Wednesday, November 22, 2006
I find mastering the conjugation of verbs one of the most daunting tasks... ever. In the past I learned the conjugated verb forms by rote or my version of "muscle memory": writing out the forms over and over and over...
Tactics relying on mindless repetition led to boredom but earnestly trying to understand and apply the principles of conjugation just left me with a mal de tête and anxiety: so many irregular verbs and which tense to use? Trying to make sense of it all only hampered my progress so I usually shut off my brain and memorized enough to pass my tests.
This time around I don't want to shut my mind off, strain my hand or get a headache! I'd been basically avoiding the verb task- conjugating only when necessary.
So when I heard about the podcast Verbcast - French verbs by relaxation (merci Jim!) I knew I needed to check it out. Who could resist: "sitting back, closing their eyes, and suddenly knowing their French verbs!" Pas moi! I want to "suddenly know" my French verbs in the four main tenses in just four weeks (5 podcasts a week). "Ooh-ooh-ooh, Mr. Kotter!"
But after listening to the first Verbcast it's more like "om, Mark Pentleton" -
and with a Scottish accent. Relaxation and visual techniques as well as Mr. Pentleton's hypnotic voice helps you to project the verb conjugations on your "cerebral screen".
I've listened to four Verbcasts and it is truly a relaxing way to learn the verbs- so much so that I would recommend it to others who also have trouble with meditating or relaxing. You'll come away conjugating French verbs correctly and you will have learned how to focus on your breath as well as how to get away from it all.
The first podcast explains the Verbcast concept and if you aren't familiar with relaxation and visual techniques or have never tried meditating it may be a jolt to enter the world of your cerebral screen. Hang in there, though- I think you will find the IMAX of your mind an enjoyable place to learn. I do.
un mal de tête a headache
pas moi not me
La photo: Les fleurs (inversed) dans le jardin du musée Marc Chagall, à Nice.