Why is there no time? (To Learn a Language)

Is it harder to learn new languages the older you get? And I’m not talking about the theory that adults find languages harder to learn than children, or whether you can ever get rid of your accent past a certain age… but something seems to have changed since I turned 22.

Where the heck did my time go?

I mean, where on earth is there time to now do anything? I feel I’m at a life stage where I’m starting my career properly, I’m working 5 days a week in the media industry (yay!) meaning I work 9-5 or 5:30 Monday-Friday depending on the day. Including my job, these are the things I like to fit into my life Continue reading

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How to Learn French…When You Already Speak It (Part 2)

Oui_je_parle_francaisA follow up to my previous post ‘How to Learn French…When You Already Speak It’ and the problem advanced French students have with progressing in French. My last post focused more on free resources and now I’m going to list a few that you may need to pay for (but personally I think they’re worth the money)

Read (and listen to) Audio Language Magazine 

When I started to feel I was an ‘advanced’ French learner, I started to think I could casually read French magazines, newspapers and watch French movies designed for native speakers. While this isn’t necessarily detrimental, it’s not necessarily the best way to improve. I started reading about ‘audio language magazines’, essentially they’re magazines that are written entirely in a foreign language, but usually come with either a bi-lingual glossary or a transcript. But their most important feature is that they come with native-speaker audio. Continue reading

How to Improve Your French…When you already speak it (Part 1)

jeparlefrA mistake that many students make is that once they reach a certain ‘advanced’ stage in their language learning, they stop trying to learn the language. Once you have lived in France, have French friends and maybe even enjoy the occasional magazine in French you might start to think you no longer have to keep studying.

Or you might know that you need to keep studying, but it becomes increasingly difficult to find resources that really challenge you and are of any use to you.

Camille at ‘French Today‘ says advanced students are able to communicate effectively in French, but often still struggle to understand French movies or be subtle or witty in French. She also describes it as the ‘hardest level to make any progress on.’  I can definitely put myself in this category, sometimes it’s easy for me to rest on my laurel’s because I can confidently say ‘I speak French’ it’s easy to stay in my comfort zone and not push myself. Continue reading

New French Words

Why hello abandoned blog, sorry it’s been a while since I’ve posted – I haven’t really been that busy, it’s more that I’ve lost a bit of inspiration for more things to write about…. I suppose this blog began to document and discuss what it was like for me to be living in France for the first time, and now it’s been over a  year since I’ve left France the topics are starting to dry up a bit….

But don’t worry – I still plan to keep blogging, but I don’t know if I’ll be blogging as much as before. If there are any post ideas or things you’d like to know about, feel free to send me an email or write a comment on what you’d like to know! I’m an open book 🙂

Continue reading

Why I Quit French (at Australian universities)

why_learn_a_language_42One of the bloggers I read recently pointed out the sad news that many foreign language programs are being cut in Australian universities, as Jeannie points out it seems we are far from entering ‘the Asian century’ which the Government wanted to introduce last year. In a nutshell the Australian Government wants more children to be literate in an Asian language (specifically Chinese Mandarin, Japanese, Indonesian and Hindi), you can read my thoughts about it here.

The reasons for these cuts to foreign language classes are numerous, from the more than $2 billion funding cut to universities to lack of enrolment. Jeannie brings up some good points but I’d like to add my perspective because I may have been part of the reason for language class cuts in Australian universities.

Simply – I quit. Continue reading

Language Learning: It’s Like Sex

lets-talk-about-sexLanguage learning is like sex, as in it’s easier the second time you do it.

The first time you have sex, you might have struggled with it a bit. Some parts might have been good whilst other parts might have been less than desirable, but you’ll most likely get better at it and find it a lot easier the second time.

It’s the same for learning languages, please bear with me on this. Continue reading

What’s My Party Trick? You’ll Be Impressed

magic_tricks_hatSometimes I get to show off my ‘party trick.’ It usually happens with people asking what I ‘do’ and then inevitably I’ll mention I spent some time in France.

“So, do you speak French?” they’ll ask.

“Yes” I’ll say.

Then their eyes grow wide and a smile spreads across their face, “oh cool! How do you say X in French? How do you say Y? What’s a really bad word?”

Once I’ve rattled off a few sentences, they’ll look at me with glee and awe as if I’ve unscrambled a rubix cube in front of them. Continue reading