Sunday, September 7, 2008

Learn a new language... Apprenda una idioma nueva (Amy)

As you study Leadership Education, you'll stumble across this again and again. To keep your mind sharp as you continue your education, you should learn a new language. If you are bilingual, great! Learn a third language. Already have three? Go for four. I am a typical American and speak only one language, English.

So, I'm taking the challenge and I'm learning Spanish. Do you want to learn it with me? Wouldn't it be great to speak another language? We could study together, email each other in Spanish...

Here's what I'm doing. I bought a set of Sparknotes Study Cards. It has 1000 Spanish vocabulary flash cards. I pick out 5 each day and memorize them. As of today I've learned 50 words. It wouldn't take you too long to learn those and get started with me!

At a rate of 5 words a day it should take us 200 days to learn all 1000. With a base of 1000 words, we should be able to get the gist of what is being said around us... don't you think? We can work on conjugation and such later. That will come.

I know the Spanish equivalent of: who, what, where, when, why, how, because, how much, fruit, fountain, outside, strong, fire, to cook, car, thing, short, to run, far, year, lettuce, to learn, to read, new, fifty, there, two hundred, rain, to heat, English, cousin, family, to return, south, husband, soda, siblings, also, sixty, paper, in front of, ocean, to take off, opera, to shave, delicious (okay anyone with kids who watch Dora the Explorer know this one!), language, and museum! Go ahead... Quiz Me!

This is my technique: I pick out the five words (palabras) that I'm going to learn (apprender). I write them in my notebook (both in English and Spanish). Then my kids and/or my husband quiz me on them. They really enjoy this! I think the kids get a big kick out of me trying to speak another language. I keep the cards that I've learned in a sandwich bag and several times a day I go through them. I figure I'm writing the word, reading the word, saying the word, and touching the word. This has to be good for the memory.

I try using the words in conversation. Tonight I knocked on the bathroom door (we only have one bathroom these days) and told my husband, "Necesito ir al bano!" (I need to go to the bathroom!). I'll ask the kids, "Que quieres hacer?" (What do you want to do?) Or I'll say, "Go fuera" (a little spanglish ~ Go outside).

If you're interested in learning Spanish let me know... we can work together! I can post the 35 words I'll be learning each week if you'd like?

I do have an advantage because my husband is fluent in Spanish. He lived in Mexico for two years and then got his degree in Spanish. Sometimes I kick myself for not learning sooner. I wish he'd spoken it to the kids so that they learned it. But, we'll just start now. All of my kids can tell you that el fuego is fire. It's a start.


Kim said...

I think what you are doing is so awesome, and I think it is a great idea to learn it together and then email and talk in spanish. Did you get your spanish cards at Barnes and Noble. Can I start a little late, maybe next week?

aksunflower said...

I am so excited for you! It sounds like a lot of fun.
Since we will be in Hawaii I have decided to take up learning the Hawaiian language. It can be very flustrating when you are driving around if you don't know how to pronounce the names of streets. Plus I have some Hawaiian friends that I can barely understand!
My husband pig hunts with Hawaiians that speak piggin so fast that he can barely tell what they are saying. It is getting better the more times they go hunting together.
Have you ever looked at Rosetta Stone's Spanish program? I never sat down and did it, but if I do spanish that is probably the program I will pick. It looks like a lot of fun.

Sheridan said...

That is great! We have been learning Greek and Latin together as a family. Using English from the Roots Up flash cards. So we have been learning about 4 new words a week. It isn't so easy to use in our every day vocabulary. But fun anyway.