"Putting on the Game Face"
|During my thwarted attempt to get to Europe last month I bought a refresher guide to speaking French. It is called the Complete Language Pack... French..., Learn in just 15 minutes a day...Language Course: Visual Phrase Book: Grammar Guide: and 3 Audio CDs.
I like all the components in the package, however, I don't use then in the exact manner that is intended. First I don't use the visual phrase book along with the CDs with the 12 Week Learning Guide. Instead I listen to the first two CDs and see if I understand some semblance of what they are saying. I don't care that I don't understand it all, I like listening to the musicality and trying to repeat the rapid fire French phases that come at me like spray from a fire hose.
Next, I read the written text and look at the vocabulary and pictures. They are excellent tools and I try to follow along, speaking the words I'm reading.
After going once through the books, I go back to the tapes to see how much more I Understand. Where I think most people go wrong in these courses is that they never get adjusted to the rapid tempo in which the language is spoken. For the uninitiated, the language is spoken at a fast pace and a student simply has to get used to that. French speakers never developed a regional variation with a slow moving drawl. So from the beginning one has to speak fast while articulating clearly and at breakneck speed. There is no comparative English model for talking as fast as the French do and it behooves a student to get used to the rapid fire manner in which the language is spoken. Otherwise you won't be able to listen comprehensively, much less get your tongue wrapped around a sentence.
Last night I tackled the Easy Grammar book which approached the language using a more traditional learning approach. My strategy is to hop back and forth from the books to the CDs. The redundancy between the written and verbal mediums is quite helpful and reinforcing. I like the tools in the package and despite deciding to follow my own lamp, see the logic of the approach taken in the package.
Since I know a smidgen of French from the days I lived there as a child, and having studied it in College (I got a C), then I've a head start on someone beginning the language for the first time.
Last night I dreamed in French and perhaps that is another dimension of the learning process.