//How to keep up with language-learning over summer…//

For many students in the UK and across the world, the summer holidays are approaching quicker than ever. Many of you, like me, are probably studying a foreign language at school or college at the moment, and may be wondering how you will survive going back to school in September after 6+ weeks without having foreign language lessons (well I certainly am anyway, maybe I’m just weird haha).

So, as a year 12 student studying A Level French – and taking my exams next summer due to the linear A Levels – who needs to ensure I’m still practicing French over summer, I come bearing a list of ways to keep up language practice, so by the time it gets to September you (hopefully) haven’t forgotten it all! I’ve come up with a few ideas about how you can practice each aspect of language learning – reading, writing, listening and speaking – so hopefully they’ll be helpful to some of you.

1. Reading

Reading is a really, really great way to keep up language practice. I mean, if you’re a bookworm like me, then why not read books in your target language? Books are relaxing to read, and you can find a genre or author that interests you – there are so many foreign language book lists on Goodreads! Even just reading a couple of pages a day will help make sure you’re being exposed to the language and the more you read, the more vocab you’ll learn and the more you will see grammar rules in practice; basically, it will give you a better grasp of how the written language is formed!

It can be hard to find books that are the right level for your skills in your target language. If you’re just starting out, children’s books are a good idea as they’ll have more simple vocabulary and sentence structures. But if you’re at GCSE level or A Level, you could try reading version of books you’ve already read in English in your target language – for example last summer after I finished GCSE French, I read the first Harry Potter book in French. Often you’re local library will have at least some foreign language books, or you can use their online catalogue to reserve books and get them delivered to your library.

Also I think most A Level foreign language specifications will have a set book list, as you will usually have to study a book as part of the course, but that doesn’t mean you can’t read the other books on the list too!

Another way of practicing your reading is by reading magazines. There’s a really good French magazine called “Ça m’intresse” which covers a load of current themes in society, and a lot of topics relevant to A Level. You’ll have to order them online unless your school or college has them in the library, but one copy would cost roughly £5 including delivery costs, or you can download the digital copy which is obviously cheaper. If not, you can always read articles in your target language on news websites (and Ça m’intresse even has a range of free articles on their website which you can read too).

2. Writing

Keeping up with writing practice can be quite time-consuming and tedious, but it will help you to recal all of the grammar rules and tenses you need to know, as well as practice vocab.

Some simple ways of practicing writing would be to write a few sentences at the end of each week, talking about what you’ve done that week and what you plan to next week. In the run up to my exams, I’ve been doing this by trying to write a sentence in each French tense at the end of each week in my diary.

You could also write some blog posts in your target language, which I will definitely be doing over the summer.

Or, if you do read some articles in your target language over the summer, you could practise summarising the foreign language articles using synonyms which will help both your writing and be good practice for exams (as certainly in French A Level exams we are required to read short passages and summarise them in our own words).

Another thing you could do is set up a Twitter account in your target language, and try tweeting in the language you are learning. You can also follow native speakers or newspaper/magazine accounts in your target language, which will help with your reading too.

3. Listening

Practicing your listening skills doesn’t have to mean sitting down and doing listening past papers and activities provided by your exam board – the internet offers a variety of ways to practice listening!

Firstly, you can listen to international radio stations on your phone or the internet, which is a great way to test your listening skills and discover artists who sing in your target language. Some French radio stations which I listen to include Radio Nostalgie (which you can listen to for free via their mobile app – they play a mixture of 70s/80s/90s music) but there is a huge list here that includes French radio stations that broadcast anything from news to pop to classical music.

Another way is by listening to music in your target language itself. This can sometimes be difficult to find, but there are some good Spotify foreign language playlists – and I’ve created my own French one which I may write a post about in the future!

The there’s also the wealth of foreign language resources provided by YouTube. Sometimes it’s possible to watch old films and TV series in your target language on here for free. For example I watched a French  series called “Extra” which was made specifically for French language learners, so it uses fairly simple language and comedy to help you understand. Also there will be many YouTubers who are native speakers of your target language – one French YouTuber I’ve started watching recently is Anatastesia – she makes a wide variety of videos, many in French so hopefully there’ll be something you like!

