Wednesday, June 11, 2014


WTF? What's it mean? You and I know because we're hip, we're on the scene, been there, done that. I found a birthday card for my aging brother. This critter on the front had a "oh, woe" look on his face, then you open the card and there are three letters with a comment about getting old. I let my mother (age 93) read it. She said, Wtf as a word. I had to tell her what it means. She was startled then laughed. My mother is always game for something new (although she is NOT going to say WTF under any circumstances). Currently, I am teaching her to say, aih-ite. She's getting closer but still hasn't nuanced the phrase.

So phrasing in another language. If we say aih-ite, can we really expect a person from another culture to understand it? Aih-ite then. I just spent one year teaching French to high school students. That's the problem with taking a foreign language at that age--learning to speak that language is not going to happen in a year (unless the student speaks many hours outside class with a learning source and REALLY works at learning the language.)

My main point is that listening to a huge variety of other language speakers is the best way to learn a language. No, actually not. Living in the culture of the language is the way to learn nuances. How many students have that opportunity?

So we struggle, teacher and students alike.

1 comment:

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A semester course in one book about the Soviet Union. Click on image for my review.