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Expert blog post: Catherine Watson on "French Lessons"

Thumbnail image for catherine_watson.jpgThe foreign-language section of my memory is more jumbled than usual this spring. It's always been something of a junk drawer, where all the odd remnants of my past linguistic efforts have accumulated.

Like so many drawers in my house, this one makes me regret I didn't keep it organized all along.

I'm about to teach a summer writing workshop in France, for the second time, and this time I vowed I'd be ready. This meant signing up for remedial French in a community education program this winter. Just how remedial, I didn't know.

At first, every sentence I tried to form in French came out in Spanish, the language I started learning in Mexico 40 years ago and am still working on. (I decided long ago that I'd never understand Spanish subjunctive, so I've concentrated on accent and vocabulary, but I cling proudly to those.)

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