Saturday, January 28, 2006

language learning analogies

More ideas on language learning. The question at hand: what images can we convey that express what it's really like to learn a language? Here's the latest one: the secretary controls the office, and determines the success or failure of everything

In my case, the secretary even determined who made it through graduate school (thank you, Betty) - but my point is this. Language deals with how information is filed and how easily it is accessed. Learning a second language on top of a first is like taking a person whose filing experience doesn't quite match the situation at hand, and saying: file this. Quickly. So I can have access to it immediately. The question is, how soon will it be before the person changes the organizational system to better match the nature of the information? This person in a sense is a go-between: there are lots of people who have no access to the information at all, others for whom it seems to be second nature. If the office runs well, we could call that "fluent."


PS I've recently learned that your comments will come to my e-mail before being published....
don't let that stop you! I'll publish, I promise.


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