I am binge watching a French detective series. My French is coming back to me from far away, out of hibernation. Suddenly I find myself speaking beautiful French sentences into the mirror as if I have a new secret, invisible lover. I love to hear myself make those sounds, so fast, so nonchalant, so interesting. What a beautiful language and what a miracle I can pretend I am French, even if it is only in the privacy of my bathroom!
Language learning can be so enjoyable if you know how to have fun in the process. Watching TV series will do it for me. What seems like a boring, couch potato, and therefore braindead-like activity is really the equivalent to going to evening class and being a dedicated student, in the front row, with all the homework neatly done, questions at the ready and an apple for the teacher in your home knitted bag.
Why do we think the best way to learn is to study hard? If you are really clever you find a way to swap the word ‘hard’ for ‘fun’. I imagine there are loads of Dutch people sitting at home, on the couch, watching TV, who feel guilty because they should be brushing up their English. They would love to impress their customers with an eloquent reply to the usual questions. But they can’t do it tonight. It’s too hard.
Well, just stop wishing and stay on that couch. Put yourself on a diet of as many episodes of “Miranda” as you can fit into your evening. Then, when you go to bed, brush your teeth, look in the mirror and pull the face Miranda’s mother always pulls when she dashes into Miranda’s shop. Now briskly utter the phrase: “Such Fun!” 10 times. For desert you can book a few conversation lessons with me in which you help me remember in which episode Gary and Miranda finally hit it off. There you go, couch potato, your English will be as good as new! If you pass the final test (by singing like Stevie doing an impression of Heather Small: “What have you done today to make you feel proud?”) I will treat you to some of my sexiest French. I will whisper into your ear what happened to Sandra in ‘Witnesses’ ( ‘Les Témoins’ in French) when she decided to chase that killer all by herself…..
I know there are books about funny mistakes Dutch people make when speaking or writing English. I promis this blog will be a little different and I won't steal any stories from others. I would, however, like contributions from others and hope to have a bit of fun discussing what we have 'leathered'.