I think the first time I uttered a different language (that wasn’t baby gibberish) was when I was a child and sang along with the Tots TV theme tune, un, deux, trois Je suis une tot. However at the time I didn’t know, but knew exactly what was being said. To me that’s how we should be taught foreign languages – at a young age when we’re just sponges absorbing as much information as possible.
In year six a local secondary school would teach us infrequently some French words, I could list all the objects dans ma trousse, ou le temps (Il pleut being very useful in England, and very fitting whilst I’m writing this with the rain trying to break through my window). In secondary school our year was divided dependant on the language we would learn for the next three years, French or German. I loved French, but felt that a lot of the content we were learning didn’t feel useful, I couldn’t go up to a stranger in France and tell them about my house, or my pencil case that j’ai deux frères et une sœur, as all I’d really want to know is où sont les toilettes! I continued on to AS French, but lacked the confidence in my ability. Which in the end led to my own self-fulfilling prophecy, as I failed it.
However, four years later I still find it embarrassing that in my twenties I can’t speak any other language but my own. My Granddad could speak many languages, something I wish I were capable of. But for now, I’ll start small and enhance my limited French vocabulary!
If anyone else is on Duolingo, feel free to add me – Annmarieta