Fare of the Free Child

Ep 241: Freeing Your Approach to Language Studies (with Marley Richards)

December 16, 2021 Akilah S. Richards Season 7 Episode 241
Fare of the Free Child
Ep 241: Freeing Your Approach to Language Studies (with Marley Richards)
Show Notes

Welcome #fofcpod fam! Today's vibe is insightful conversation about language acquisition, culture, and how to learn stuff, with seventeen year-old unschooler, Marley Richards. Japanese and Korean languages are integrated parts of Marley's daily practices, so she shares with us some of the ways these languages have influenced and impacted her identity as a Black girl. Marley also speaks about some of the tools she uses for language study.

What are some ways you can support your/a child in expanding their experience with a language they want to learn? #maddquestionaskin

Long story-short…

Many children are learning Japanese and Korean as a result of their appreciation for Anime and K-pop culture. Marley was among them; she started learning Japanese at around age 7 or 8, when she got passionate about Anime. Soon enough she started feeling the limitations of the translation that she was getting from English subtitles, and felt she was getting a diluted version of what the people who made the thing had intended. By learning Japanese, she felt a wider understanding of the world as language was connected to other elements of life, and of her interests, and of broader world culture. For Marley, studying a language went beyond grammar and accent, and transformed into a way of being and living.

Marley’s key elements for language study:

  • Being highly motivated and intentional
  • Full exposure to the foreign language - Immersive experience
  • Making associations from what you already know
  • Japanese tip: Anime series help in general with the nouns, verbs, and sentence construction BUT in terms of vocabulary and accent you should check for a different source

Akilah shares her own learning process and experience with Spanish (check below for some resources). Then, she and Marley chat about the expectations people might have based on language stereotypes and assumptions people may make about others.

If you integrate different elements from another culture, does that make you less Black, Korean, Latinx…? #maddquestionaskin


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