Finally buying and watching DVDs in your target language – or films on Netflix – will be invaluable practice for your listening skills. You may have to watch the films with English subtitles or watch them multiple times to understand fully, but it will be great practice and it will also immerse you into the culture of your target language as well. I recently bought some second-hand French DVDs on Amazon for 10p with £1.20 delivery  – so they’re not always expensive! I may also do a separate post on French film recommendations at some point too as I’ve watched quite a few french films – some better than others haha.

4. Speaking

Speaking may seem to be one of the hardest things to practice, because often you don’t have someone to hand that can speak your target language and are willing to have a conversation with you. But, do not fear, because actually talking to yourself is also good practice. For example, you could just challenge yourself to talk for 60 seconds in your target language each day about what you’ve been doing or what the weather’s like etc. If you want, you can record yourself speaking and see your progress. Sometimes even just narrating what’s going on in the moment in your target language helps!

Speaking is actually a lot easier to practice than you might think – for example you don’t have to focus on reading a foreign language book, or remember spellings and accent placements as you do when you’re reading or writing. Speaking practice can be as quick and simple as you want it to be.

Another great resource for speaking practice I’ve found recently is the website and app “Forvo”. Within this app, you can practice your pronunciation. You chose a level to start at – I recommend choosing beginner whatever your level as it you’ll learn more vocab – and you’ll be shown a virtual flashcard with a word in your target language on it. Then you have to say that word, flip the card, hear how a native speaker pronounces it then you can rate whether you failed, were good or found it easy etc. Then the app will keep bringing up the words you struggle with until you’ve rated them easy, then you can move on and learn new words. I highly recommend it, as pronounciation is a large part of speaking a foreign language, and learning how to say things properly can really boost your confidence in speaking your target language.

Finally I want to talk about the app HelloTalk. This app fundamentally allows you to talk to native speakers over message or through voice recordings. At first I was a little skeptical about how safe the app would be, but generally my experience so far has been good! I think you have to be at least 13 to use the app, and after you’ve put in your age, it’ll only allow people within a 2-3 year age difference to you to be able to find your profile and contact you. It also has all the options for blocking people if needs be. So far, it’s been very useful to me. It’ll show you native speakers who are most suited to you based on age and competency level in their target language, and you can the see their profiles and see their interests to find a suitable language partner. Everyone I’ve talked to already seems really friendly, and I find their voice recording option really useful, as I’ve been able to send and receive voice messages from a native speaker in Algeria over the past few days. Also with the text messages, your language partner can correct your mistakes using their great correction feature, which has been really useful too! All I would say is to make sure you don’t put personal details on their, as with any platform that allows you to come into contact with strangers, and obviously if anyone is acting inappropriately towards you, block and report them.

So, that’s pretty much exhausted my tips for keeping up language practice over the summer holidays, but if you have any more to share, let me know below and best of luck to ayone taking exmas at the moment. 🙂

//Français – mon amour!//

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A French magazine I was given after going to a French conference in January (where I jhad to give a weather report in French in front of a group of strangers and direct and film a mini video in French)

Hello! Welcome back, sorry it’s been such a long time since I last posted on here, I’ve been terribly busy with revision for my exams (which are 10 days away eek!) but somehow I managed to find a bit of time today to sit down and write about my growing love of French.

I’ve been studying French since I was in year 5 – so since I was about 9/10. I mean, that 7-ish years of learning French sounds like such a long time (and I’m still not fluent haha) – it’s weird to think French has been part of my life for THAT long!

When I first started learning, I never imagined I’d fall in love with the language – or languages in general – but here I am, studying A Level French and falling helplessly inlove with the French language and culture.

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Throwback to when my French grammar was shocking (and fastforward to my awful photography skills).

In primary school, and the first two years of secondary school, French was compulsory for me, and as someone who always works hard, I put in just as much effort into French as my other subjects. So, whilst most of my friends and classmates weren’t enjoying the French lessons (I don’t get why so many don’t like learning languages??) I was loving them so much I chose to do French for my GCSEs.

