Related to: 'Read and write Greek script: Teach yourself'

Julie Sarkissian blogs about the problems facing the protagnist of her debut novel, DEAR LUCY

Something's Wrong With Lucy - But What?

Lucy is different – that much is clear. She speaks like a child, doesn’t recognize social boundaries, flies into rages, and treasures rotten food. Her cognition is impaired, her vocabulary is very limited and she cannot read or write. But what – precisely – is wrong with her is left up to the reader. Lucy is the protagonist of my novel, DEAR LUCY, and from the first sentence of the book I ever wrote it was obvious that Lucy was cognitively different. The way Lucy describes herself is as “missing too many words.” Her mother calls her “difficult.” Readers of early drafts of the book had a few theories as to Lucy’s condition; autism, Williams Syndrome, Down Syndrome. But Lucy’s mother has kept her from going to school and Lucy has never seen a doctor. So in the fictional reality of the book there is no official diagnosis. But as the novel progressed I wondered – should I have one? I was torn. If Lucy was presenting enough symptoms to point to a real condition, was I ignoring the obvious not to fold that condition into my development of her character? Was it insensitive of me to allude to aspects of certain real, life-altering conditions but not assign a specific condition to Lucy? I worried about appropriating aspects of serious conditions without treating those conditions with proper respect and acknowledgement. And though any clinical diagnosis would probably not be explicit in the novel, I wondered if I would be ignoring an opportunity to bring attention to a real disorder when people asked me about Lucy’s condition, the way The Curious Incident of The Dog in the Night-time did for autism. On the other hand, I had concerns that if I chose a diagnosis for Lucy, I would be ascribing to her qualities that she wouldn’t have otherwise presented. Lucy had her own will over my writing and over the novel. I didn’t want to yoke Lucy’s expression by keeping her behavior and abilities consistent with a clinical condition. Accuracy would also become a critical issue if Lucy’s condition was named. Ultimately I chose not to diagnose Lucy, though I worry the artistic freedom provided by that decision comes at the price of being judged for being too liberal with my treatment of cognitive disorders. Now that publication is a few months away, I am apprehensive of how my treatment of Lucy’s cognitive limitations will be judged. I have yet to talk to a reader who has a learning different child, or works with learning different people, and that conversation is one I will be honored, and not a bit anxious, to have.

John Murray Learning

Short Stories in Spanish for Beginners

Olly Richards
Authors:
Olly Richards
Teach Yourself

Get Started in Indonesian Absolute Beginner Course

Safitri Widagdo
Authors:
Safitri Widagdo
Teach Yourself

Masterclass: Write a Bestseller

Jacq Burns
Authors:
Jacq Burns
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Complete Finnish Beginner to Intermediate Course

Terttu Leney
Authors:
Terttu Leney

Do you want to develop a solid understanding of Finnish and communicate confidently with others?Through authentic conversations, vocabulary building, grammar explanations and extensive practice and review, Complete Finnish will equip you with the skills you need to use Finnish in a variety of settings and situations, developing your cultural awareness along the way.What will I achieve by the end of the course?By the end of Complete Finnish you will have a solid intermediate-level grounding in the four key skills - reading, writing, speaking and listening - and be able to communicate with confidence and accuracy. Is this course for me?If you want to move confidently from beginner to intermediate level, this is the course for you. It's perfect for the self-study learner, with a one-to-one tutor, or for the beginner classroom. It can also be used as a refresher course. What do I get?-18 learning units plus verbs reference and word glossary and revision section-Discovery Method - figure out rules and patterns to make the language stick -Teaches the key skills - reading, writing, listening, and speaking -Learn to learn - tips and skills on how to be a better language learner -Culture notes - learn about the people and places of Finland-Outcomes-based learning - focus your studies with clear aims -Authentic listening activities - everyday conversations give you a flavour of real spoken Finnish-Test Yourself - see and track your own progress The audio for this course is available for free on library.teachyourself.com or from the Teach Yourself Library app.*Complete Finnish maps from Novice Low to Advanced Low level proficiency of ACTFL (American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages) and from A1 Beginner to B1/B2 Upper Intermediate level of the CEFR (Common European Framework of Reference for Languages) guidelines. Rely on Teach Yourself, trusted by language learners for over 75 years.

