watch your language

Maybe it’s my background as an English teacher or maybe it’s because I’m a word junkie–one who, in college, actually enjoyed writing down new words on index cards for my linguistics class.  I find language fascinating.  I’m in the early stages of learning Spanish via Rosetta Stone, thanks to the awesomeness of my boss for selecting me as one of the lucky few to pilot it.  Today, I finally passed my unit one, level one test, after three tries, and after somewhat mastering the verb “to hold.”  Rosetta Stone teaches through full immersion, no English translation (ever), and provides pictures to help the student understand what she is learning.  Though it is very repetitive, I have found it easier to master and retain vocabulary.  I think the difference for me has been in training the mind to begin thinking in the second language.  As a French student in high school, I  always had stopped to consider my answer in English, then translate into French.

Spanish, in a way, seems to make more sense than English, though how they determine what gender to ascribe to non-gender items is beyond me.  A dress is male but a skirt is female.  But beyond that, I’ve found the grammar rules easier to follow since in English often there lacks a rhyme or reason for verb conjugation.

El bebe agua.  Ella bebe agua. –> He drinks water.  She drinks water.

Ellos beben agua.  Ellas beben agua. –>  They drink water (all boys or mixed gender).  They drink water (all girls).

El lee un libro.  El lee su libro.  –> He reads a book.  He reads his book.

Ellos leen los libros.  Ellos leen sus libros. –> They read the books.  They read their books.

Our goal is to finish a level by May.  Level one has four units, each with ten activities, including the review.  I’m already considering what language to learn next.

What about you?  What language(s) do you know?  If you could learn any new language, what would it be, and why?




2 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Stephanie on January 2, 2011 at 4:24 pm

    Check this out sometime. So much awesome wordiness! Fun to listen to 🙂


  2. Posted by Linda on January 2, 2011 at 4:37 pm

    I am interested in following your progress and hearing your thoughts on the Rosetta Stone tool.
    I have wanted to try my hand at Spanish using it, but the cost kept me from starting!
    What a wonderful opportunity for you – and a smart way to determine viability for student use!


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