One of the advantages of not cutting the hedge. A bit of overhead yellow is always very nice.

Dad this is just going over my head.”

He wasn’t referring to the hedge as well…

“This is refusing to enter my brain. Sometimes dyslexia is a right pain in the butt….”

He was referring to French. In particular today’s lesson. All about grammatical gender. It’s not an easy concept for English speaking numpties like me as we don’t tend to get so focused on gender and nouns. Which is most odd as our language is heavily derived from Anglo-Saxon and French, which are. So you can hear my brain chug away when it sees

A simple word like HAPPY become in French either HEUREUX (masculine) or HEUREUSE (feminine).

Hard for me, a nightmare for a dyslexic. So a lesson of writing these out for an hour is just torture for him. Yes you can try and learn the rules. But when you struggle to pick up word and letter patterns – it’s not much help.

Hey Dad I’m dyslexic in multiple languages. Surely I get a badge for that.”

We should really be switching dyslexic kids to different learning techniques. Maybe focusing just on visual and verbal learning. Using fun, online teaching resources. Finding out what works and what doesn’t work for each industry child. Unfortunately teachers are given so little flexibility by our Government. They have to stick to the national curriculum. Sadly the factory education approach doesn’t work for many. So we try to make the best of it. But it’s not easy seeing your child struggle.

It feels like you are holding onto the side of a giant bolder as it tumbles down a hill. Not in control and just grimly trying not to fall off. But eventually you reach the bottom. You can take a breather before you start tumbling again. I guess the secret is to make the most of the flat bits. Grab that ice cream and think of ways to make the tumbling down hill more fun. Must be possible. Remember being a kid and rolling down the slopes. As long as you avoided the nettles and animal droppings, it was the best laugh ever. So we will put our thinking hats on, how to make learning French fun.

Bonne journee (yes I know I’ve dropped a mark for the missing thingy off the e, but my keyboard doesn’t do French)….

Please note one of my great regrets is that I’m not multilingual. I love talking to people who can effortlessly switch languages. So I will keep going. You never know, one day…

75 thoughts on “Over my head

  1. One thing about it- your son has a good sense of humor in spite of it all. That’s a helpful quality in life when you’re struggling so you’re rocking the dad thing.

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  2. I’d love to be able to speak other languages. I wish I’d bothered to learn when I was younger but it never interested me then.

    And if you make any sarcastic remarks about Brummie being another language …

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  3. I was raised in a bi-lingual household … Spanish & English, and both come naturally to me, but French??? A whole ‘nother critter altogether! If he has a choice of languages, tell him to pick Spanish … a very simple, yet beautiful language where every letter, with very few exceptions, has only one possible sound and every letter is pronounced, none of these silent letters! Granddaughter Natasha is taking a self-study course in Japanese … even worse than French!!! Best of luck! xx

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      1. Of all the languages in the world, I truly believe it is the simplest to learn. I’ll be happy to help in any way I can. English, by the way, is a pain in the royal you-know-what, for they have all these rules, but most things are exceptions to the rules, like that stupid “I before E except after C”. And silent letters, and letters that might be pronounced in 15 different ways, depending on the word!

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  4. I used to teach a bunch of French kids, of mixed abilities, it was fun finding ways to engage their interest and help them learn. Whatever it takes! The kids went from being the the bottom in their class to top in English, and got good marks in their exams. They confidently speak English today and it has helped many of them in their careers. I’m sure you and your son can together find a way to make French fun.

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  5. If I were trying to remember a word like that I would make up something that will stick in my head. It’s a good trick. HEUREUX could be broken down into HE UR (you are) EUX is the hard part … fem…HEUR -E- USE. That second one would work for me HEUR spelled badly and I need to watch my E-Use 😃 The masculine is definitely harder. But maybe something like that could help him.

    (masculine) or HEUREUSE

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  6. I actually learned that trick from a Science teacher I will never forget the element for gold AU. A YOU! GET BACK HERE WITH MY GOLD. lol. I don’t remember all the other elements, but I do remember that one.

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  7. I’m fluent in English, Irish and Turkish, plus learnt French and German in school and did a Japanese language course until I quit due to sleazy teacher. And yet most days I struggle to speak in any language at all. And I’ve discovered it’s no loss really.

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  8. 3 years of French and I barely remember any of it. Bu the 3rd year, all instruction was in French and I understood it🤷🏼‍♀️
    Living near the Mexican border, Spanish would’ve been smarter. And because I perfected the French “r” sound, I can’t do a Spanish “r” to save my life.
    Now, English… that I mangle on purpose😉🤣🤣💌

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  9. Spanish has femme/masculine words but they’re firm rules… an item is always feminine (usually ends with an “a”) or masculine (ends with an “o ).

    How does femme/masc work in french?

    I recall when a company I worked for decided to include language options for audio feedback on a medical device. When we learned French has crazy rules for counting (“four 20s and 8”, or something like that), the project was abandoned!!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I studied French for 5 years in high school, but that was about a hundred years ago. I found it quite easy then except for the spoken part, but I remember very little now. I actually won an award in Grade 12 and Grade 13 for French grammar. I could’t ever translate one paragraph of much of anything today. I would love to learn Hebrew and Greek to be able to read the Bible in the original languages, but at my age, when things I have known for years are starting to at least hide themselves if not actually disappear, I don’t imagine it would be a good time to start on such a big project. I’ll just have to stick with my Strong’s Concordance when I want to know what a word means. Glad your son can take his dyslexia in a positive and humorous way. I have wondered for years if you can develop dyslexia when you are older. I tend to mix up my words both in reading and in speaking and can come out with some of the funniest things. I never had that problem while in school.

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  11. I had one year of Spanish and one year of French in HS. I remember the French name my teacher gave me and that’s it. I’ve learned a little more Spanish due to living in Texas and immigrants from being a Driver’s License Examiner. Their Padre-Madre last names are fascinating.

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  12. I can only do it by mistake, but on most screen keyboards if you hit a double “e” you can come out with a “e accent grave. ” So far I have never succeeded in making an “accent aigu” or an “accent circonflex”, but I figure if there is a way to do one, there should be a way to do them all. Just in case you forgotten, grave is down from the left, aigu is up towards the right, and circonflex is the pointy hat.

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  13. You know…there must be other parents out there with the same problems you are encountering, tutoring a child with learning disabilities…would it not be a great time to collect together all the techniques everyone has come up with and maybe create some sort of plan? I know, I’m probably dreaming about a perfect world. It just seems a shame to not use all that you have developed. I am a great admirer of people who are multi lingual.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. I couldn’t get on with Latin because, I discovered in my 40s, I had passed the 11+ to Grammar school without knowing any grammatical terms – that put another language in the way – so I really sympathise with Son

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  15. I’ve been thinking a lot lately about ASL and it’s particular usefulness in a time where we see so many public announcements. Some Universities allow substitutions for languages to ASL. Maybe your son would find he was good at it? Something to think about.

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  16. I always wanted to be multilingual as well. I can’t hear Spanish to save my life, but I can read it pretty well. And with all this time – probably could have started learning something new!

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      1. It so is. I remember our first holiday in France. Stated in a small hotel in Tours. The owner only spoke to us in French. Even when we were struggling with our French. Funny thing is when we left, as we signed out he talked to us in the most perfect English.

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