This is How a Break From Spanish Did My Brain Good

While I was in the US, I took a break from Spanish. And when I first got back here I thought that maybe that had been a mistake because I was really struggling to remember anything in Spanish. Oh no, what have I done?! I thought. My brain broke! A mere week later, I realized the rest did a body brain good. Immersion language learning benefits extend to adults, too!

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This is Why I Write About Language Learning Challenges

Learning another language is difficult. I write about this subject frequently. There is a purpose.

If someone speaks to you in broken English, it has required a lot of courage to do it.

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This Is My Ongoing Theme: Learning Spanish Frustration

“I don’t know how I’ll ever be able to understand and speak a second language,” I said today to my Spanish teacher. “Learning Spanish is hard.”

“You will. You’re doing great!” she responded. Thankfully, she’s my cheerleader, because I’m realizing just how far away I am from being able to understand Spanish. I can say things. I can ask simple, present tense questions, and order food. But understanding the language and being able to speak in a bit more complex manner is eluding me. Reflexive verbs? K(ill)M(e)N(ow) (not really, please don’t).

I feel like I’m forgetting English now, too. “El codo,” I say, looking at the chart my teacher brought. I look at the picture. “I can’t remember the English word.” Continue reading

The Art of Making Friends (When You Don’t Speak Their Language Yet)

“I’m not sure if you are trying to be my friend or if you are trying to kill me,” I panted to my new acquaintance, in the middle of the torture fitness class she’d invited me to attend.

“I am a friend, I promise,” she replied with a laugh. We were both sweating, but I felt like I was the only woman in the room who couldn’t get her breath. The women were like goddesses or Wonder Woman (Wonder Women?) The older gentleman assistant said, “Calm,” to me. As in, it’s okay to slow down. Maybe he was worried I was going to keel over and die. I was worried about that!

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Language Learning is Hard, Even When Immersed

I know language learning is a challenge and I still expected to be further along by now. Not fluent, no, but not feeling so much like my tongue is a fish flopping out water when I try to speak Spanish.

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