Monday, February 28, 2011

El aire de tu casa

Well, with all the buzz over "The King's Speech", it's interesting that today in my grammar class we started to learn a song. I have long believed that music is the best way to memorize certain things. I can't remember my cell phone number for the life of me, but I can (and will always be able to) sing the theme song for "Scooby Doo". Working with children these past years, I've realized that music makes memorizing scripture FUN! Imagine that! If you don't believe me, listen to this kids song a few times and I guarantee you will be able to recite the verse! Music also is a great way to learn pronunciation, so this week my class is learning how to sing this song.
Hopefully by the end of the week we will have it memorized!

Monday, February 14, 2011

Parlez-vous Español?

In another week, I will have been here in Costa Rica for 6 months! Unbelievable! Second trimester of language school has been going really well, ...well....as good as it can go when you are stumbling through learning another language! This trimester I'm really coming to realize some of the intricacies of language and it's really interesting how some things translate exactly the same between languages, and sometimes things don't translate at all! Right now I'm learning the past tense, and it's interesting as it's a little different from how we speak in the past tense. We have been focusing on it since classes started a month ago, and it sometimes still bogs me down but I think I'm getting the idea. But I'm thankful that it allows me to have more complex conversations and I can make more sense. For example, now I can say "Last year I lived in Canada", whereas before I knew the past tense, I would have to say "Last year I live in Canada". I'm thankful for my years of Jr. High and Sr. High french as well, since many words have the same roots in both languages and it has really helped with my comprehension. However, sometimes my french vocabulary gets me in trouble when I say something to a teacher and use a french word instead of a spanish word! There are a few words that I can never remember in Spanish and they keep coming out in French! On the other hand there are some words in Spanish that I think are more useful than their english counterparts, and lots of words that are just really fun to say (I love any word with "mente" at the end...finalmente, exactamente, naturalmente etc.).

Today I came across a part of the BBC website where they offer "mini-lessons" in other languages! I clicked on the Spanish site and they have this interactive video mystery called "Mi Vida Loca" (My Crazy Life). There are 22 videos and during the videos you get instruction on some basic Spanish words and phrases then at certain points, the video stops and you get to use your phrases and words for asking directions, etc. It is for beginners and I am now working my way through the videos to see what happens at the end! After that, I might just try another language for fun! Here is the link for the website, if you have a few spare minutes give it a try and tell me what you think! (Please note, the video is from Spain, so the pronunciation is slightly different than in Latin America, but the idea is the same!)