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Published by Pier-Luc Long

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Published by: Pier-Luc Long on Sep 30, 2010
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Long, Pier-LucProfessor Jeanette NovakovichENGL 213/2 BSeptember 30, 2010
Draft ± Critical Reading and Critique
Most people, at one point or another, have tried to learn a new language. May it be your second, fourth, or tenth language, each and every one of them has differences and brings newaspects. The learning of languages has been a hot topic for many years; more and more peopletry to be as multilingual as they can be. But which learning method is the best? School classes?Online classes? Injection in the linguistic community? In ³Leaning through music and themedia,´ Susanna Zaraysky that languages can easily be learnt through listening to music or watching TV shows and movies in the language you want to learn. This statement might berelevant when it comes to learning about the cultural aspects of a language, but there is a lotmore about a language than its music and media.Zaraysky explains that she has, herself, has learnt some of the seven languages she speaksthrough those methods. She states ³music engages more areas of the brain than language does.´In this way, music makes a language easier to learn. Zaraysky gives examples of some of her friends who have watched American television, and, in this way, have learnt perfect AmericanEnglish pronunciation. She says the same for Spanish and Portuguese. Through lively examples,she makes the reader want to try her methods of learning for every language. In her writing,Susanna Zaraysky tries to convince her public that music and media are a way to get a good gripon a language¶s basis, and maybe its grammar.The author uses many examples in her writing, but her examples are more or less valid asthey are friends of hers or people she met. She notes that some of her acquaintances have learnt
languages only through the music medium but she lacks support for her statements. Are theseacquaintances trustworthy or are they not? Zaraysky also does not use any outside sources or quotations; everything she writes is from her experiences only which bring an ambiguity to her statements. The lack of sources or outside support makes her statements doubtful and too personal.On the brighter side, her use of familiar terms makes it easier for the readers to relate andher defining foreign quotations helps the inexperienced reader understand her examples.Although I agree with the fact that music and the media helps the inexperienced studentin a cultural way, I do not believe that this is the main or only aspect to language learning.Learning about these aspects makes it easier when it comes to learning about the culture of acertain country or language community and also helps with the knowledge of familiar speech butthat is not a language¶s base. The base of all languages is the grammar and the syntax. Yes, it is possible to learn some special verbs or words or sentence placements with a song but very oftenit is not the proper words, syntax, and so on. It is very important to have a good foundation of alanguage¶s grammar before being able to talk convincingly. Once again, though, I agree thatmusic and the media helps in the knowledge of familiar vocabulary and culture.She succeeds in making it seem more interesting and easier to learn a languagethrough music as you hear the pronunciation and the accents of the language. Those are two veryimportant aspects of a language and a native speaker knows where to put the accents and how to pronounce the words of their language but it is more efficiently learnt in a classroom as, not onlydo you learn the pronunciation of words but you also learn why they are pronounced in such away and why they are accented the way they are too.
In the long run, I think it is important to learn about a language¶s culture and itsmediated notions but it is also important to know the base of a language in order to fully grasp it.Learning a language can be a hard task but as Susanna Zaraysky states: ³Enjoy the learning process and you will learn much more.´

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