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Thursday, September 8, 2011

Learn foreign languages by having fun reading. ( 1)

One of the many pieces of advice Michel Thomas gave me was to read.

I am the first of five kids. Born in NYC I was alone for many years. Sure I had a brother and three sisters but we were never close friends. To this day, I am only really close to my eldest sister. My parents both worked and I was in school. I would come home to an empty house; my parents got home in the late evening for many years. My brother and sisters hung out with their friends after school. Up until I was in high school I had only one or two friends. Our friendship was built around shared interests. One of my friends was interested in old movies. Another enjoyed writing. This became the basis of our friendship. Other than that I was basically a loner.

My main activity outside of school was reading. I would tell people that my closest friends were my books. Via reading I explored the world and formulated many dreams. This was the basis for my real education.

I loved reading and became a regular at the local public library.

Eventually, I even ended up with a Master Degree in Library Science and worked in the field for many years in public, academic and research libraries.

Any extra money I had was spent on books. I saw books as my teachers, my mentors. For many years I truly believed that any question or problem I faced could be solved by reading.

Over the ten years I studied with Michel Thomas we often discussed books and reading.

Though it is not mentioned in his recorded courses one of the essential parts of his language courses when done in person was learning how to read and build one's vocabulary in the target language by reading.

Since I studied two languages privately with him, I was exposed to this part of his work.

What I shall do is to teach you some of what he taught me in improving your vocabulary via reading.

( To be continued)

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2 Comments:

Blogger Charles said...

I enjoyed your post. I read Rechy years ago as a high school student in the 80s but I haven't thought of him for years. Thanks for sharing some of the history of his first novel.

September 21, 2011 at 5:35 PM  
Blogger Harold said...

Hi, Charles

Thanks for writing.

Rechy knows how to put words together in a way that is magical. He was very much self-taught having read many books. Most great writers put in a lot of time reading. Then they write. It is a back and forth road for many of them. However, fundamentally, one must write on a constant basis. The most important thing is to love it. Otherwise, you won't last too long especially when the times get rough.

Every author has his own style. I enjoy Rechy's.

September 21, 2011 at 5:58 PM  

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