So I‘m sitting next to one of my bookshelves this morning, and I happen to notice an old French paperback. I say to myself “I wonder if I can still read French.” (The answer is “not so well.”) I pick up the book, and out pops a bookmark in the form of a slightly yellowed document from 1963:
There’s so much I could say about this document, 57 years later, but I’ll let you make your own observations and interpretations, not to mention any conclusions that might be relevant today.
PS: I wasn’t actually taking French at the time, but I was trying to teach myself the language — partly inductively by reading French, partly by conversing with friends who were actually studying the language, and partly by linguistic research. I notice that I had marked up the play by flagging any word that I neither knew nor could figure out. Then I would remember to look them up in my Petit Larousse. This was in 10th grade, when I already suspected that I might major in linguistics, though classics seemed more likely. I ended up starting in classics and then switching to linguistics.