MichaelCD - The Blog.

The thoughts of Michael Cadwallader. Coffee loving, history book reading, Cheshire man.

Thursday, November 18, 2004

Monoglot Michael

I hate the fact that I am a monoglot English speaker. Yes, English is the dominant language in world affairs and culture but the fact that when abroad so many people speak English or the American English dialect doesn't mean otehr languages are irrelevant. Paul Johnson's article in the Spectator magazine is rather smug about the fact that a commision in France has reccommended that English be taught in all French schools. Fair enough, but what about teaching foreign languages in English schools? I suppose monoglot English speakers would counter that it is not necessary to learn another language but I disagree.

The fact that most of the writers & poets had private school education means that they certainly had to learn Latin. Many studies show that learning Latin also improves the pupils English, with improved appreciation of grammar, verbs and tense. In my experience appreciation of your own language improves when you learn another language.

Currently I am trying to get fluency in Welsh, the language of my mother and one I have been exposed to since I was a child. My general vocabulary is what I am working on, my understanding of French in school was based on the fact that I had a strong vocabulary, conversly my dire German was based on the fact that more emphasis was put on masculine/feminine distinctions and grammar rather than learning vocabulary so not only could I not understand what was being said but my failings in grammar (I got a D in English Language) left me bottom of the class.


At 10:50 am, Blogger Rhys Wynne said...

Pob lwc gyda'r Cymraeg
(Good luck with the Welsh)

One of my blogs is intended for Welsh learners, even though it's main foucus is on the south east of Wales, you may find some of the links of use.


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