Can smartness be an obstacle to improve French language?
What’s to be smart?
First, I think being smart is making quick relation between several things. Having a lot of knowledge can help but it’s not because you know a lot that you are smart.
Secondly, there are different kinds of smartness. Drawing, singing, dancing are all smartness in different ways. A repair-man needs to be smart with his hands, feel the space and tools, and he can see very quickly what’s going on and how to fix it the most efficient way. Smartness has not only to do with the brain. Actually the brain is just a part of your global smartness.
As I told in a previous post, we as grown-ups, we think we know the appropriate behavior, consider ourselves as smart and think we only need to use our brain to learn effectively. That’s wrong. The brain is just the conscious part that can help to dispatch the tasks among the whole body.
We think the more French conjugation or grammar we know the more we can be fluent quickly but, there is nothing more disconnected to the reality than repeating conjugation in the right order (je, tu, il, nous, vous, ils). Nobody can expect to sing this melody in real life. We need a complete and global tool, using all senses and lead by the brain.
The main problem is that we give the brain too much tasks whereas the most effective ones needs to be done by other body organs and body parts.
If using much your brain makes you someone smart, using it less can make you even smarter when learning a language. Like a good manager, learn how to delegate.
I have students learning also sign language and it has something interesting and more lively than voiced language. Because when you ask for the time, say yes or no in almost every country it will be the same gesture. And you don’t even need to think of a word, before asking “what time is it?”. You just express it.
If you think being smart with your brain can help you with language, I tell you, thinking too much is a trap when learning languages. And remember, kids don’t ever think about grammar rules. Never.