For the last several years I have challenged myself to learn a little bit of several different languages. Last year I started learning Swahili. While I lack the fluency to even get directions from an understanding native speaker of the language I had great fun learning pieces. Before that I picked up some Russian from a group of recently arrive Ukrainian and Georgian teenagers I was working with. Most of the concepts consisted on “No!” or “Nyet” and ideas along the lines of move quickly or that is illegal in the United States. Again – not the kind of fluency one desires. There have been smatterings of other languages like German, French, Norwegian, Tongan, and a random hodge podge of chinese and southeast asian languages.
There is also sign language (American). This is the one language I can speak with fluency close to my native English. I think the reason I picked up and held onto this language was due to the exposure of native speakers. This really helps me in maintaining and building linguistic comfort. Taking this into account I am starting a new language venture.
Until a couple years ago I avoided learning Spanish. I blame a deep rooted fear of a certain un-named instructor at my high school but that seems silly now. Of all the languages available to learn, spanish would by far prove to be the most useable and easiest to learn just by proximity to native speakers. While student teaching several of my spanish speaking students “tutored” me while I tutored them on subject specific concepts. I feel I owe it to these students to continue the study.
That that end: THE PLAN!
- First step, find real life tutors! (I am moving so this may prove complicated).
- Enroll in a class (Again see number one).
- Join the Second Life language classes online (Done – there…but where is everyone else?)
- Figure out more steps.