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Everything posted by erikao1o

  1. I always have difficulty spelling the word "separate" and "separately", I have to sound it out in my head a whole bunch of times before I spell it correctly. I used to have difficulty spelling the word "because", but then one of my teachers in elementary school taught me "Bake Eleven Cakes Always Using Seven Eggs" and now I say it every time I spell the word "because".
  2. I'm Canadian and was enrolled in the French Immersion system, so I started learning French when I was in kindergarten. I studied French from kindergarten all the way to grade 12. I started learning Spanish when I was in high school, and I studied it for two years there. I need to start practising my French and Spanish again!
  3. English has definitely started to be recognized as the "international" language. I travelled around Asia the last year and found that everywhere that I went there was someone that spoke decent English. English schools and teachers are in high demand in lots of Asian countries (such as South Korea and China). To a lot of people I think that speaking good English is seen as a great skill that can play a big part in landing you a great job. I always try to learn a bit of the local language when I travel, but it is awfully nice to have people speaking in English too!
  4. I think that language learning is the same as any skill that you gain, if you don't use it you lose it! Skills take practice, and in order to be a fluent speaker you have to never stop learning. That's why I find that the best way to learn a language is to immerse yourself in an environment where you're always hearing the language that you're learning. That way it's like you're always practising, as you're always hearing, reading and speaking in the language.
  5. I agree that everyone has some kind of accent. After living abroad for awhile, I realized that everyone has an accent even if they don't realize it! I speak with a Canadian accent that I didn't notice until I was chatting with a group of Americans and they all spoke a different way than I did. They would always point out my accent and make fun of me for it, but it was all in good fun.
  6. My mom told me that my first word was "ball", from what I've heard this is a pretty common first word for children to say. I just wanted to play with my ball, I guess? I also said mom and dad pretty early on.
  7. I'm really interested in learning so many languages that it's difficult to choose! I am possibly moving to Spain in September to teach English for a year, so I really should start working on improving my basic Spanish skills. I would also like to improve my French skills (they're at an intermediate level) and learn some German. So many languages, not enough time!
  8. This is a great little grammatical rule that everyone should know! I remember when I was younger I had a little bit of a problem understanding where "too" should be used. I imagine that these similar words can be very difficult for an English language learner to master. I'm embarrassed when I'm texting or writing with native English speakers and they don't use the correct "to/too/two".
  9. I think that it can definitely be dangerous to tell students to be "creative". A lot of the time, students are forced to think "inside of the box" for most of their time at school, and they can find it difficult to switch gears and go over to thinking creatively. There's also the aspect of putting a time limit on the amount of time that they're allowed to be creative for, maybe they need a warm-up period or maybe right after lunch isn't the time when they're the most creative. Overall, I think creative writing is great for students to do, although it doesn't work for everyone!
  10. It might sound horrible, but when I taught ESL in Seoul the big motivators for the students were: candy, free time and special prizes from the treasure box. I found that giving the children some kind of reward for all their hard work taught them that if they're good, they will be rewarded. I also found that if the students respect you and like you, the candy and other little prizes are only seen as a bonus. The students will work hard and behave if they like you and they think that you deserve their attention. Having fun classes and being an animated speaker definitely helps with this. Show that you care for the students, and they will care for you.
  11. I taught ESL for a year and a half in Seoul, South Korea. I found it to be rewarding, but also very frustrating. The rewarding parts were watching as these six year olds learnt more and more about the English language. It's amazing how much kids are able to absorb! At the age of six, a few of them were already almost fluent speakers. The frustrating parts were mostly dealing with the cultural differences between myself and Koreans. Overall, I recommend teaching ESL abroad, you learn a lot about yourself!
  12. The English language sure does have a lot of idioms to do with birds! I never noticed this commonality until right now! bird course= a course that is easy to pass, a course in college that you'll easily get a good mark in bird brain= someone who is not intelligent, someone who has a small brain as birds have very small brains.
  13. I always find myself blanking a bit when I'm in a French restaurant, this is a great idea to help everyone review some French vocabulary! I'll add some vocabulary for spices. salt= le sel pepper= le poivre sugar= le sucre oregano= le origan basil= le basilic flour= la farine vinegar= le vinaigre
  14. Does anyone know if their is a French idiom that matches or comes close to matching the English expression "Speak of the Devil!" ?
  15. I attended a French immersion school from kindergarten to grade 12! I'm really glad that my parents enrolled me in it, although sometimes I did find the work to be frustrating and difficult. It can be tough to have to write a five page paper in a foreign language, when your friends that go to a different school get to write the paper in their mother tongue! Overall, I love that I have a decent grasp of the French language. I'm working on getting my French up to where it used to be!
  16. I'm doing the same thing as both of you! I was in the French Immersion program, a program in Canada where all your courses are taught in French, from kindergarten to grade 12. In grade 12, I would say that my French language skills were pretty good. Now I'm struggling with my French writing and grammar. I've been using the app duolingo, and I bought an intermediate French textbook which I am now completing by myself. I also recommend listening to French media (TV, movies, radio) and try to force yourself to think in French.
  17. I'm Canadian, so I've grown up learning Quebecois French and I've also listened to Ontario French and some Acadian French (Eastern Canada). The Quebec accent kind of has a twang to it, they make their words seem a bit longer. There's definitely a huge difference between French spoken in Canada, and French spoken in France. Due to my experience only really listening to Canadian French, sometimes I find French from France to be difficult to understand at first! I'm used to the vocabulary and the accent of Canadian French.
  18. I really love the word "bijoux" which means jewelry and the word "papillon" which means butterfly. French is such a beautiful language, sometimes I just like saying the words to hear them! I think it's much more beautiful sounding than English, although every language has beautiful words and sounds.
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