French immersion courses
t: +33 (0)2 96 82 71 53
t: +44 (0)141 332 8507
e: mclifton@languagegateway.co.uk

“Language is the blood of the soul into which thoughts run and out of which they grow.” Oliver Wendell Holmes

 

 

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If you’re encouraged by what you’ve read on this page and would like to take up or develop your ability in French, German or English (for non-native speakers) please get in touch.   As well as immersion courses (for French and English) I offer flexible personalised online language lessons at very affordable prices. Please contact me for more information, Marjorie on +44 (0)14 13 32 85 07 or by email to mclifton@languagegateway.co.uk

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Time for Reflection

The start of another year is always a good time to take stock and to reflect on our achievements from last year as well as looking ahead to the next. Since writing my blog article this time last year (New Year … New You … New Language), in which I referred to the dramatic changes which language learning can bring about, quite a lot has happened in my own personal situation. In order to grow my language training business I’ve made a move back across the Channel, back to our home in Corseul, Brittany. We’ve also adopted this delightful little French dog (albeit a Yorkshire Terrier by breed) who is seen here gazing out over the Channel from the clifftops of Northern Brittany. I’m excited to have made the physical move to France, which has opened up lots more opportunities for me and my students, but it is this dear little dog, Junior, who has probably had a greater influence on me than anything else.

Having grown up with cats, whom I rather admire for their sheer independence as well as their utter elegance, I wasn’t very sure how I would manage with a dog, which is altogether more dependent on its human for walks as well as company. However, not only have I “coped” but I’ve also benefited hugely from the life-lessons Junior is teaching me.

A dog has of course been designed by our Maker to look as adoringly cute as possible, such that whenever he wants something, it is nigh-near impossible to deny him. As I am someone who doesn’t willingly play sport and for whom the only “break” from my computer is going to the kitchen to make another cup of coffee, to be downed with a biscuit (or two), I haven’t always been too happy at being interrupted be his persistent pawing at my legs, and his upturned pleading face – not easily ignored - but in having no other choice than to take him for his walk, I have not only enjoyed the exercise, which in itself has been invigorating, but I’ve also felt altogether more connected with Mother Nature. This little 4-legged unassuming friend, in showing his delight at the simple pleasures in life – it doesn’t matter where he is, as long as he can spend time with his mistress, run about and sniff out scents along the way – has taught me a valuable lesson. He’s forced me to step away from my computer screen and my never-ending to-do list in order to recharge and take stock of my life on a daily basis, something I would ordinarily only do at the start of a new year. What a revelation! Having struggled to find a New Year’s Resolution, I now have it - making sure I have that precious time-out every day, which will indeed allow 2019 – and every year thereafter - to be a “Happy New Year!”

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