Today’s post is from a conversation I had with Mikaël Cabon, a journalist from the same region as Edulang, and an English learner who’s giving it his all with English Addicts. So, without further ado….
So Mikaël, you are a French Journalist. What area in journalism are you most passionate about?
First, news is a passion for me. I have read many newspapers and magazines for ages. I wrote my first one when I was ten years old on a white paper, recto-verso, and printed quite a few. Second, I think that I am an average but attentive and honest professional. And in our society I believe everyone should choose what they are good at, more than what could make them richer. I write about economics for some newspapers, on and off line, and animate a few blogs and radio broadcasting. I also teach marketing and “culture générale” in some universities. In my mind, it’s the same job : share knowledge with people. Like Francis Bacon said : ““Knowledge is power”.
How often do you read or write in English for your work?
Almost never. Sometimes I interview foreigners in France in English. But it’s hard for me to explain myself in English with the same level as in french. I remembered that one day I interviewed a dutch entreprenor. At the end of our conversation, I was exhausted.
Do you think that’s typical for a French journalist these days? How about 20 years ago, or what do you think might be the future of English in French journalism in say 20 years from now?
Big question. Average level improve for sure. More than foreign langages I think that journalist have to be able to write, ask, take pictures, make videos or whatever, to do more than one job like twenty years ago.
The future of the journalism and the medias are not necessarly the same. Journalism is a job, sometimes a part-time job for some of us. Medias are an economic sector with different rules.
What was your experience like learning English in French public school?
I’ve learned more watching Television Series with English subtitles and learning with English Addicts than in 12 years of study at school. After 4 years in middle school, three in high school, and 5 years of English study at the university, I was not comfortable expressing myself in English. I think there’s a grave problem with the foreign language instruction in the French schools. If I could do it again I would probably want to go abroad for a year.
Although I am curious of foreign societies, I didn’t make enough efforts in the past to venture out. These days I am reading a book about Japan Society, Courrier International, a french newspaper that translate international newspaper articles every week, and I’m trying to learn Chinese every week at the Institut Confucius in Brest (how hard it is !)…
For my two daughters, I wanna a different situation. The oldest, Poème, ten years old, learns English ten hours by week in Sainte Annes’s College in Brest, and the youngest, Venise, nine years old, will follow the same way. Both are learning Chinese too. Without emphasis, it’s a political decision. According to me, France is a great country with great people, when they want to be it. With globalization, English dominates the world. It’s a danger for all of us, for the 6.000 different languages on earth (and for Klingon too), for our culture, because the standardization, and for English first langage people too, as globish is not English. Because I want that my daughters will be good citizens who do their best for french society, I hope they would be able to speak other langages and see the world and other people with humanism and without doubts or fears. For me Babel Tower scandal is a shame and a heavy ball and chain, for my daughters, i hope it would be a chance to learn. Polyglotism is a chance, but you can live without, open mind is a treasure.
This past year you wrote about English Addicts on your blog to share with your readers. How long had you been using the application before you shared it online?
About six months. It’s a great pleasure for me to study english with this application. It’s because I can testify that my level improve with English Addicts that I share this news all over the world on my blog More of that : I bought three licences. One for me and two for some of my friends.
How often do you use English Addicts?
It depends on my work planning. Some weeks, I use EA five times. I need about twenty minutes to finish the exercises. I try to make them in the morning.
Have you noticed a change in your ability? In what way?
Yes. My level increases for sure. I’m a learning turtle in foreigns langages. Step by step, I understand more and more words. I understand about 90% of the sentences of the reports. The next stage for me is improving my level in speaking and writing. A strong challenge.
What’s something you really enjoy about the application?
Two things. The extreme variety of exercises and the themes of the reports. My tailor is not rich but my “English Addicts reports” are. I learn listening to many things about science, education, economy…. it’s great
Anything you’d love to see in a future version?
Maybe a better reporting of my schedules with my strenghts and my weaknesses. And perhaps an app for kids.
What do you think of our new pay what you want program?
It’s an innovative and modern price offer. Some music band did that before with success. I paraphrase Andrew Lewis, an US blogger : “if you don’t pay for a service, you are not a consumer, you are the product”. Truthful sentence. I gave some euros for your app because you need earning money to continue, I need improving my english level, so I must pay something. This syllogism is easy to understand. To improve “ton anglais” ? English Addicts, what else!
THANKS MIKAEL and “bonne continuation” with all of your projects