Teach Yourself

Elisabeth Smith Traveller's: Italian

Elisabeth Smith
Authors:
Elisabeth Smith
Hodder & Stoughton

Perfect Mandarin Chinese Intermediate Course: Learn Mandarin Chinese with the Michel Thomas Method

Harold Goodman, Michel Thomas
Authors:
Harold Goodman, Michel Thomas

Already completed Michel Thomas Total Mandarin Chinese?Take your Mandarin Chinese to the next level with this acclaimed follow-on to the Michel Thomas Method Total Course.No books. No writing. No memorizing.- Guaranteed success. Speak and understand perfectly- Incredible progress. Get what you want, fast- Absolute confidence. Unleash your natural learning style without tryingThe Method:Stress-free audio learningMichel Thomas teaches you through your own language, so there's no stress, and no anxiety. He builds it up, step by step, and you don't move on until you've absorbed and understood the previous point. And, as Michel Thomas said, 'What you understand, you know; and what you know, you don't forget.' With parallels to the way you learned your own language, each language is learned in 'real-time' conditions. There is no need to stop for homework, additional exercises or vocabulary memorization.A 'virtual' classroomThe classroom situation on the recording lets you learn with others. You enjoy their success, and you learn from their mistakes. The students on the recordings are not reading from scripts and they have received no additional instruction or preparation - just the guidance you hear on the recording. You, as the learner, become the third student and participate actively in the class.There's no such thing as a poor student, only a poor teacherThis is an important part of the Michel Thomas Method. Full responsibility for your learning lies with the teacher, not with you, the pupil. This helps to ensure that you can relax and feel confident, allowing you to learn effectively.Why it Works:Learn another language the way you learned your own You learned your own language naturally and enjoyably: now you can learn Mandarin Chinese in the same way. You'll stick with it because you'll love it. Use the unique method perfected over fifty years by the celebrated psychologist and linguist Michel Thomas. This method works with your brain, helping you to build up your Chinese in manageable, enjoyable steps by thinking out the answers for yourself. You learn through listening and speaking without the pressure of writing or memorizing. You pick up the language naturally and unforgettably. Join the millions of people worldwide who have learned a new language with the Michel Thomas Method.@font-face {}p.MsoNormal, li.MsoNormal, div.MsoNormal { margin: 0cm 0cm 0.0001pt; font-size: 12pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman'; }table.MsoNormalTable { font-size: 10pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman'; }div.Section1 { page: Section1; }Learn AnywhereDon't be tied to chunky books or your computer, Michel Thomas Method audio courses let you learn whenever you want: at home, in your car, or on the move with your MP3 player.What's in the Course?Perfect Mandarin Chinese with the Michel Thomas Method includes up to 6 hours of audio on CD.How Does it Work?- Listen: collect words effortlessly by listening- Connect: create your own mental tool kit by understanding how words fit together- Speak: put the words back together to build sentences, naturally

David Shimwell

David Shimwell is a botanist and a close family friend of the Durrells. He graduated from Durham University with degrees in botany and vegetation ecology and has had a lifelong career lecturing in botany, biogeography and environmental conservation at the universities of Hull and Manchester.

Elisabeth Smith

Elisabeth Smith was born and educated in Germany. She studied English at Hamburg University with a teaching career in mind, and well before EU days was offered her first assignment at a London prep school. While on contract in Africa she became sidetracked by commerce. She spent the next ten years learning about printing and publishing in Zambia before joining a publishing house in Johannesburg where she ultimately became the company's chief executive. In spite of climbing the corporate ladder she never lost her interest and skills in teaching languages. During the last 30 years she has taught French to English children, English to Zambian students, German at evening classes and Italian to her daughter "just for fun".Since moving to Spain she had to learn Spanish in a hurry - cutting across traditional learning methods. This gave her the inspiration for thehighly successful "Teach Yourself Instant..." series currently offering eight titles with a further four to be published in early 2001.Elisabeth Smith now lives in Marbella like a "proper" author with a volatile PC and two cats.

Gino D'Acampo

Gino was born in Napoli in the south of Italy into a large family. The food they ate was very traditional - simple recipes based on fresh and healthy fruit, vegetables, fish and meat.'My grandfather said that a good recipe doesn't need many ingredients because if the ingredients are good quality and full of flavour, why do you have to cover up or change their taste'. This is a philosophy Gino has stuck to since he first started in the kitchen. After training at the Luigi de Medici Catering College, Gino came to London at 19 and worked at The Orchard Restaurant in Hampstead and then at the Cambio restaurant in Surrey.Gino is the author of several best-selling books including Gino's Healthy Italian for Less, Gino's Italian Coastal Escape, Gino's Italian Escape and Gino's Italian Adriatic Escape.He is married to Jessica and they have three children, Luciano, Rocco and Mia.

Jacq Burns

Jacq Burns commissioned books at Random House and Harper Collins prior to setting up as a literary agent and co- director of London Writers' Club. In non-fiction her focus is broadly on personal development and business topics and in fiction she helps develop writing across most genres. She has ghosted a wide range of subjects and also written a series of humorous books under a pseudonym.

