Learn French the old-fashioned way

In this blog post, I’d like to say a few things about OuiCommunicate and the old-fashioned way we propose to teach you French.

When I say “teach”, it isn’t exactly true. We don’t teach anyone. We rather put all the elements in place so that YOU can teach YOU French. Teach yourself, in other words. We just prepare everything to make your journey easier.

1. Let’s talk about Modern

We are all aware of the word “modern” in our sales-driven world. It is a notion is usually used as a guarantee of quality to put a coat of shine on a product. The I-phone 11 is “more modern” than the I-phone 10 and therefore better. Then we must assume that the 12 will be much better even though the 8 from years ago was already incredible. This logic has become so ingrained in our minds that we have even come to view “tomorrow” as the day that brings us closer to an imaginary ideal future comprised of all things better.

It’s almost as if today was by definition insufficient and that yesterday was no longer good, barely worth mentioning. The year 2020 is already so outdated despite it being only 4 years ago. Today is only half as good as it could be because tomorrow will replace it.

But hang on a second, would you say the same thing about yourself? Would you say that the version of yourself from 4 years ago was laughable because not yet “modern”? If a person woke up from a 4-year coma, would they feel completely inept at functioning in a technological world that has moved forward by (gasp) 4 years?

Why is it that the things that matter don’t seem to age? Why does our pet dog not look “un-modern” on that photo from years ago? What about the gothic cathedrals from the 1300s, the paintings by the grand masters, the mathematical principles that still stand hundreds of years after? Are they less good, too?

I am not saying all these things to buff up my argument about “anti-modern” because in truth, I like the advantages that modern brings. I enjoy Youtube, Instagram, digital equipment just as much as the next person. I like to Whatsapp someone far away and be able to shop online. And I like the ability to reach hundreds of people through the internet!

But what I am saying is that the things that matter do not answer to the improvements of “modern”.

People, animals, works of art, musical compositions, philosophy, morals, ethics, kindness, family and learning. None of these things can be improved by “modern” because the fact is that there is nothing to improve on. The modern tools of measure do not help us pollute less. The action of polluting was always harmful whether today or 200 years ago. “Modern” has just given us tools to measure it, to store it, or to try to limit it. But harm is harm, and good is good whatever times we live in.

How learning still works in our Modern age

When it comes to learning, we probably have in mind outdated schools made of stiff benches and smile-less teachers ready to whack students acrcross the head with a stick. We think we have come so far but the error these teachers were making wasn’t a lack of “modern”, it was ignorance or stupidity. Hitting someone has never made anyone become academically able. Not in -3000 BC, not in Roman times. not in the Renaissance and not now. Modern did not solve this problem.

All this “modern” has come to make us approach the Ageless Principles as if they were subject to improvement also. Taking the example of sales, some companies believe in modern tools such as mass email marketing in which they send impersonal emails to companies they have not looked up. The approach might be modern but buying and selling is timeless. These companies still have to generate enough interest and trust in a buyer for them to open their wallet. This principle was true in Celtic times in the Bronze Age or earlier than that in Egyptian times.

Re-read a lot of the wisdom of the Greek philosophers and see that it all still stands. Some even described the existence of atoms without the existence of microscopes! Epictetus said: “It is impossible for a man to learn what he thinks he already knows.” Is this still not rue despite it being said around 100 BC and without the concourse of “modern”?

How Modern relates to learning French

The foundations on which learning stands are also timeless. No amount of modern will shift them, which is why we at OuiCommunicate openly boast an old-fashioned way of learning French. Naturally, we use technology to share the course all over the world and to make videos. But this is just the packaging. See it as flying bodybuilding weights through the air by spaceship to your place of workout. Neat. Well, you still have to lift those weights don’t you?

The core task at hand is: Making the Information Enter your Brain.

Making French enter your brain is dependent on other timeless principles that are even lower down on the diagram. These are the earth on which the foundations of the house stand. Some examples:

1. The fact of making a real decision.
2. The fact of repeating the learning regularly.
3. The principle of getting out what we put in.
4. The act of visualizing yourself succeeding.
5. The act of getting the work done.
6. The principle of learning by doing.
7. The principle of showing up with the correct mindset.

At its core, the principle of learning has remained unchanged. We have not become “modern learners” as opposed to “old fashioned learners”. The image of the scribe with his feather, re-writing the same word 10.000 times in a dark cellar is a myth.

Thanks to the internet, foreign languages are more accessible but the internet has changed nothing about a certain human behaviour and attitude that is required before the learning even starts. And when the learning does start, the core matter is putting this information in your brain through rationalizing and repetition.

A software company could develop an app to learn karate, but only the countless hundreds of kicks will get the kick right in the eyes of the Master. And before even starting to kick, you have to commit to showing up, seeing yourself becoming good and generally following the 7 principles above.

Languages are the exact same thing. It is only the outside appearance that makes learning look more “modern”.

How we teach you French

Learning French at OuiCommunicate is extremely easy, precisely because we are old-fashioned and like to go straight from A to B. If the goal is to know French, we can prepare the learning material for our students, structure it, and do all we can to make the journey easier.

All you need to do is follow the steps in this order:

1. Download a PDF
2. Read and do the exercises
3. Watch video and listen
4. Re-do same PDF if necessary
5. Move on to the next skill

Do this enough times and you will know all the French you need. No amount of “modern” will make this easier for you and no app or AI will ever cheat to core principles that make learning possible: showing up, repeating and memorizing.

To end this article, here is a drawing of the little house that symbolizes the Principles of Learning which we all must follow and obey.

Guess what’s missing? Anything”modern!”

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