Savoir Faire Califonia

322 Vista del Mar Suite B,
Redondo Beach, CA 90277





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Savor Faire | Language Institute

Bilingual Seniors Delay the Effects of Dementia by 4 Years

                    Baby Boomers -STICK WITH YOUR FOREIGN LANGUAGE CLASSES

Research shows us that there is a correlation between achievement on standardized tests and bilingualism in children. Apparently the brain benefits don't stop there.
The WALL STREET JOURNAL published an article October 12 detailing a study that shows that bilingual seniors stave off signs of dementia an average of 4 years longer than their monolingual counterparts. Speaking more than one language allows your brain to build up some cognitive reserve the researchers note, and allows for better coping skills as the brain deteriorates with old age.

 I wonder if a second language can do anything for those deepening crow's feet...

Read more here.

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Learning Foreign Language With Cartoons

Foreign Language a la Blues Clues

Savoir Faire welcomes international students every year and I have had the good fortune to have had many in my home. The students become part of our household and generally follow our routines. Watching cartoons in the morning is one of them.
 In our house, the cartoons go on every morning and the kids and international students watch for an hour or so. Now these cartoons are simple, preschool style shows as my daughter is young, but I noticed the students, who were much older, didn’t mind at all. In fact they watched intently and repeated phrases and words to themselves. They quickly learned the little songs and repeated the mantras of each show and watched every day.

Watching movies and TV is a way that people all over the world pick up other languages but cartoons are particularly good. There is a case in Finland where a young girl learned English to the highest level of fluency by just watching cartoons. Young kids love the repetition within cartoons and are also happy to watch the same one again and again. This is likely because their learning style, known as pre-operational from the ages of 2 to 7, means they may not remember what they saw and heard before. They are still developing a schema for what happens on children’s cartoons. This is similar to what we are doing as adult language   learners. We are trying to build a scaffolding of language on which to attach more.

As an adult learning a foreign language, I feel a little like a pre-operational preschooler. I don’t always remember what I heard yesterday. A movie with a complicated plot and quick dialogue is going to leave me as lost as a preschooler. I imagine our international students watching Blues Clues appreciated the slower rate of speech, the gestures that the characters used to accompany their words, the simple context and the repetition. Don’t these attributes sound like what you would find in a well designed foreign language class? What’s more, as mature learners, we can think about what we are hearing/learning and consciously use the new language we have attentively absorbed.

Am I saying we adults should watch cartoons in French or Italian? Why not?
At the very least we should have our kids, from as young an age as possible, watch good quality, children’s programs in a foreign language and then we should hover in the background.

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