivaldi or playing one of my instruments, but they’re pretty catchy and helping reduce my frustration while throwing some words at me in a combination I’m not used to.

I don’t know if it’s the federal or provincial government I should be annoyed with for going through several decades of French instruction without learning how to speak it. There is far too much focus on writing and grammar instead of speaking and I think the system needs to be overhauled. Once you can speak a language, learning to write it is far easier.

Yet another reason to home school someday…

And that’s how life’s river flows today.
R~

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