French Language

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Re: Hopeless!

 Chiefluvvie wrote:
How on earth do 'elderly' people cope when communicating with babies, deaf / disabled people, animals etc - they 'adapt' , they cope and they're understood! You can always find a reason NOT to do something... 

How very very true and very succinctly put.

When I read this earlier on "I have a feeling that the older people get the harder it is for them to continue with any language other than their mother tongue" I was tempted to reply as I strongly disagree, I couldnt really formulate a response that did justice to my feelings on the subject, you can always find a reason NOT to do something...  expresses it perfectly.

I have heard people trot out the "its too hard for me at my age" rubbish so many times yet I have met many people who make rubbish of the theory, I am one of them myself, its down to motivation be it love/desire, hunger or loneliness, the people I see that do learn a new language despite their age also engage in many other new activities and learn new skills, the ones that trot out the "its too hard" dont seem to do anything new.


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Re: Hopeless!

 Pommier wrote:
Something which has hindered me is that I don't have very good hearing, especially if there's more than one person talking or any other noises, and that could apply to lots of older people. I'm fine if theres no background noise, but so often I've had to ask people to repeat what they've said because I simply haven't heard it all. In English your brain fills in the gaps so usually you get the gist but it's much harder in another language.


I agree.  One to one, or writing, I can cope ... but in a social situation, I just cannot fill in the gaps well enough.

I've given up worrying too much about accuracy in speaking (always my bugbear, along with conjugaisons and gender).  Better to just get on with it. I find a glass of wine helps to loosen the anglo-saxon inhibitions .....

Judith
ex W1, via 47 and 11 and now [just] in 34, equidistant from Carcassonne, Narbonne and Béziers, where I hope we'll finally stay!!

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Re: Hopeless!

 Chancer wrote:

 Chiefluvvie wrote:
How on earth do 'elderly' people cope when communicating with babies, deaf / disabled people, animals etc - they 'adapt' , they cope and they're understood! You can always find a reason NOT to do something... 

How very very true and very succinctly put.

When I read this earlier on "I have a feeling that the older people get the harder it is for them to continue with any language other than their mother tongue" I was tempted to reply as I strongly disagree, I couldnt really formulate a response that did justice to my feelings on the subject, you can always find a reason NOT to do something...  expresses it perfectly.

I have heard people trot out the "its too hard for me at my age" rubbish so many times yet I have met many people who make rubbish of the theory, I am one of them myself, its down to motivation be it love/desire, hunger or loneliness, the people I see that do learn a new language despite their age also engage in many other new activities and learn new skills, the ones that trot out the "its too hard" dont seem to do anything new.

I think you have completeley misunderstood - its not that older people can't learn a language, its as they get older (and their faculties aren't what they once were, which will be at different ages for different people) and time takes its toll, like myriad other things they lose what they have gained and I have seen this myself in several older people...they considered themselves fluent, but that fluency deserted them and it was their mother tongue that they used.

As I said one is left with a mish mash that is hard for both French and English to make sense of....


Quimper.co

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Re: Hopeless!

As I said, my oldest student (learning English, mind you, not French) was in his 80's.
In terms of motivation, he certainly didn't lack anything. Having fled Iran following the downfall of the Shah, he came to the UK and raised two children, who both went through their schooling, married UK nationals and produced children. I imagine as a grandparent there is no greater motivation than that of wanting to be able to communicate with your own grandchildren. Nobody tried harder than Reza, and I loved having in my classes, year after year, although he made relatively little progress. It certainly wasn't for the want of trying, on both our parts. I'll never forget the time he turned up a day early for his class, thus arriving in my advanced class lesson, where he would certainly be out of his depth. His reason? His wife had gone to visit one of their children and without her to organise him, he'd forgotten what day it was!
Was it his age that stopped him from making progress? Well, yes, I think it was. That, and having to learn not only a new language but a new alphabet and way of writing.
Don't want to end up a cartoon in a cartoon graveyard.
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