Dear colleagues and students, it is with joy and pleasure that I share with you my life passion for the languages of the world. I am originally from Vietnam. Vietnam is a former francophone country. I have a great interest in languages at a very young age. It began to develop when my father gave me a French dictionary when I was five years old and his advice to me was to read and learn the words in the dictionary, from beginning to end. I do not remember what the dictionary looked like or the year or the name of the publisher, but I cherished it very much and I applied myself each day to learn the words.
I attended a French catholic girl school in Saigon, Vietnam from the first grade to my senior year (Classe Terminale) and graduated with both Baccalauréat I & II .
Back when I was in the 6th grade, I began to learn English in school. English pronunciation was rather difficult for me because of the stressed syllables. This has not diminished my natural desire to learn other languages when I came to the United States of America in 1975. I taught myself Beginner Spanish and German. I also learned other languages throughout my missionary service.
I would like to share the "secret" for my success in learning and becoming proficient in a new language. It could be true for you as well if you consider one or some of these simple suggestions:
Practice, Practice, Practice
It is with regular practice speaking the target language, thinking in the target language, listening to the target language (by interacting with another person, by watching a movie or by using other media) and reading in the target language. It comes with one's exposure and experience in one's journey of acquiring the second language.
You will transition into the target language effortlessly and with much fun if you enjoy the learning process and do not let anxiety or fear of failure get in the way. We all learn at different pace. My husband learns a new language at a slower pace.
Phone Conversation In the Target Language
It is also productive to use the target language when calling a friend or language coach who is a native speaker or a fluent speaker of your target language. Let it be an enjoyable conversation. Take the lead and use words and sentences that you are familiar with. You can build up both your vocabulary and your confidence.
Seeking Immersion-Type Environment
I like to immerse myself in the target language. An open air market is a good place to practice speaking the language of your host country.
I trust you will enjoy learning a second language (or L2) as much as I do!
I invite you to join me in learning FRENCH. I will be your guide and we will learn this beautiful language together and you will soon be proficient and equipped to teach others FRENCH.
Merci beaucoup et à bientôt!