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Posts posted by elles-belles

  1. I like to study in quiet places mostly but it shouldn't be extremely quiet as I turn to loose focus when that is the case. I enjoy studying with some background music as well as it relaxes my mind and gets me more focus for some reason.

    I suppose then that my ideal study place would have to be semi quite and semi loud!

  2. I think it's just appropriate for fast and slow learners to be divided so that the teachers can be guided accordingly  regarding how they teach, right? Slow and fast learners have different needs to be fulfilled, like slow learners need more attention than the fast learners, so I think that the language level system is just right.

    I agree with you to a certain point sidney, yes slow learners need much more attention and should be giving a chance to learn at their pace. However what of someone who like I stated previously is excellent at writing a certain language but still struggles with the oral bit of it? Do you think that particular person should be allocated to the 'slow learner' class anyways just because of that factor?

  3. I have never actually had a phone conversation in a foreign language I wasn't comfortable speaking but I think I would like to try that just so I see how far I could go with talking to a native speaker over the phone!

    Maybe it is just me but I think a phone conversation would be so much better that speaking face-to-face with a native speaker and biting your tongue because you can't articulate your thoughts or can't pronounce certain words right. With a phone conversation you can get away with quite a lot obviously at the risk of ending up not having understood a word of the conversation you were attempting to have!

    With that said, I would still like to try it, of course it would have to be with someone I am comfortable with preferably a friend!

  4. I have made a few friends that speak the language I am interested in and although I wouldn't say that we are close friends when it comes to them helping me with the language they have always availed themselves and still do. I don't find it hard to converse with them because we all speak English, that makes communication easier and more open!

    None of them speak my native language either so really when it comes to talking about important matters or discussing each others problems we stick to the language similar to all of us but throw in a few sentences from theirs in an attempt to help me learn quicker.

  5. This has always puzzled me in the most awkward of ways. I have a few friends who come from households where they speak different languages and yet still seem to live well together and understand each other perfectly!

    When I say various/ different languages I mean a situation where the man speaks say for example Spanish, the woman Portuguese and the children end up speaking Italian. They converse pretty well with each other but in their different languages. This has been said to be a helpful or strategic way of learning multiple languages at the same time without the strain of having to actually go to school.

    Do you know people like this and have you even thought this possible?

  6. I agree with a few of the posters that learning a language through language roots can be tedious and time consuming especially since learning a foreign language is already so taxing in terms of having to grasp all the different vocabulary and grammar.

    It is however also a good method of learning a new language, only for someone who is advanced and obviously very passionate about that particular language they are learning.

  7. It's a type of recognition.  You may be a very visual learner, so you see words on the page and part of how you remember them is the way the word looks.  So when you are writing, you know when it looks like what you have read, or if there is something different.

    I agree with you here, it is a type of learning through recognition and clearly you are a visual person. When you write things out your memory recognizes them as how they are and gives you that signal of approval or correctness so to say! I know that I have to write things down in order to remember them otherwise they won't be stored in my memory for a long time, in actual fact they get chucked in the short term if I don't write them down first or while I am learning them.

  8. Yes, I find that being angry or upset has a high impact on ones linguistic ability. It's funny though because with me it seems to be the exact opposite. I think that I've spoken English for such a long time that somewhere somehow I lost some confidence in speaking my mother tongue especially amongst people or peers who I know speak it at it's most fluent. So I usually stick to English even when I am angry or upset but at the back of my mind all the things I want to say start off in my mother tongue.

  9. Ideally it IS better to lose your accent and adapt the accent of the foreign language.

    But I don't think this is an issue of being Right or Wrong; but rather more of are you getting your message delivered? If you end up confusing your listener in an attempt to master an accent; then you're really not communicating effectively. You are better off sticking with your accent. In learning a language, I think the accent should be the least of priorities. Being able to speak fluently and understand completely the foreign language should be the end goal, and not accent acquisition.

    As Trellum pointed out; our tongues are muscles and they might take a while to train them. If one obsess on acquiring the accent; one might only end up frustrated and give up on learning the foreign language altogether. Doing so is truly a shame.

    I completely agree with you on this one! Acquiring a foreign languages accent really shouldn't be a primary goal or even a goal at all if you can articulate well and are able to converse with the native speaker of that particular language with ease!

    Of course as most of the other posters pointed out, if your own accent if overbearing even when you are speaking in the foreign language then you ought to most definitely try your very best to adopt that particular foreign language's accent. I think that it's always nice to keep your own accent and be able to speak to native speakers and understand one another.... I say this because honestly speaking, learning a new language is difficult already without trying to imitate accents on top of that!

