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Posts posted by SpringBreeze

  1. Like Trellum said, there is no way to calculate a fixed rate. How fast you learn a new langauge is all about variables. Having studied Latin beforehand is one such variable. So is your learning abilities, your study skills, your study habits, the language of the city you are living in... All of these variables, and more, affect how quick or how slow you learn another language.

    But in general, learning Latin beforehand does help you learn another Romance language easier and faster. But I have to say, studying any Romance language will make it easier to study a second.

  2. I watched La Vie en Rose too. It was pretty good, but kind of sad. But that seems to be a common theme for movies about famous artists.

    Anyway, some other movies are:

    Paris Je t'aime

    L'Auberge Espagnole


    Jean de Florette

    Manon des Source

    La Femme Nikita


    Some good American French movies are:

    French Kiss

    Le Divorce


    To Catch a Thief

  3. The first time I tried to learn the Greek alphabet, I didn't. LOL! I gave up after about 2 or 3 weeks of studying. It was my first time trying to learn a foreign script. And it was literally "all greek to me". I finally got to understand that statement after that class.

    A few years later, after a few more foreign language classes in college, I took a class on ancient Greek. And I have to admit, I was extremely surprised at how well I was learning the alphabet. Within a week, I had learned the alphabet. And I started getting A's on my tests. Needless to say, I was really happy and felt accomplished.

  4.   Agreed with Takibari. I am a teacher and I feel very good reading through this thread. However, SpringBreeze, not every teacher teaches exactly the same, just as not every student learns the same. In my experience it is a delicate balance of personality, and teaching style, learner preference, subject matter, learner motivation and many other subtle things that make for a good teacher/student balance/pairing.

      As a teacher I can say that flexibility is the key. I do my best to tailor my lessons/sessions to my student needs and make the most of what I have to work with. It it much easier to teach something to someone that they are interested in learning, curious about, or desire to look at in a new light.

    You are absolutely right. I was just generalizing there. Every thing depends on the teacher, the student, the country, and the social atmosphere.

    In another thread, I said the benefits of learning through social interaction also depended on who you were hanging out with. If you hang out mostly with people who speak slang and say grammatically incorrect phrases, you will learn the language poorly. It's all really about the variables.

    I've been in many language classes where students came out speaking as little as they first came in. That's one of the reasons why I now find classes (in general) to be very effective with written communication and reading comprehension, but ineffective for verbal communication.

    Someone here also talked about the necessity to have smaller learning groups or individual classes. I totally agree with that. That would definitely help. I also think teachers need to spend more time forcing students to speak to each other - not just read out loud essays and paragraphs in front of the class. Reading out loud is great for pronunciation correction but it's not great for learning communication.

  5. Since your question has already been answered, I just want to add, it's really important you consider where you will be working and in what industry. For example, in the Northwest Territories, learning one of the Native Indian languages could prove helpful. While in other territories with a high population of Italians, learning Italian could be more useful. But really English is the #1 language to know.

  6. I'm not sure what and how you teach. So, I can't advise you on a method. But I can say that creative writing is an art form. It requires imagination and mental creativity.

    In the old days, before tv, computers and video games, kids used to be entertained with stories. Sometimes, they would watch their parents create a story right there and then. And sometimes, they too were encouraged to create stories to entertain their family and friends. Now, it's totally different and that has affected a lot of kids creative power. Also, not every one is artistic in that way.

  7. I've done that before. When I moved to Italy I only had the basics. And that got me through the first couple of weeks for shopping, transportation, and restaurant ordering. When I started taking Italian classes there, it became easier. The hardest time I had was when I became sick and had to get medicine. I wasn't prepared for that. And my limited knowledge of Italian vocabulary certainly didn't cover that aspect of life.

  8. Interesting. I've never heard of this method before. It sounds good - a deeper, more thorough way of learning a new language. But it also sounds a bit slower, for someone who's not in a hurry. Anyway, I'm going to give this a look. I may even try it myself. ;) Thanks!

  9. Love your story... very informative and interesting!!! You made a valid point. The only problem is that not everyone hangs out with people that speak grammatically proper English. The fact that you wrote "may" already says a lot about you. So, in general I will always say it's best to learn both ways. But specifically for your cases like yours, it's good to learn your way too.

  10. Translating poetry is so difficult. Thank goodness I don't do it for a living. I only translate poetry for myself in order to understand what I'm reading. But to able to translate for public viewing you need to have a really good grasp of both languages, especially when the poem uses different conjugation and sentence structuring.

  11. Here's another update... Going on several months... I'm still watching telenovelas. Currently, I'm watching Te Voy a Ensenar a Querer and Gitanas. I watch them 5 times a week. So, that's about 10 hours of Spanish listening a week. Woohoo!!!

    I'm still really excited about having this opportunity. And better yet, I'm still really interested in watching them. I've seen a major improvement in my understanding of what is being said.

  12. Great question. I never thought about this from an artistic standpoint. I use my native langauge, english, more when writing artistically. But that's just because I make less mistakes with english. Writing a good poem or story takes more than just knowing a language. You have to know the feel for it, the nuances, and etc.

    But for titles, expressions, and less worded stuff, I sometimes use french or spanish. French and spanish give off a different feel than english. French can sound much more romantic or sophisticated. While Spanish can sound really sexy or fun. It really depends on the mood I'm going for.

  13. This one used to get me all the time when I was in high school. And then one day it hit me, the ' basically stand in for the "i' in "is". Anyway, for whatever reason, a light bulb had to go off in my head for this rule. Hahaha!!! My poor mother :D

  14. Correcting people is always an awkward situation because if you do it wrong, the person will become offended and stop speaking. And that's worse than him/her making mistakes. So, my advice is...

    1. Ask him for permission, nicely and gently. Maybe even drop a compliment while you are asking. If he says yes, then you know he's open to corrections and agreeing to them.

    2. Be subtle. Sometimes you can do a correction by just using the same word in a reply but pronounced the right way. Just drop it casually into whatever you are saying as if you didn't know he made a mistake.

    3. Don't correct everything. That's like getting your essay back from the teacher covered in red ink. It's so depressing you forget the fact that learning can be fun. So, correct only what's necessary and only a bit at a time.

    4. Don't correct in front of other people unless they are students too and you are correcting them as well. Otherwise, you risk embarrassing your friend and yourself and maybe even turning off the others.

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