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Saturday, January 9, 2016

Thinking in French



In the last post I wrote about how I have not given up on incorporating Spanish into our homeschooling. But the truth is, I haven't been consistent with teaching Spanish simply because my heart is not in it. I studied Spanish in high school and college, and I want to take a risk and try something new. I had really wanted to learn French, but in the 8th grade when I chose what foreign language I would be taking in high school, the choices were only Spanish and Latin. And what the heck was Latin? So fate chose.

I do wish to learn Latin, and that day will come. But what gets me excited right now is the prospect of what Charlotte Mason wrote in Home Education, Volume 1 of her series:

"If you are all day long trying to work out a 'series' in French... you come to think in French, to 'dream in French,' to speak French" (p. 303). And, "You order your thoughts in the new language, and, having done so, the words which express these are an inalienable expression" (p. 304).

By learning any new language, your thinking changes in accordance with the particularities of that tongue. If I wish to more closely adopt a French lifestyle, which is, after all, a major theme of this blog, then it only makes sense to learn to speak French! And Charlotte Mason does advocate learning a new language only verbally first. "French should be acquired as English is, not as a grammar, but as a living speech. To train the ear to distinguish and the lips to produce the French vocabulary is a valuable part of the education of the senses, and one which can hardly be undertaken too soon" (Home Education, p. 300).

Beezy is perfectly fine with learning French rather than Spanish, and I have great plans for this new adventure which I can't wait to share with my readers! Whether you are a like-minded francophile or not, I hope you will join me on the journey.

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