Okay, this question comes from personal experience. It’s a long explanation, but bear with me. I’ve been thinking a lot about all the information that’s been coming out in the last couple years about American students not studying foreign languages (or foreign, non-european, anything). I know people are going to jump on me for that, so, yes, I’m exaggerating, but not much.
From first grade until my sophomore year in college, I did horribly in my French classes. I had always heard that there was a foreign language “exemption” exam that one could take (either in high school or college) and be exempt from the required foreign language classes all students had to take (which are minimal to begin with). I had always thought of taking it because I thought I had a foreign language disability, but I always waited to long or just decided to eek by with a low B (which is completely possible for someone who knows nothing about a language with the tests are organized so that a student just proves that he remembers vocabulary and the organization of a sentence, in other words he is not required to actually USE the language).
Well, my sophomore year in college, as a result of everything that was going on in the world, I became interested in learning about the world and it’s languages. I decided I wanted to be fluent in at least one foreign langauge.
Now, three years later, I live in Paris. All of my classes are in French. My girlfriend and I both speak to each other in French (neither of our langue maternelle ). Not only have I found that I can learn another language, I’ve found that I’m rather good at it. Through having friends from all over the world, I can now have simple, basic conversations in several langauges (Chinese, Italian, Spanish), and people always compliment my pronounciation.
So, it turns out I never had a language learning deficiency. That’s not to say that I speak French perfectly at all, but I can speak it nonetheless.
The reason I mention this, is that I know many people who had the same outlook as I did who took their distaste for language studies (which we all saw as pointless) as a deficiency, and they were exempt from studying a language. **So, I want to know to what extent it really is possible that someone CANNOT learn a foreign language ** or is it a bunch of people that see it as pointless or don’t give a damn?
see what I’m saying.