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Exactly 100 words's worth of language learning reflection daily

Monday, 18 February 2019


Borrowing from Freddy Mercury: “I want to be free” (from false dichotomies).  

I’ve come to the conclusion that Krashen’s ideas, while sound, are at the end of the pendulum’s range. They need to for us to be able to discuss them as separate and new. 
But in reality, there’s a spectrum of thinking. There are points of balance that for each person must decide about various aspects. 

It’s not between No grammar and All grammar. It’s some grammar. It’s not word lists learned consciously or unconsciously. It’s a mix of the two.

So it’s about figuring out where one stands.

Tuesday, 29 January 2019


My bed-time reading last night was Hold On to Your Kids co-authored by Gabor Mate. In it, I came across something interesting relevant to language learning. 
Attachment provides power-assisted learning - how delightful it is, many people have found, to study a new language when in love with the charming instructor! Whether we know it or not, as parents and teachers we rely heavily on attachment to make models out of us.
 So perhaps them premise of Maeve Binchy's Evening Class was not as far-fetched as I originally thought. Perhaps I ought to work on attachment starting the new semester.

Monday, 28 January 2019


In India, I once read M.M. Kaye’s Far Pavillions. Yesterday—36 years later—I  pick up her autobiography (part 2), Golden Afternoon from a Lilliput.

Kaye returned to India after 9 years of English public boarding schools. She describes her dismay at having lost the language that she had expected to retain like knowing how to ride a bicycle.

She descibes Hindustani that the populace spoke as being a mixture of Arabic, Pushtu, Farsee (becoming Urdu) and Hindi. Ah, what memories this observation evokes!

Time to delve once again into my own stew of languages that I wish to stir.

Tuesday, 1 January 2019


I spent a couple of hours on the first day of the year  2019 – trying to find logs, journals and diaries kept by people about their own language learning experiences. There aren’t many. Most are commercial in nature. They want you to join their list. They wish to sell you their product. They are convinced that they have the secret, and that they know how to share it.

In short, there ain’t no fraternity out there on the Internet along the lines of language learning mutual support. Which only goes to show that the (a non-commercial one) opportunity exists!