Vitamin R+

One of the most frequent questions I’m asked is HOW to improve language skills. Language is a skill, sometimes elevated to an art. But like every skill, practice makes perfect. You won’t be a good swimmer … unless you swim. You can’t be a good negotiator if you don’t negotiate. The same goes for photography and cooking. You need to maintain and to acquire. You need a little, just a little vitamin R every day … And that’s one of the reasons for … The Paris Savannah Connection.

Vitamine R

  • Reading of course. And reading often. Daily.

Improving your language skills means both input and output. By reading you open yourself to others’ ideas, others’ words, others’ ways of thinking. And it’s a pleasure.

What should you read? Read what interests you. Read for your pleasure. Read for entertainment. Read to learn. Here are some suggestions:

  • Read the press. Especially the New York Times. Read the Savannah Morning News. There’s something there for you. Whether you’re in business or the arts;  whether you love sports or fashion, you will improve your vocabularies. Often assimilating without even realizing it,  without even being aware of it.
  • Read short stories. Read about people, places, and things. Read a few minutes a day. Like about 15 … ? There are numerous bilingual editions and I especially recommend the Folio series.
  • Read what you enjoy reading.
  • Reading reinforces what you already “know.”

When I’m in Savannah, I LOVE spending time in the big – and smaller – bookstores. The choices are infinite. So I usually end up spending not only lots of hours but also lots of …

Paris has half a dozen or so incredibly fine English language bookstores for both new and used books. Galignani’s and WH Smith on the rue de Rivoli near Concorde, Brentano’s avenue de l’Opéra, The Village Voice on rue Princesse at Mabillon and on rue Monsieur le Prince, the San Francisco Bookshop.  Shakespeare and Company in the Latin Quarter across the Seine from Notre Dame, and there are others too as well as …  hundreds of other booksellers and bookshops dealing in, as is said, la langue de Molière … I think that part of the city experience is just that: being in touch with the people who love what they’re doing. Paper. Print. Ink.

And … of course… if you ever have a hard time going to sleep … the very best remedy is … a book! Either to fall asleep or to stay awake!

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