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Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Destressing While Grading: French Lessons

Could anything be more dispiriting than reading research papers which are a pastiche of copied and pasted primary and secondary sources? And the sources are found--sadly--on sites with names like schmoop and gradesaver. Every now and then, the sites present dubious information (like the "fact" that Shakespeare was depressed about the closing of the theaters and so wrote sonnet 29. Or the "fact" that  clowns and fools  are markers only of comedy. Really? Only? Isn't there a fool in King Lear?) Enough! My mission in life is to develop assignments that help the students learn to read the material. Alas, I am required to assign traditional research papers in certain courses, assignments that were developed before EZ COPY PASTE (should I trademark that?).

So, to take a break, I am playing with Duolingo, the language learning site I first read about on Frugalshrink. How I wish I had had this before. I last studied French around 40 years ago. One kind woman we met in France told me that she could tell the language was in there, trying to get out.

I hope so. I don't know if I could learn a language from scratch on this, but I am tearing through the lessons and will hit the more sophisticated and difficult Foreign Service lessons later.

 Today I even had to translate a frugal saying.

Acheter mieux, jeter moins.

Well sort of frugal. Could one also say Acheter moins, jeter moins? Je crois que oui.

I am so happy! Back to the grind.


hostess of the humble bungalow said...

I am struggling with my French much to learn...grammar, tense, and I feel like you might have just thrown me a life raft.
Merci beau coup madame!

Gam Kau said...

I turned 50 and reconciled myself with the idea I'm not going to be multilingual. Too many half hearted attempts and I know it simply isn't a priority to me. Good luck in with your practice - and your grading of papers. :)

Liamsmom2 said...

My mother in law just told me about DuoLingo! In Massachusetts, a few towns have French immersion starting in 1st grade in public school. My nephews are in this program. A downside, my sister in law could not read her Mother's Day card from her first grader(must tell her about DuoLingo!) A plus, their accents are adorable!

The Frugal Shrink said...

Yay for DuoLingo!!! I love how it is a good distraction when I need it AND I'm learning something at the same time.

Good luck with those papers. :/

Frugal Scholar said...

@Hostess--Hope it works for you.
@GK--I'll never be truly bilingual. But I have been wanting to do this for such a long time.
@Liamsmom--Oh, your nephews are so lucky. My son works at a French school and the kids learn so quickly.
@FS--I owe it all to your post. Merci beaucoup. Y gracias (Spanish is next)

Shelley said...

Grading papers sounds like such a downer. You talked earlier about retiring soon, is there a countdown yet?