What are your personal top three tricks and tips when learning languages?
1. Do not translate words nor sentences into your native language; try to understand vocabulary from its context.
2. Don’t stick too much on grammar. It’s better to communicate making mistakes. The more mistakes we make, the more we learn.
3. Listen as much as possible to “real English”. English text books don’t help much. They are just a way to pretend that you understand real English situations.
Which word do you always have trouble spelling?
What was the funniest situation with a linguistic misunderstanding you ever encountered?
When I was living in the States as an exchange student, my “American father” asked me to go to the basement and fetch 5 “bucks” on the table. I dashed down the stairs and found after a lot of searching 5 “boxes” on the floor. I came upstairs and gave him the boxes. He burst out laughing. At that point, I did not realize what was going on when he finally explained to me the difference in pronunciation of “bucks” and box”.
In your opinion, what is the sexiest accent and what is the reason for it?
British English might sound pretty sexy to me but I actually do not know why.
Which language would you like to invent and why?
None. I think it is marvelous to have different languages, different cultures with different perspectives in the world.
Which language teaching product / service / method / gadget … has impressed you the most and why?
One that has impressed me the most was to learn a foreign language through the Multiple Intelligences. It takes all the intelligences (musical, kinesthetic, linguistic, visual, naturalist, interpersonal and intrapersonal) into account. It makes the process of learning fun, motivating and fast.
About the author:
Elisa Lemos (49) has been teaching English for 25 years. She has written a method based on Multiple Intelligences, TPR and suggestopedia. She has a degree from Contra Costa College in American Literature. Her blog about “Strategies to learn a foreign language” can be found at http://elisalemos.unblog.fr/.