I think by about year 10, when I was starting to think about what I wanted to do after school for my A Levels, I started to realise that I really wanted to carry on with French for as long as possible. My French teachers at secondary school were really supportive and encouraged me to do French A Level as well, so that’s what I did, and here I am now!

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My A Level text book.
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My A Level revision scrapbook that I’m actually quite proud of!

Honestly, I think doing French A Level as been the best decision I’ve ever made. Yes, it’s probably my hardest subject, but it’s also the most interesting by far! Luckily, the teachering at my college is just as good – if not better -than that at my secondary school, and my current teacher is alkso really supportive. I also love being in a small class – there’s just six of us – of people that are dedicated to learning French, and don’t judge you for liking languages, like some people did at secondary school.

Also, the A Level course is so interesting! I’m doing the new A Levels, so the expectations are higher than the older specifications, as we’re required to have an exstensive knowledge of French and Francophone culture on a range of topics, but I honestly love it so much. Learning about the French culture has made me love the language even more, as I quickly realised that a language only makes up a small part of a countries culture, and there is so much else to learn.

I also love how when I speak French, I feel like I have a much wider understanding of the world – or at least another part of it. There’s also a sense of pride for defying the stereotype that British people are “lazy and don’t learn languages”.

I have improved so much over the last year, and have gone from someone who would quite happily read and write in French, but couldn’t speak more than a badly-pronounced sentence, to someone who now can understand being taught each lesson in French by my teacher, repsond to her questions, understand French films and books, read French magazines and have a lengthy conversation with other people in French. Also, my pronounciation is really improving too!

The only thing my love of French is missing, is actually having visted France. The only time I (briefly) went to France was when I went to Austria back in 2011 and got the channel ferry from Dover to Calais. But then we only stayed in the ferry terminal for an hour or so at Calais so not really proper France. BUT I am venturing to Marseille at the beginning of July with my A Level French class, and I’m so excited! I can;t ait to experience the culture first hand and practice my speaking skills (hopefully I’ll be confident enough)!

So that just about brings us up-to-date with my French journey. However I will hopefully be posting a fashion-type post over the next week or so (which is new for me so I don’t know how that will go) as due to the hotness of being in the South of France on the French Riveria, I need to go out and buy some summery, lightweight clothing. So look out for that and until then, au revoir!

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A canvas I painted reading “La Vie”

//My plan (or lack of) for the future//

Arghhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh.

^ Basically how I feel right now when it comes to think about the future 😂

But on a more serious note, I feel like I need to have a bit of a ramble about my indecision over what to do in the future and more specifically at uni. For a while now I’ve had my mind set on studying geography and history joint honours at university, because I enjoy both of these subjects so it seemed sensible to carry on with my academic journey down that route. So naturally I had been doing my research and had narrowed it down to five university that do that degree and we’re located in areas I’d be happy to live in, booked open days to go and visit them in the summer and was content with the fact that for once in my life I’d actually managed to make a decision. On Tuesday, the college took us to a UCAS convention at a local-ish uni (I say local but it took like an hour and a half to get there…in a coach that had a hornet/giant wasp thing buzzing around…FUN) where there were representatives from nearly 200 university from around the UK for us to talk to about the degrees they offered. As I’d already been researching universities beforehand, I knew (or thought I did) what degree I was interested in and knew what universities I was considering, so headed straight over to those and found out more info about their geography and history joint degrees, picked up a prospectus and various freebies and then went off with my friends whilst they looked at other unis and courses. I came back from the UCAS convention feeling quite happy with myself as I had had a good chat with some of the unis I was interested in and felt like my future was actually planned and in order. 

However, due to the fact that some of the unis I’d previously picked out no longer offered geography and history, yesterday my dad said he wanted to sit down with me and research other unis that were perhaps a bit far away for me to have considered at first that did the degree I was interested in, but dads being dads, I started googling and researching waiting for him to come and help and he went off and did some gardening for ages so once I’d exhausted what I was originally researching, I started looking at other degrees just out of interest. Which was – hence this post – a fatal error. Or was it? I don’t even know 😂

Basically, I started questioning why I wanted to study history and geography in the first place, which isn’t an unusual thing to be asking myself because when I write my personal statement to apply to unis I’ll have to explain to the unis why I want to study that course. However when I thought about it, I realised I didn’t actually know why I had my mind set on studying that. I mean yes, I do enjoy geography and history and the overview and understanding of the world they give me, but am I really passionate about it? Is it something I’d want to work ridiculously hard for for the next three years? Do I even want a career to do with geography and history? 

