Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Word Parts

Have you ever read any of Dan Brown's novels--Angels & Demons, DaVinci Code, and now The Lost Symbol? He has 2 others, but I mention these three because they share a common thread. I really enjoyed reading these novels, only partly because of the mysteries to be solved. What I also realized was that the many clues (the common thread) scattered throughout these books have to do with ancient languages and cultures. I further realized that I "got" most of the clues and their significance to the plots. Upon even more reflection about why I "got" the clues, I realized many of the clues had to do with words from ancient cultures. No, I don't speak any ancient languages. But when I was in elementary school, beginning in the fourth grade and every year after that, we were taught to speak French. I continued to take French every year until graduation and for yet another 2 years in college. The commonality between languages is very powerful and is a truly helpful tool in deciphering our own language. I realized that this word knowledge was part of what I enjoyed as I read Dan Brown's novels.

Wouldn't it be a wonderful thing to be able to introduce foreign languages to children at a young age? I know we already have huge curricula. I don't know when we could get to it, either. But I still think it would be a great thing. As I reflect even a little more, maybe my introduction to a foreign language at an early age accounts in some way for why I write about words so much on this blog!

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