French is one of those languages that nearly all of us wants to learn. However, if you want to know what learning and speaking French is like then don’t go anywhere. To answer the question of what that looks like we reached out to French teacher and innovator Sylvia Duckworth to give us the inside knowledge of being able to speak and learn the awesome French language.
- Why is learning a language so valuable to you?
In Canada, we have two official languages: English and French. So speaking both languages makes me feel like a true Canadian. It allows me to travel to Quebec and speak with Quebeckers in their own language.
- What is the biggest barrier to speaking in another language?
Fear of making mistakes. You need to jump into the unknown and try out the language: it’s the only way to learn!
- What’s the most interesting thing about French as a language to you?
I think it’s a very romantic and sexy language. The sounds are soft and provocative. Everyone loves to hear French spoken!
- Can you share with us three top tips for being able to speak in another language?
- Try to immerse yourself in a milieu where only that language is spoken. The longer the time period, the better.
- The younger you start, the easier it will be to learn a second language. If you have your own children, put them into an immersion program if available.
- If trying to learn a language, look for a course or program that focuses on listening and speaking, NOT written and grammar. Remember, you are more likely to use the second language in a social capacity, not a paper one.
- What’s next for you and your ability to speak French?
I always look for opportunities to improve my French. I hope that a trip to France is in the near future!
Finally, what’s next on your Bucket List
I don’t know if it’s next, but I have always wanted to jump out of a plane with a parachute. My 24-year-old daughter did it recently and said it was mind-blowing.
Thanks for your time Sylvia we really enjoyed reading you answers and we can’t thank you enough for answering our questions.