The truth is, I may be enthusiastic about geography and history – I’d defend their importance in the education system to the ends of the earth if I could, because I think it’s really important to have an understanding about the wider world and the past world which allowed us to be and live the way we do today, but having enthusiasm for a subject is different from being passionate about it. Passion is more of a feeling, a thrill and a thirst to learn more about that particular thing, and if I’m being honest with myself, I’m not really passionate about history or geography. I do work hard, I do extra work and background reading when I have time, but that’s just because my teachers advise me to do it. I’d work hard at anything, even if I hated it, I think before I’d been a bit oblivious to that because I just assumed because I worked so hard at those subjects, I must really really love them. But then I thought back to my GCSEs and realised that although I worked extremely hard for each subject, I didn’t like everything or enjoy everything – science didn’t interest me, neither did maths or English – so came to the realisation yesterday that it’s more the desire to do well that drives me to work hard at history and geography, not my passion for them.

So then I though, what’s the point of studying those subjects at university when I’m not really passionate about them? It would just be illogical, I mean I enjoy history and geography now but I don’t think studying them in intense detail would interest me at all, I think by the end of a levels I might have reached my limit with them. Also, although I’d had it set in my head that I wanted to study geography and history, I had absolutely no idea where that would lead me as a career or what I even wanted to do as a career. Hence I changed my mind. Again. For like the 50 billionth time.

The other subject I am studying at a level is French. Before yesterday, I’d never considered seriously studying French after college. I mean, I knew I didn’t want to gradually lose my French skills after college so I didn’t want to finish it completely, but was just going to carry it on in my spare time at uni or choose a language module if the course allowed it. Then yesterday, for some unknown reason, I randomly googled language degrees and found one called European Studies (or varients of depending on which uni it is) where you basically study one or two European languages, cultural and social ideas within that country as well as European politics and history and honestly, it was like a light bulb was switched on in my head. 

If you didn’t know, last year I studied government and politics at school and it was unexpectedly thrilling. I loved learning about the way the government and the UK’s political system worked because it felt like I was learning something useful about the mysterious world of law-making and governance and political stuff, I almost carried on the subject at college but it wasn’t possible because of different exam boards so I would have had to retaken the year which would have been a bit pointless considering I did well in the exams. Since stopping politics, it’s still been in the back of my mind – I mean how couldn’t it have been with Brexit and Trump in the news every other day – but as with French, I hadn’t given it much serious thought, mainly because I didn’t know where it would lead me other than becoming a politician which wasn’t what I wanted. But then, the European Studies course just sounds so fascinating! We studied one module about the workings of the EU last year and it was my favourite by far, so I started thinking about maybe a career working for the EU – maybe as like a political advisor or the EU equivalent of the civil services (I’m not really sure if it would be possible now the UK is in the process of leaving the EU but who knows) be wise if there’s one thing I do feel strongly that I want to do with my life is to make a difference to the lives of others,so maybe this is the way to do it?
The more I’ve been contemplating this degree, the more I’ve realised that maybe French – or languages in general – is my passion. I mean, something must have made me decide to take French a level after 5 years of learning it (badly) in school with classes full of people who weren’t even interested in French and teachers who didn’t actually teach us properly,so maybe that was passion? Even now, I’m finding French hard and so so demanding, but still finding myself wanting to put in the effort and wanting to immerse myself in French culture by listening to French radio or watching French TV or reading French news, and I wouldn’t be doing that in my spare time if I didn’t love it would I?

When I think about it, I am very passionate about the importance of languages,especially in education as it’s a well-known fact us British people are reluctant language learners. But I strongly believe that if the way languages were taught and examined in schools was reformed, more young people would be encouraged to take languages, and this is a change I want to campaign for and make a difference towards. And because of this, I think it’s important for me to consider a language degree and not dismiss it on the grounds that I’m not confident enough or don’t have the ability because I have fought too hard for too long to get to even this competency in French which could barely be described as intermediate to give up. I want to keep fighting to become fluent in French and then help others to do the same in a far less stressful environment that students have to learn languages in today.

