You Can Learn a New Language

So excited!! The Michel Thomas French language CDs I ordered finally arrived. Couldn’t wait to listen to my first French lesson. This was not my first rendezvous with Michel and therefore I knew I’d get a jump-start on the language even in the first couple of hours of listening. It was for this reason, that when we decided to return to Corsica, France for our first Travel to Transform International retreat, I ordered the French CDs post haste.

While many people swear by Rosetta Stone, it requires you to set aside time specifically to devote to your language learning experience. Since my days are already jam packed, I prefer to squeeze my practice into the drive to and from the office. If you want to limit your learning time to listening in the car, on your phone etc., a couple of popular options include the following:

PIMSLEUR

This was the first program I tried when learning Spanish. The focus on every day exchanges and useful travel phrases is helpful. Unfortunately I often found it difficult to know if I was pronouncing words correctly because there is little guidance on spelling and how words are sounded out. You must listen closely to the speaker and rely on rote memory to progress. This methodology is much more useful after you already have a basic command of proper pronunciation and language structure.  http://www.pimsleur.com/

MICHEL THOMAS

These lessons include discussion on how the language is constructed. Patterns found in the specific language are pointed out and the grammar and pronunciation rules allow you to more easily build your vocabulary. For example, in my first French lesson I learned that words ending in “ant” and “ent” have the same spelling and meaning in French as they do in English. When pronounced in French you simply drop the last two consonants and stress the last syllable. To get a first hand free sample of this methodology, click on the following link to visit the website.  http://www.michelthomas.com/

A few tips as you get started:

  • Find a partner to join you in this endeavor. It will speed your progress and help you start to craft sentences beyond the phrases you repeat in the lessons.

  • Commit to a specific length of time to practice every day.

You’ll be surprised how quickly you start to remember words and phrases. Already I find myself wandering around the house softly repeating ce n’est pa pour moi ce soir (not for me tonight) and voulez-vous parle Francais avec moi (will you speak French with me?) just because the sounds linger in my brain. This, not to mention I feel a little more sophisticated, a little more suave, a little more sexy, allowing this romance language slip off my tongue. Regardless of the language you choose, at a minimum you’ll no doubt feel a sense of accomplishment as your vocabulary builds.

If this is something you’ve always wanted to do, don’t wait to get started and have fun!

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