Tag Archive: french

I came across this book entitled Effective electronic gaming in education by Richard E. Ferdig.

I have not had the chance to read it yet, I hope to do so when the time is right.

Why is this book of interest to me?

Firstly I love culture and I like teaching which to me means sharing knowledge. Sharing culture can only be done through language and I feel that that is the main reason why I love languages. Through hard work, language gives me the possibility of accessing another world and being a part of it. Secondly I like this book so far (I have read the introduction only) because it is centred around gaming. I love games, I was such a loyal gamer that I played World of Warcraft regularly, had a human mage, elf rogue, and dwarf hunter all to level 60 as well as other characters. I had serious objectives that I needed to attain and alternated between French and British realms. I learned to play WoW and picked up the vocabulary surrounding the MMORPG in French and English. I am fluent in WoW. I also managed to pick up a rare purple sabertooth mount after lots of work and no help from bots. These feats may not seem like much but I played WoW the day it came out in France and a year later I had several level 60s and then I stopped. This experience revealed quite a few things I did not know about myself:

  1. I don’t lack dedication but sometimes I cross over to the other side and become a techno hermit. I have learnt to manage this particular behaviour. My biggest accomplishment was stopping my addiction in 2005 and replacing game work with home work.
  2. When immersed in something I love, I learn everything about the immediate environment. I was a regular on WoW fora looking for tips on how to %*$ and carried out extensive research on the professions to choose and the skills sets I needed to nurture. For example, elves by nature can become invisible, it seemed logical at times to train as a rogue, stealth being an asset and then pick up leather working or poison-making as a profession. Leather working because rogues could only wear leather and anyway rogues are fast killers and so on.

So imagine if I had played a game like WoW that was just as fun and picked up a language that was useful in the real world, sky’s the limit. I must say that in WoW you do manage money, work in teams, sometimes you become Guild leaders and sometimes you become the fairy Godmother, I was more the latter than the former. I used to hang around low level instances (level 10 to 20) as a level 40 mage helping friends and strangers complete their quests which is what I loved doing the most. So one could say I am a not-for-profit oriented mage. Therefore, there is no shortage of real world skills within the world of WoW and leadership is an important part of WoW when going through instances and killing your xxxx millioneth Orc.

All this to say that true MMORPG style games as a language learning tool would be a Godsend to visual learners and language aficionados.





你会说什么? What do you speak?              西班牙语. Spanish/Castillian

普通话. Mandarin. Putonghua                      印地语. Hindi

Cultural information


There are different languages in China. When we refer to the Chinese language (as non Chinese speakers) we often mean Putonghua which is spoken in mainland China. Another Chinese language that is important to know about is Cantonese.


There are different languages in India. There is no such thing as the Indian language, Hindi is one of the major languages of India. Urdu is also spoken in India.


No offense to Mexicans or other hispanophones, I am just trying to differentiate between the different languages spoken in Spain and the fact that when we refer to Spanish we are in fact talking about Castillan Spanish.


I have a feeling that the Chinese do not differentiate between the English as a people and the British people. I think it would be interesting to read literature about the British during the 18th century from a Chinese perspective.

I am interested in British imperialism from a Chinese perspective. For those of you that have read or studied this topic, could you recommend a book or two? 



It is almost the end of the week and I have not made a week 5 entry. On the one hand I could blame christmas and then tomorrow I can blame the new year festivities for slowing me down. 😀 I would rather own up and just say again that I have not accomplished what I wanted to accomplish for this week. In concrete terms, I wanted to complete the season two of absolute beginners level of Chinese101. I was not able to do that, instead I completed ten out of 25 lessons. I am trying to understand why I did not complete at least 1/3 of the lessons.

Going back to complete the survival phrases season (equivalent of level 0) made it easier for me  to learn and understand the level 2 season of Abs beginners. It gave me a humble foundation to build on. I have not used ‘Anki’ for two weeks and I think that has contributed to the delay. My plan for today and the weekend is to review all my lessons (from the beginning to the present) and create flashcards with Anki. My subscription with Chinese101  has a flashcard option but I prefer making my version with Anki. Creating dialogues for the Layinka learns Chinese series is great and time consuming. I am learning how to teach which is great but I have to learn how to learn too. I think that the  Layinka learns Chinese series will come to an end after completing season one to four of Absolute beginners. I have created approximately 20 episodes and will stop at 30-60 episodes.

I have been asked about the Japanese version, I don’t know if I will create a cartoon for Japanese and if I do, you will know about it in March 2012.

Take care



What languages do you speak?

Would you like to have this list in Pinyin too?

I realise that sometimes having the pinyin helps a lot. So here is the Pinyin version. Hope it makes a difference.

“To know what we know, and know what we do not know, is wisdom”. Conficius

I started with How to learn any language site  and eyeing the Japanesepod101 site since 2007.

I must say that since 2007, I spent MORE hours reading all sites on learning Japanese, Portuguese or Chinese than actually learning anything. Fair enough, I used to spend at least 50 minutes (2 episodes) of anime per day for a year. You don’t learn much, but I know the opening theme of Naruto and Full metal Panic by heart….

What I did achieve is simple: my ear is trained and copying the sounds is NOT a big deal. However I did not learn anything because there was no real structure. I went to Japanese language classes in 2002 but failed because despite going to class every day and learning stuff, I was learning in an isolated way. The reasons why I was learning Japanese were forgotten. I attacked Japanese as if it were a puzzle, always linking it to the language I was learning it in which was French.

That’s great but in the medium term, you get bored or you forget that you are doing it because you want another tool that you can use to express yourself with and to learn more about the world you live in. There are many words and sentences that crop up that I know or remember but I can’t tell you in what context they should be used which is just proof of how I was learning in class. I was learning like a parrot. The very first day we started Japanese we were encouraged to talk which meant in an hour of class, we spent a good 15 minutes listening to the professor but the 45 minutes I felt were wasted on my neighbour asking me a question, me answering, vice versa until everyone had had a turn. I feel that that did and does not work for me. Dialogue is important, CONTEXT is more important and listening with all faculties is even more important.

Character wise, I can be a perfectionist and I can be a very anxious person. So imagine a class of eight adults and it is my turn after three people. What am I doing? Well I am busy memorising what I need to say and anticipating which of the questions I am going to be asked. In other words, when we get to the exercise section, my listening concentration drops by 50%.

As a learner, I believe I am very much of the visual type. You write something down on the board I remember it, then I have a choice keep it therefore maintain it, OR throw it away therefore forget it. When the environment is fun it is a more automatic process. I simply keep the visual information and all I need is regular recall. When I try to remember my Japanese lessons. I remember very well what the teacher was teaching, however the exercises were suppose to reinforce what was just taught. Well, because of my way of being, I don’t remember the exercises.


Chinese Language diary readers.  Next post: Where do you start? part 2/3.  Previous post: Chinese focus