Where we are, language-wise

This is going to be a really boring blog post for anyone who is not a language acquisition nerd like me.  But I can’t help myself.  About 5 years ago I posted on our Spanish levels.  With the big move just around the corner, I thought I’d update where we are. ¿Cuánto español podemos hablar?


I’ve been studying a bit every day with Duolingo, News in Slow Spanish and, most recently, Coffee Break Español.  It’s not anywhere near enough.  (I just blanch at the prices of classes here, and the fact that they’re all in the evening.)  I do feel like I have a much better grip on grammar and vocabulary these days.  But when I try to speak in social situations, estoy desmasiado timido.  I mean, I’m introverted enough in real life; trying to speak in a different language is terrifying.  But I think that when I am forced to actually interact in Spanish, my studying will pay off.  Hopefully things will just start to click.


He has just started Rosetta Stone.  But he is a natural with languages and naturally outgoing.  I’m not worried.  However, since he’s working from home he may have to actively seek out interactions.


She has been in dual language immersion since kindergarten (5 years), so she has had the most Spanish of all of us.  However, she’s been in the leading edge of this new DL program (aka: the guinea pig grade).  To make a long story short, she can understand everything her teachers say regarding science, social studies, language arts and basic classroom directions.  But she refuses to speak it.

However, if there is one thing to understand about Violet it is this: she NEEDS to talk.  She talks all day, to anyone who will listen, to anyone who isn’t listening, to best friends, to perfect strangers, at totally inappropriate times, and even in her sleep.  I think that need will override her misgivings about making mistakes in Spanish.DSC_7192.NEF


Making mistakes.  That’s something that Graham cannot abide.  He is very hard on himself.  But acquiring a new language is all about making mistakes.  This could be rough.

On the other hand, he genuinely enjoys doing well in school and meeting challenges.  And he understands more Spanish than he thinks he does.DSC_7221.NEF

There will be a lot more on this subject, I’m sure.  In the meantime, we’re signing up for crash courses in Spanish when we arrive in Granada.  The institute we’ve chosen has ties to their school so they will fill the kids in about what to expect.  At this point there is not much more we can do…



One Response to “Where we are, language-wise

  • Mom/Granny
    8 years ago

    I have a feeling it will go well. 🙂

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