Although it may sound like I’ve got everything figured out now, I really don’t. Not many universities in the UK actually offer European Studies, and most of them are in Scotland which is miles and miles and miles from where I live. In addition to this, none of the universities I’ve already booked open days for under the pretence of doing geography and history at offer that course so I’m going to have cancel all my plans and start all over again. Finally I’m still yet to convince my parents – and myself – that I’m capable of making the right decision and that languages/politics is a viable career path for me. I mean don’t get me wrong my parents know I’m indecisive better than anyone – the only reason I’d managed to narrow the universities offering geography and history down to five was because they were the only ones within a reasonable distance (of which I mean about 150 miles) of home,and even then I couldn’t find a favourite but that wasn’t too much of an issue as I could figure that out once I’d visited them on their open days in the summer. So when I dropped the bombshell that I don’t want to study that anymore and wanted to change the course completely, they probably thought I’d gone mad. It took me long enough to decide to do geography and history – prior to that I wanted to do just history – so because I keep changing my mind, they probably think I don’t have a clue what I want and will get to uni and change my mind after a few weeks. And honestly, I’m struggling myself to trust myself to make the right decision. It’s hard, and I’m sure there are many other people my age going through the same thing. It’s drilled into us that what we decide to do at uni will set us in a particular path for life – as we progress few education, we gradually make our options narrower and narrower by going from studying 10 GCSEs, to 3 a levels, to one/two subjects at degree level – but that’s not the case, because many degrees lead to a wide variety of careers and sometimes you don’t even need a specific degree for a job, so really unless you do something very specific like ship building, then you should be fine. I’m gradually coming to terms with the fact that my choice for university degrees won’t ruin my future, or limit me too much, but I feel like the next week or so are going to be very hectic trying to persuade my parents and myself that European Studies is what I want to do.

Anyway, that was a bit of a long ramble so congratulations if you made it to the end. If you have any tips for choosing what to do at uni or are in the same situation as me, feel free to comment below. 🙂

We went on a geography field trip to Cardiff today and had a guided tour if the Senedd (Welsh assembly building) which was really interesting and honestly helped with the whole falling-back-in-love-with-politics thing.

//A Love For Languages//

​Languages are beautiful; the way the same group of letters can be arranged in a different order, said in a different way, and mean something completely different depending on where you are in the world, is honestly fascinating. The fact that to each letter of every alphabet, a certain sound is assigned and when you connects series if “sounds” together, a longer sound – or word – is formed and it means something to someone somewhere, never ceases to amaze me.

Languages are not just form of communication, but a key to the culture and values and history of a country. By learning a language, you’re learning a way of life and gaining an understanding of how the hundreds of billions of other people on the earth live and breath. 
Sometimes, when learning or reading about another country, I find myself daydreaming about how there are people living their lives completely differently to me, on another part of the world, speaking another language and am in awe of how diverse a planet we live on.


How different languages came to be also intrigues me, like how there is so much variation – or similarity – between two different languages, or how languages are all interconnected, taking leaves from each others branches and tweaking them a bit. Languages remind me of patchwork quilts, formed of different words and phrases from different countries stitched together to create something that a whole population of people can use to make themselves understood, and yet is still different to the voice of a neighbouring nation or community. 
Since I started learning French in school about 5 years ago, I’ve been gradually falling in love with languages. Languages are part of who I am, or who I aspire to be. I’ve always had a curiosity for the world and it’s people, and how things came to be the way they are today, and languages is just another part of that, another adventure. 
The more I’ve become invested in studying languages – and the more my language skills have developed – the more I have discovered about the world we live in and about different cultures. Languages really do open doors, the are the key to civilisations past and present and possess a wealth of knowledge and history and roots that help tie down communities to the ever changing world.

It’s no surprise that because of this, languages are difficult to learn. Hundreds of years of generations of people have shaped and remade each language into what we know them as today, and in order to learn them – to truly understand them – we have to respect the fact that languages are constantly growing and changing. From the moment a means of communication is established, however primative, the seed of a language is sown. And as more and more people use words, phrases passed in through generations, the seed grows, branching out from it’s stem and developing into a language, a tongue. 

