I got a wonderful e-mail from a Russian reader, Elena Davos, who has kindly allowed me to quote some of it:
It all started with “The Last Samurai”.
In 2002 I worked as PR manager for the Sheraton hotel in
And the journalist said something like:
You know, may be, being a single mom of a 5 y.o. girl, you will find this stuff interesting. It is about how to teach kids foreign languages. I think you’ll enjoy it.
For one point the journalist was right however. Having finished We Never Get Off at Sloane Square I quickly taught my daughter Greek letters.
It was not like with Ludo. She could not wake up at 7 am and ask for a book to work with. But anyway she learned how to read in French and in Russian using the method you described in the book: highlighting the words she knew with a yellow Stabilo. Writing with Latin letters Russian words. Asking me millions of questions I didn’t know the answer to. I’m not (at all) a patient teacher, I wasn’t born to be a teacher, I never wanted to be a teacher. But somehow “couper la difficulté en quatre” helped me. It helped me with my daughter; it helped me with my son. During my Russian lessons in
…as at that time my daughter liked to listen to my stories, I told her some bits of what happened in Odyssey. She immediately asked who Homer was, and it blocked me again, and I had to stop, to reread, and to describe several points of view, about Unitarians and others, as simple as possible.
It breaks my heart to tell the truth, but I wasn’t persistent enough and she doesn’t remember how to read Greek letters now. She still remembers though what happens in Odyssey 5, 6 & 7. She started Japanese this winter. She is 11 y. o.
I’m happily looking forward to teaching languages to my 3 y.o. son who is bilingual and twice as stubborn as my daughter.