Thursday, July 23, 2009

Episode 304: School Attachment Day 13

Finished the Palmer collection, and am still none the wiser about what the poems mean. They remain, nevertheless, beautiful. I would still prefer to read stuff that I can sort of identify with though, like the work that was read out by the guest poets during the Alumni Day. Now that was cracking stuff I could engage with. Also began re-reading Italo Calvino's Invisible Cities, which is one of those rare books I wish I had written. Honestly, I would learn Italian just to be able to read it in the original language. Demonstrating how perceptions can change, however, this re-reading has led me to conclude that while I still find the book exquisitely wrought, there is also a profoundly disquieting quality to the descriptions of the cities. If you're wondering why I've suddenly been able to get so much reading done, it's because this past few days have been light, schedule-wise. I've even found the time to write one of those poems that's just been lingering at the back of my mind ever since I got back. I'm really kind of biding my time till Friday. Would love to just crash when I get off work then and sleep till Saturday afternoon, but I've got to go for Alpha because I already agreed to sing weeks ago. Might have a class gathering though, so might end up leaving after the songs, or at the very latest, the sharing. Ça dépend...

Et il me faut continuer d'apprendre l'espagnol et l'italien! The course validity is only till late September! I've realised that Rosetta courses are actually identical regardless of language though, so to do basic rote-style learning isn't impossible without the images. Just download the pdf files for your particular course and study them alongside the equivalent files from the English course. It's a lazy way of designing a product, but I doubt Rosetta is really aiming for native fluency, despite its claims to help people acquire a given language the way its native speaker would. There was an article in the newspapers about how children acquire languages with much greater facility when they're younger, with the ability diminishing sharply after puberty. In that light, I think MOELC probably needs to start lessons from a younger age, if they want students to actually pick up a third language. The high rate of attrition at MOELC is proof enough of the difficulty students face in learning a third language in their teenage years.

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