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Thursday, January 27, 2011

Through the Open Window: A Manifesto for Approaching Language Study with an Open Mind

(Editor's Note: A Manifesto is 'a written statement declaring publicly the intentions, motives, or views of its issuer(Merriam-Webster)' which means what you're about to read is highly opinionated, more blunt in tone and likely to make you angry. Just a fair bit warning, since it's a bit long and you may not agree with what I'm about to say. And yes, I do expect you not to skimp, silly *laughs*)

The language we're raised with is shaped by grammar, colored by vocabulary & powered by culture, a word strongly tied to the stuffy and snooze-inducing aspects of our world-for example, the guy who turns his nose at those not into musicals or fine wines.

However, as culture can be manifested by a tea ceremony, so can it manifest through Causal Fridays & riding the bike trail to Border's with your friends every Saturday, all 3 a way of doing things cultivated through shared values & beliefs. When grammar, vocabulary & culture work in sync, our thoughts gain life & let us interact with the world how we want to, even if we've never seen it before.

You may be wondering how this relates to learning a language, and to that I say this: In understanding this you not only uncover the key to learning a language, but the key to learning it as your language.