The rewarding thing about languages though is the constant journey of discovery they lead you on. With every word and rule you learn, you uncover more and more about a country and it’s culture, and, most importantly, the power of words. And the feeling you get when you are able to speak in another tongue is worth all the hours and years of hard work. 
And that’s why I love languages. They are as much a part of me as my emotions and thoughts; they are my voice and the voice of millions and billions of others. Sometimes, we just need to take a step back and admire the beauty of our languages. 

It can seem impossible at times to master a language and encompass the culture and nature of a country within it’s words, spoken or heard or written; shared. To unlock the door into another world, another life, that languages offer can seem but a distant dream. The real key to language learning for me is not being able to speak or write fluently, or understand every single word belonging to that language, but to be able to feel the language. To feel the weight of centuries of generations of speakers roll off my tongue with each word I say or to feel the buzz of another culture make the hairs in my skin prickle at the sight of foreign words, that’s really understanding a language. And that’s the best feeling ever.

//Aujourd’hui//

Salut! Aujourd’hui je pensé que ce serrait bon à écrit un blog dans français donc je peux vous montrer comment mal je suis à français. Il y avait beaucoup d’erreurs dans ce mais je vais procéder néanmoins!! Donc, aujourd’hui je me lève plus tard parce que c’est une banque vacance lundi donc je n’ai pas allé à l’école !!! Yay ! Je passe le matin en ville avec mon père et ma sœur car je regardais pour des bijoux pour ma promo école de bal en juin. Malheureusement, les bijoux je trouvé dans l’internet le mois dernier était pas en magasin. Nous passé les heures marche en ville mais seulement trouve des boucles d’oreilles puisque la plupart des bijoux était bleu clair et ma robe est blue sombre. Cependant, j’adore les boucles d’oreilles particulièrement car ils regarder comme des balloons! Ils ont aussi très confortable au porter et ils regarder bon avec ma robe. Apres aller en ville, nous rentré a la maison et manger du dejeuner qui était genial mais le soupe était trop chaud! Puis je fais des revision pour la biologie qui est tres ennuyeux donc je écouté de la radio au lieu. Ma mère trouver des cassettes lequel ma sœur et moi fabrique quand nous étions petits. Ils ont très amusant !!! Depuis j’ai révisé des français et écrit ce. Merci beaucoup pour lire ce !! Désolée pour toutes les erreurs !


My, that was stressful!! It’s so hard to get all of the accents and tenses and stuff correct when your computer insists on doing an English spell check on everything! Nevertheless, I MANAGED to write something in French!! Yay! I guess it’s a start to me becoming more fluent in French. Admittedly, I did have to look up a few words/spellings in Google translate but the majority of it came out of my own brain. I’ll type up a translation for those of you who don’t know French.

Hi! Today I though that it would be good to write a blog post in French so I can show you how bad I am at French. There will be a lot of error in this but I will proceed nevertheless!! So, today I woke up later because it is a bank holiday Monday so I don’t have to go to school!! Yay! I spent this morning in town with my dad and my sister because I was looking for some jewellery for my school prom in June. Unfortunately, the jewellery that I found on the internet last month was not in store. We spent hours walking round town but only found earrings because most of the jewellery was light blue and my dress is dark blue. However, I love the earrings particularly because they look like balloons!!

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This is a really bad quality photo.

They are also very comfortable to wear and look good with my dress. After going to town, we returned to the house and ate lunch which was great but the soup was too hot! Then I did revision for biology which is very boring so I listened to the radio instead. My mum found some cassette tapes which my sister and I made when we were little. They are very funny!!!

Since then I have revised some French and written this. Thanks a lot for reading this!! Sorry for all the mistakes!

