exploring, examining, exchanging, expressing
Sunday, November 12, 2006
Role Reversal
I have no doubt that learning a different language is difficult. I took French for four years in high-school. I took another four semesters in college. Ask me how much French I know now. Je parle un peu. It's pathetic. Language skills are lost quickly when they aren't used.

I know I need to learn some Spanish if I'm going to survive in Costa Rica. I can hope that folks in San Jose will speak a little English, but I'm going to have to venture into the other areas eventually. Besides, learning another language will undoubtedly help me be a better language teacher.

So, to that end, I've been taking a conversational Spanish class at OSU's adult education center. But it only meets once a week, so progress is slow. I've also been listening to lots of Costa Rican radio. And I've even tried some Spanish audio lessons. But for practical, real-life education that's entertaining too, you can't beat video from random freaks on the Internet.

Thanks to YouTube, I've been watching Spanish Lessons with dvk:
Lesson 1 - WTF are you doing?!
Lesson 2 - You are a pervert.
Lesson 3 - That's %$#*ing awesome!
Lesson 4 - Holy #$%@!
Lesson 5 - WTF LOL BRB OMG
Lesson 6 - What's up, dude?

And some more traditional-style lessons from skypeskool:
Lesson 1 - Basic Greetings
Lesson 2 - Basic Questions
Lesson 3 - Restaurant
Lesson 4 - Ordering Food

Still, I don't know enough Spanish to get by on my own. This really makes me appreciate the struggles my students face. They show up, every week, after working long and hard hours. I can see the exhaustion. I can tell they are tired. But they persist. They endure. They make the effort to show up and learn a difficult language. They want a better life. It's that important to them.

If they can do it, so can I.