About Me

I am Helen, 50 years young  and a little bit obsessed with languages.   I am an English language teacher from the North of England, mum to two pre-teenage children and now a keen language learner.  As well as Teaching English I am  trying to inspire my kids and others around me to learn a few languages and to use their languages for fun and friendships.    Don’t tell me you are too old to learn a language.  I am certain language learning is possible for everybody, there is no such thing as “a language gene”.  You can start to learn a language at  age 1 or 101  and language learning can be fun at any age.

Up until the age of 49 I could only speak English.  Before the birth of my children I worked for over 15 years in English Universities,   I had access to all the latest language-learning technology in the library and I dabbled a few times in language learning.   I  learnt key phrases to get by when travelling in another country.  I knew enough phrases in French, Spanish and German to say “hello” and “goodbye”.   I knew the essential phrases for an English tourist; I could buy a drink in a bar and  order food from a menu.  But that was all!   I could say my set phrases,  but if people tried to talk to me, I had no idea what they were saying.  Native speakers  spoke too fast, it sounded jumbled up,  I did not know how to reply.     I certainly could not hold a conversation in any language other than English.

At the age of  49 I decided that i wanted to speak French.  I had family who had moved to French-speaking countries.  I wanted to not only say my set phrases but this time to understand the replies.  Even more than that, I wanted to be able to hold a conversation with French speakers.  Having now studied French for over a year and achieved most  of my goals, I have moved on to learning Spanish.   I am still learning French, but at the moment I am using and improving my French by reading French websites, watching French Films and TV series and even reading novels in French.   I would never have dreamed my level of Fench would be good enough to do this!  I am living  proof that it possible to learn a language age  50.

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