Thursday, October 4, 2007


The official summary from the syllabus for the Second Language Acquisition course is as follows:

"The goal of this course is to equip each individual participant to maximize her/his language learning potential. The course focuses on how to make decisions and structure your learning in order to acquire your new language as effectively, as efficiently, and as enjoyably as possible. You will also begin to acquire key skills that are essential for successful language learning."

If that sounds like a mouth full trying taking the course! We are the most ridiculous sounding group of people you've ever heard. We sound like monkeys most of the time! But honestly, it is the only way to break down vowel sounds so we can hear the differences accurately. Consonants too! Ever hear of a phonic alphabet? Yep, I'm learning how to write phonically too (for example: writing a different symbol for the first 'p' in pepto then the second 'p' in the same word). So I am getting quite the education on not only understanding the mechanics behind the words I naturally say in English but preparing for new sounds that I'll be learning when I start taking Spanish in Bolivia.

And actually that has already begun. We have 2 language helpers that come in for an hour a day and we ask them a lot of questions regarding vocabulary and pronunciation and then "act out" the conversation as if it we were really having it in our future countries. We tape record those sessions and then study them during the evening. Homework is a daily event (and oftentimes so are headaches!) and mental exhaustion takes over if your not careful. I've found that a good brisk walk directly after class helps a lot.

So will this two week course help me when I get to Bolivia? Absolutely! Do I wish it was already done with? Absolutely! But as it is, we still have another 6 days of this class.

This weekend I am hoping to get my formal monthly update newsletter written and emailed out as not everyone will be reading updates via blog. It should have a new picture or two as well. So watch for it :)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Fortunately for you, Spanish is a relatively simple language to learn. It is all written just as it is pronounced, with accent marks added as necessary to avoid confusion. (Just don't try to speak subjectively or command someone to do something, as the verbs change when you do!) Imagine if you had to learn Chinese! Furthermore, once you are immersed in Bolivian culture, you'll pick up the local phrases and conversational style right away.

Aunt Dawn
(A Spanish minor in college)