Lee Durrell

Lee Durrell is Honorary Director of the Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust and has a PhD in zoology from Duke University specialising on animal vocalisations in Madagascar. She married Gerald in 1979 and worked with him on books and television series about nature and conservation over the next decade. In 2011 she was awarded the MBE for services to conservation.

Mahmoud Gaafar

Mahmoud Gaafar worked for the United Nations and Radio Cairo and now authors print, radio and TV resources for the Arab World.

Mary Stewart

Mary Stewart was one of the 20th century's bestselling and best-loved novelists. She was born in Sunderland, County Durham in 1916, but lived for most of her life in Scotland, a source of much inspiration for her writing. Her first novel, Madam, Will You Talk? was published in 1955 and marked the beginning of a long and acclaimed writing career. In 1971 she was awarded the International PEN Association's Frederick Niven Prize for The Crystal Cave, and in 1974 the Scottish Arts Council Award for one of her children's books, Ludo and the Star Horse. She was married to the Scottish geologist Frederick Stewart, and died in 2014.

Michel Thomas

Michel Thomas (1914-2005) had an amazing life. Born in Poland, he spent his early years in Germany and then in France, where he studied psychology at the Sorbonne in Paris. When war broke out, he fought with the Resistance and suffered imprisonment in labour camps. At the end of the war he joined the US liberation army and later settled in the US where he established his world-famous language school. Languages, being his strength and passion became the focus of the next 50 years of his life that he spent developing a method that he hoped would change the way we teach and learn - so that everyone could succeed. He developed this method 'that works with the brain'. After creating several courses of his own, he passed on his method so that other teachers might use it too.

Nigel Cumberland

Nigel Cumberland is an award-winning global coach who helps leaders and teams to optimise and enhance their success in both their careers and lives. He has coached and trained at some of the world's most prestigious organisations such as the United Nations, the World Bank Group, Standard Chartered Bank, Google, Dell, LVMH, Christian Dior, Continental AG and the Dubai Government. He is also one of the elite Marshall Goldsmith approved coaches and a member of Harvard Business Review's Advisory Council. He is also a Freeman of the City of London and has been given the award as one of the world's top 100 leadership coaches.

Paola Tite

Paola Tite is a teacher of Italian, author of Italian language books and an editorial consultant. As a native speaker of Italian, Paola attended Michel Thomas's Italian workshops and recording sessions at Hodder & Stoughton, and became an enthusiastic follower of his approach not only to language learning but to teaching in general.

Paul Jenner

Paul Jenner is a writer and journalist specializing in lifestyle subjects. He lives with his partner, three horses, two dogs and two sheep, in the foothills of the Spanish Pyrenees, where, when he's not working, he enjoys hiking, riding, cycling, sailing, swimming, diving and snowboarding. His other books include Teach Yourself Living Longer, Living Well and Teach Yourself Happiness.

Peter Stanford

Peter Stanford's previous investigations into the history, theology, enduring appeal and cultural significance of religious ideas include Martin Luther: Catholic Dissident; Judas: The Troubling History of the Renegade Apostle; The Devil - A Biography; Heaven - A Traveller's Guide to the Undiscovered Country; and The She-Pope, an investigation of the Pope Joan legend. His other books include biographies of Bronwen Astor, Lord Longford and the Poet Laureate, C Day-Lewis, plus the polemical Catholics and Sex that became an award-winning Channel 4 series in 1992. He is a senior features writer at the Daily and Sunday Telegraph titles, and contributes to the Independent, the Observer, the Daily Mail and the Catholic weekly, the Tablet, where he is a columnist. He has presented programmes on BBC 1, Channel 4 and Channel 5, as well as BBC Radios 2 and 4 and the BBC World Service.

Sandra Stevens

SANDRA STEVENS has worked in English as a foreign language for the last 30 years, as a teacher, teacher trainer and materials writer. She has worked in the UK, France, Spain and Nicaragua with the British Council, Ministries of Education and private language schools. She has also made working trips to other countries, including Argentina, Hong Kong, Italy, Kuwait, Mexico, Poland and Uruguay.Before becoming a teacher of English, Sandra was an interpretor/translator and a teacher of French. Sandra is also a Joint Chief Assessor for UCLES and CELTA and has been Examiiner of the written paper of the Cambridge Diploma.

Sue Stockdale

Sue Stockdale is a motivational speaker, executive coach and record-breaking explorer. She works with leaders worldwide helping them to manage change, motivate others and deliver improved performance. As a high achiever, Sue has represented Scotland in athletics, and was the first British woman to ski to the North Pole. Her academic background includes an MBA in Entrepreneurship and a master's degree in Quality Management.