Ooh, I forgot! Today I also rope braided my hair and LOOK AT THE AMAZING RESULTS!!!
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ACTUAL. PROPER. CURLS. Not the pathetic excuse for curly my hair usually is!! I’m so pleased with it. I’m definitely going to try this out more often and may even end up using it as a basis for my prom hairstyle. By the way my hair is actually brown, not ginger. I think I used the flash for this photo, that’s why. My hair colour is normally like this:
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Dull and brown 😂 but I like the other photo better so I showed you guys that one! 😂

Anyway, hope you all had/are having a lovely day. Back to school tomorrow for me. Ugh. But only for 4 days then I have two weeks off!!!!!! 🙂

//Language is freedom//

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Languages are amazing if you think about it – they allow us to get our thoughts and views and thoughts and feelings heard and understood. Without them, know one would know what each other was saying – imagine a world where no one can communicate with eachother. Imagine how lonely and isolating that would feel…

I think it’s so important to be able to speak multiple languages, even if it’s just a tiny bit of another language. I think a lot of British people are under the impression that they will never need to leanr another language because the majority of the rest of the world also learns and speaks English. Especially young people, I find. Like, I’d say about 80% of my French class at some point has moaned about how boring and hard and pointless it is to learn another language. Learning a language, however, is the complete opposite of that. How can gaining an insight into another countries culture and identity be boring? How can it be pointless to equip yourself with a valuable skill that can open so many new doors for? Learning a language, however, is hard. But that doesn’t mean you should give up on it! I find learning languages really rewarding as as you gradually go along, you find yourself understanding more and more of that language without even having to think about it! The more you practice a language, the more effort you put in to learning, the easier it gets.

Personally, I have studied French at school for seven years now but only in the last year or so have I actually appreciated the value and importance of learning a foreign language. I really enjoy learning French but, as I said earlier, it seems that most of my classmates do not. They all complain about having to learn vocab each week and having to do writing and speaking assessments and what not. They are not able to see the value of learning another language, of gaining and developing a new skill. This makes me sad.

Especially in today’s society, a language is a valuable skill to have and could be the difference between you getting a job or not. Even if after studying French I slowly start to forget parts of the language because I will be out of practice, the fact that I will have GCSE (and hopefully A-Level) French on my CV will prove that I am capable of learning new skill.

I really, really hope French sticks with me for a long time though. I mean, at the moment I am definitely not fluent in speaking French. I can write better then I can speak it but still not as well as I can read/hear French and understand it. The thing is, pretty much all of my friends who take French dislike it so I never have anyone to peactice speaking it with. I know speaking it moee often would help me understand more and possibly help with my listening exams as I wpuld be able to understand the sometimes difficult pronounciation more, but talking French to yourself is not much fun and feels kind of weird to be honest!

According to Duolingo (the language-learning website I use to revise for French – I highly recommend it to learn any language to be honest) I am currently 46% fluent in French. As the website only tests my reading, listening and writing skills though, I know I am definitely not that fluent in speaking it! I think you can get it to test you on speaking too if you want but you have to download the app on to your phone/tablet and my phone doesn’t have enough space.

Anyway, back to my point (whatever it was – it’s really annoying when I ramble amd get off track sometimes), even though I can’t speak fluent French, I’d like to think that I could understand quite a bit of French if I actually went to French (hopefully or else the past 7 years have been a waste!). I also started learning German on Duolingo last summer and got to about 35% fluent but when I started revising for my GCSE French exams in February, I had to give up German as I didn’t have time to do both but someday I will pick up German again because I have always wanted to learn it (probably due to my obsession/love of Germany and everything German).

But what I’m really trying to say here is that learning languages is good and important and interesting. I think people should really start to value languages more and, especially in my school, show respect towards their foreign language teachers and actually put effort into learning a new language.

Even with my small amount of German, when I went to Berlin last year, I did manage to speak a little bit of German like ‘hello’ and ‘thanks’ and ‘yes’ and ‘no’ and ‘goodbye’ and whatnot. I even managed to order food in German which I was surprised at. So you see, languages make going to foreign countries a whole lot more interesting and fun because it’s so rewarding to make yourself understood in another language.

So, if you have the opportunity to learn a new language, I’d say embrace it! Languages are such a magnificant thing and laguages really are freedom, after all. 🙂

Hope your all having a good Easter weekend, whatever religion you belong to!

P.S. I couldn’t find a related feature image sooo…yeah I kinda just chose one from Berlin! 🙂