Thursday, April 22, 2010

About Language Learning

I've been learning Italian.

It started when Jacob was in the 9th grade, because I told him he had to learn a foreign language.  His first choice was Danish (at the time his life's goal was still to work for the Lego company, which is headquartered in Denmark). I told him I wasn't all that interested in learning Danish and so he chose Italian, which was fine with me because I had been wanting to learn it anyway.

We studied it for about a year and a half, and then he asked if we could switch to German; his reasoning was that if he was going to have to learn a foreign language, he'd prefer it to be a Germanic language, since he already knows a Germanic language (English).  I informed him that if he was going to learn a Germanic language it would be Dutch, because that would make my life infinitely less complicated! I used to speak German fairly well but that was a long time ago.

So this year he's been studying Dutch and the Italian books have been sitting, unused, unloved, on the bookcase.  But a couple of months  ago I decided I really did want to continue to learn some of that language and so I dusted them off and started up again.  I recently read a book called How To Learn Any Language by Barry Farber, which was encouraging on two fronts: a) I've been doing some things RIGHT in my approach to teaching Jacob language, and b) it had some good suggestions in it.

So I'm spending some time every day with my Italian book and my vocabulary cards.  Since I'm hanging around the house for Jacob's sake but not really needed by him for much of the day, it's a good use of my time and I'm having a lot of fun with it!  I suspect it's also a good mental exercise for my Failing Brain.

Oh, and I highly recommend Pimsleur language CD's.  They are great.  The library has a number of them.

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Home, sweet home

Home, sweet home