French Acquisition: Week 4

Tools of Acquisition:

  • We wrote a short 3 page laminated A4 picture book about Frenchy’s birthday. The kids drew the pictures, I wrote the story en francais, and drew little pictures for memory prompts next to key words. My theory is that if we have a written resource that is connected to a fond memory, it will enhance memory retention, and possibly be a more frequently used resource by the children’s own initiative.

Observations:

  • My brains are working betterer! I remember being at school and being able to learn new things easily and memorise lessons instantaneously. Since leaving school and motherhood, I have been noticeably less capable of acquiring new knowledge and information. THings just haven’t been able to stick in my brain as easily. When studying Chinese medicine I would have to read the same chapter about 5 times to get an inkling of comprehension out of it. However, since learning French I have noticed that I am starting to regain that mental coherency. In my yoga, meditation and ZenThai studies, the importance of a regular practice was drilled into us, in regards to creating good habits and maintaining a strong lifestyle. I am certain that the same can be said for mental exercise- a regular practice will foster a stronger foundation and understanding of the topic in question, but this diligence will also create ease in many other related activities. The feeling of mental connections is similar to when I was learning lots of music throughout my school years- yes, I can feel my brain working and where it is working form, in the same way that i feel my heart pumping. Strange but true. i would like to find someone else who feels this.
  • The most frequent reason for the girls to use french of their own accord is to sing songs. I should make use of this love for music and vocal expression and utilise it for extending their vocabulary. I have noticed that although they ask many questions about french vocabulary, they rarely choose to use it in their day. If I relate this to the Mother Tongue Hypothesis, it could be because I do not use it frequently enough for them to think that it is a regular part of our social interaction. I think that when my French is at the stage where I can speak fluently, the children may choose to speak it more often. Regardless of whether they do or not, that regular listening practice will keep the memory of the french language alive in them.
  • I recently remembered that I actually do learn very well from books. It is the process of writing it down that helps me to remember. Typing does not seem to have the same effect. I wonder if this is because writing and typign activate slightly different parts of the brain, or if it because of years of traditional schooling.
  • I have not once looked through the “French in Three Months” textbook that I got from the library.

Goals for this week:

  • Strengthen vocabulary for the kitchen, to use when cooking with the children and preparing their meals.
  • Encourage the children to request foods and drinks in french.
  • Learn a new French song with the kids.
  • Acquire a blank book to write in all my french vocab.
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