Why the hell do I have to go to French school? We speak English at home! My cousins went to English school. My friends spoke English. I didn’t need to learn French. IT WASN’T PART OF MY BRAND.
Because I had vacationed in New Jersey with my family the summer before kindergarten and knew Americans mainly spoke English, I made the executive decision to not learn a second language. Who the fuck has time to learn another language at 5?
Brain, Forgetting, Language learning, Languages, Learning
As a polyglot, I’ve come to speak or read on a daily basis a multitude of languages.
I sometimes wake up speaking English, switch to Japanese for work, read an article in Korean before meeting up with French friends. Sounds great but there’s a problem with that too.
I’ve come to “forget” words I knew.
Or, to be more precise, they are stuck on the tip of my tongue.
For non-language learners, this is laughable. But for anybody learning a foreign language for long enough, this feels like a real problem.
Could you forget your native language?
If you live in your native country, the risk of forgetting it altogether is rather low. But the probability of forgetting common words stays really high.
“I… 기억한다… 覚えてる…记得… me souviens… ah right! I remember!”
In reality, unless you have some kind of brain damage or grow old and get…
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Feedback is like a drug to me, and I’ve been a junkie for it all of my working life. Not just the nice, ‘you’ve done a good job’ kind of feedback, but more of the ‘here’s what you can do better’ variety that gives me something tangible to munch on.
Maybe it’s because I never had the kind of enviable confidence that some people have. The kind of confidence that makes them feel like they are always right. The kind of confidence that, like a security blanket or better yet, a protective shield, makes it difficult for any kind of criticism to seep through.
Syntactic priming is the process that takes place when we make predictions upon hearing certain grammatical patterns which guide us to guess the string of words that are more likely to be uttered next based on our previous encounters with those patterns. Basically we are constantly building sentences based on what we hear, which are next confirmed or then reformulated. We hypothesise. We fill gaps. This is one of the reasons why listening -far from being a receptive process- is very much an active skill.
A very productive activity for any language level is to have students engaged in some “syntactiv priming” from a reading passage or the transcript of a listening extract from the textbook after it has been read or listened to and they have done some work around it.
Here is an extract from a reading passage from Sure Intermediate, Student’s Book, Helbling English. Free sample from…
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