  10. I get your point. However, I think it is very difficult to shape classes in a different way. I couldn't come up with sometimes better myself, at least not without thinking about it thoroughly. Do you have any suggestions on how classes could be 'shaped' in a different way? I would love to hear about that then  :grin:

    I agree with you, it must be rather difficult to shape them differently however wouldn't just grouping people in different segments in terms of oral and written be best? I mean if I am 'fluent' in a certain foreign language but still struggle with putting my thoughts down on paper would it not be better to go with my strength rather than horn in on my weakness?

    Basically what I am saying is that it really maybe should be up to the individual, some people are fast learners whereas some are not... so slotting people in these levels should be something done by both the institution and the individual equally! I understand that the system brings some order and some progression but I really feel that sometimes it does more harm than it should be doing.

  11. I agree. I learned Chinese at school and I can't remember the lessons or speak half as well as my friends who have families who speak to at home. My family unfortunately always just spoke to me in English at home so the lessons never stuck. Also I guess it's mostly due to the fact that what we were learning at school was a completely different dialect of what was being spoken at home but the upside is that I get a basic knowledge of both, at least.

    I agree with the points you make,the classroom is very limiting especially since there is a pattern used in teaching certain languages. In comparison with learning a language from say speaking it at home or hanging around native speakers classroom learning restricts the intuitive way of picking up certain dialects within a particular language.

  12. The common European framework divides learning languages into different levels and sometimes sub levels. This framework is probably used almost all over the globe when it comes to learning a new language.

    The levels have three major divisions and under those about three more sub-divisions. Basically there is the basic speaker division, independent speaker and proficient speaker. What I am wondering is, do you not think that dividing it this way might hinder some people from progressing and actually finally being fluent in a language they are learning?

    I ask this because I remember a certain girl back in college being put in the basic speaker level French class even though she understood the language and only had a problem with writing it well.

  13. I agree singing and translating songs into the language you are learning is a good way of doing it! I usually do that as well but I also would translate all the proverbs I knew and found funny or ones I used on a daily basis and continually spoke them out any chance I got. Whether the proverb was related to the conversation I was having at the particular moment was besides the point. I used to get weird looks!

  14. Learning English has never been difficult for me at all, obviously this had a lot to do with me having spoken English since I was born! Although it isn't my native language I still consider it as my first language because I learned my native language second to it! I am fluent in it and speak it pretty much like a native speaker really. I can imagine how hard it can be for people who start learning it later in life as adults though especially seeing as it is a complex language.

  15. I was at a dentist office today while waiting for my siblings to have a checkup when a woman and her children came to sit next to me. They were lovely people and I could halfway understand them and I wanted to ask questions about the words I didn't know but I felt too embarrassed to ask because I didn't really know her well. I felt like it would've been rude to do so for some reason. Has this happened to anyone else?

    This hasn't happened specifically to me but it has happened to a friend of mine! I don't think you should have been shy or even embarrassed at all. I think that the woman would probably have appreciated your efforts in trying to learn her native language and would have been more than happy to help you out. My friend's situation turned out exactly like that.

  16. I always find that when I'm learning a foreign language, I pretty much get the basics quickly. However, I tend to lack in confidence in terms of actually speaking it. Yet I know exactly what I want to say, and can write it without any problem whatsoever. I know practice makes perfect, but I'm still a bit shy and wary of making mistakes! Does any of you feel the same?

    I agree with you here lushlala, I think it boils down to confidence with pronunciation as well as trying to actually build a sentence. With writing there is not much pressure that comes with it as you can take more time figuring out how to construct particular sentences and perfecting them.

  17. I'm not sure. It does work in most countries but there are certain cultures in which pointing at someone or something is an insult. Some small neighborhoods in my hometown think that when you're pointing at someone you're either accusing or mocking someone. We'd just have to find the equivalent gesture of addressing something without using a finger. Perhaps an open hand presenting the object, place, or person?

    I have to say InfiniteGeko makes a valid observation, some cultures find pointing very demeaning and belittling, which would in essence kill the learning environment and just put some people off learning a language. With that being said, I think the pointing approach was a good one and should be reestablished and upgraded. It should be done in a manner that would accommodate different cultural backgrounds as well as different denominations.

  18. For me personally English being my first language and that is British English, wouldn't say that dialects are confusing! However I think for someone trying to learn the English language from scratch it could prove very frustrating and difficult...for example I have a friend who says with the different dialects she can't grasp the core fundamentals of the language as quick as she would had it been straight forward.

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