Language Challenge 101 – Week Three

by Corey · 3 comments

Welcome to week three of Multilingual Living’s Language Challenge 101 – learning a language over the course of 101 days.  If you missed our first few weeks, just click on the Language Challenge 101 button on the very left of this website page and you’ll find everything we have done so far.

Consistency – or lack thereof

This week was a little less consistent compared to the past weeks.  It felt like we spent a lot of time thinking about how we wanted to continue with our language learning and less actually doing it.  And when we did do it, it was more haphazard and random than previous weeks.

Nevertheless, we are finishing this week with some new plans which we are really, really excited about.  In fact, I think it was the randomness of this week which ultimately gave us the chance to figure things out – another reminder to just step back sometimes and look at everything from a perspective.

Here is a quick a rundown of things in this week’s video diary:

Our Kids Learning Spanish

This week I made an effort to find more directed and constructive ways of using our children’s Spanish materials for more in-depth learning.  I didn’t want to bore the kids with rote exercises, so instead I decided to take advantage of the 2-3 books in Spanish that my kids really enjoyed and make them the focus for our learning.

We did the following:

  • To start, I paid attention to which books my kids took a liking to.  Of the 20 or so that we had from the library, 2-3 really stood out as entertaining and ones that we wanted to understand better.
  • We read each book a few times in Spanish and discussed what we thought the story was about (this came from the few words we knew as well as the pictures).
  • We picked one book and used a dictionary to translate the words that we didn’t know (some of this was done together but most I did on my own).
  • We then read the book with our translation nearby so that we could really understand what the story meant.
  • I pointed out the words that we didn’t know before and we used them for more discussion (which were similar to English words, which were hard to pronounce, which were similar to other Spanish words, etc.).
  • We then read the stories over and over again until we felt that we really understood them.

One of the side benefit of this was that the kids learned how to use a language dictionary and why it can be so useful.  I made sure not to force them to use it – only as long as they were interested.  I think it was good for them to see that there is much patience involved in learning a language but that it can be done in a fun way and using fun materials.

The best part was the magical feeling that came from finally understand the story once the words were translated.  It was like a big window opened up for all of us each time we were able to read a story from beginning to end and understand it!

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Karen July 30, 2010 at 10:48 am

You guys are so inspiring!


2 Corey July 30, 2010 at 10:54 pm

Awww, thank you! Well, it is sites like yours that helps keep us moving along in this language adventure! We are having an even better time knowing that others are cheering us on (and even doing their own Language Challenge-ing 101). So glad to have your encouraging comments!!


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