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What's language learning...

Dernière mise à jour : 31 mars 2020

A few figures and a lot of positive vibes

So you want to learn a new language. To start of with, it is exciting and fun! Or maybe not... But you never seem to manage to make it to that next step.

How to get from A1 to A2, and then on to B1, B2? Or further still...

Well, you need to know a certain number of words.

A1 : around 500 words (discovery)

A2 : from 800 to 1200 words (survival)

B1 : from 1500 to 2000 words (everyday life)

B2: around 2400 words (professional use)

C1 : wide range of vocabulary (Swiss army knife ;-) you can deal with anything that comes your way)

C2: extensive specialised knowlegde (better than the average native speaker)

By the way, did you know that you could find word frequency lists for French and other languages online. Check out the 2000 most frequent French words. How many are you familiar with?

A few more fun facts:

You can count up to 100 000 different words in a French dictionary and apparently up to 500 000 in The Oxford English Dictionary!

The average 11 year-old student in France knows around 6000 words.

On a daily basis, an adult uses between 300 and 3000 various words.

And what's knowing a word? There are three aspects to take into account:

1. How is it pronounced and written?

2.What does it mean?

3. How do you use it? (grammar)

And how do you go from the painful retrieving of information in your brain to an automatic response with the right word, said, understood or written appropriately in its context? REPETITION!

Actually, you will remember some words straight away, for example swear words! Others won't stick. Most of the time, it will take between 5 and 20 repetitions to create a lasting memory. And I am not talking about mechanical repetition, but about the use of the word associated with the various senses: you need to hear it, say it, write it, connect it with emotions... Positive emotions are better!

If you are stressed or in a bad mood during the lesson, your brain will not be that receptive. So the environment in which you learn is also very important. It needs to be comfortable, positive, engaging.

That is precisely why I offer babble breaks, activities, workshops, coaching for self-study and use a fun and creative approach to teaching.

Want to know more? Get in touch.

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