Well, to say this has been a difficult semester personally, would probably be the understatement of the century.
This week has been par for the course. With losing a second person in my family since January, countless illnesses (both my own and my children’s) it’s starting to feel a bit like I can’t catch a break, but alas, onward and upward I suppose.
I feel like I haven’t looked at Mango in two weeks, let alone practiced with it. I have managed to meet my daily goal for Duolingo, I have also continued to listen to French radio, and I would say my french conversations have been sub-par as I have not initiated them nearly enough this past week. I have also failed to practice my french reading this week.
I did however find an interesting article which I think my classmate Genna may appreciate given the discussion of benefits associated with being bilingual. Unlike Genna, my daughter is monolingual, but I often question if we made the right decision when we opted to not put her in French Immersion. She’s almost done grade two and I still question if it was the right choice.
While I don’t think I’ll ever be content with our decision, I am confident that she is a motivated learner and I know she would find a way to learn a language if it was important to her.
All of these questions and thinking of my daughter’s learning had me connecting to an idea I owe to my late grandmother, who immigrated from Germany and told me once that she didn’t remember when she stopped thinking in German, and started thinking in English.
I know that in my own language learning journey, I certainly think about what I want to say in English, and then I try and convert it to French. This had me wondering, at what point does a second language become automatic? How do our brains work to process more than one language?
I was happy to learn that language learning may increase the size of my brain! Additionally, I have been reading that learning new skills at any age (however they were looking at language learning specifically), increases the density in brain matter. Now I know that I can say I’ve been “working my brain out” on a daily basis I feel less guilty about “working my body out” at the gym consistently!