teaching foreign languages at an early age
jrubba at calpoly.edu
Mon Jan 17 17:42:42 UTC 2011
It is a bit mysterious why some languages come easier to some people
than others. I spoke about French. I finally understood French
grammar after reading Knud Lambrecht's book on information structure.
It suddenly made sense. I will always have trouble with the
pronunciation, though. I think it is a problem that you would find
sensible -- French doesn't use reduced vowels, or many central
vowels, while both English and Arabic do (at least the Arabic dialect
I learned), and German to some extent. Spanish and French don't, and
I find that I have to "stretch" to move among the cardinal vowel
points. I could probably master this if I practiced a lot, but I
haven't had or taken much opportunity to do so. I've never tried a
tone language. I've always found them scary.
I did take a few classes on Standard Arabic, taught by some nuns (!)
in Tunis. I couldn't stick with the class, because of its location
and transportation/time issues, but we did get into some pretty
complex grammar and I did find it oddly logical and familiar. It is
pretty different from the dialect I was learning; I certainly never
got into the grammar concepts with the dialect that I did in those
few classes of Standard. Like what you experienced with Russian.
Anyway ... thanks for writing back.
Dr. Johanna Rubba, Ph. D.
Linguistics Minor Advisor
Cal Poly State University San Luis Obispo
San Luis Obispo, CA 93407
Ofc. tel. : 805-756-2184
Dept. tel.: 805-756-2596
Dept. fax: 805-756-6374
E-mail: jrubba at calpoly.edu
More information about the Funknet