French Acquisition: The Mother Tongue Hypothesis

Shin’ichi Suzuki, founder of the Suzuki Method for learning to play classical music, devised a method of teaching that borrowed it’s practices from the ways in which we acquire our mother-tongue.
He called it The Mother Tongue Method.
The blurb of his book Nurtured By Love reads: “…the Mother tongue Method (is) based on the simple observation that all children learn to speak their native language with ease through listening and repetition. He believed that since very young children could master the complexity of their native language, they could also master a musical instrument.”
In this book, Suzuki presents many interesting ideas about the way in which we acquire language as a child- to a level of fluency, yet through no formal tuition. He then applies this same method of language acquisition to the way in which he taught his young students to play classical string music.

Interestingly, the part of the brain that deals with language, is also the same part of the brain that deals with what I call the “mechanics” of music.
In an article from the Austin Community College, the author states that “The left hemisphere is apparently very important for musical abilities which share properties with speech, such as temporal order, duration, simultaneity, and rhythm“. This further propels my hypothesis that the same techniques that are used to learn music can also be applied to learning language, and vice versa.

I plan to use the practices outlined in this book to learn to speak French fluently in 4 months, along with various other techniques.
This is not an experiment to solely investigate the efficiency of the Mother Tongue method in second language acquisition, but a personal challenge to discover what combination of techniques works well for me.

Keep posted for updates on how I incorporate this theory into my challenge!


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