Friday, October 5, 2018

Over years, we had several attempts to get Smarty interested in foreign language, but all our efforts in Russian, German, or Spanish petered out. She simply did not feel the need for the foreign language, not even when she was visiting her family in Germany, because most of her relatives speak at least some English. Her previous school did not have a foreign language elective, and this was one of the reasons we chose to switch her this year - I really wanted her to take up a foreign language prior to high school. So Smarty eagerly signed up for Spanish 1 elective class which has a mixture of high school students and middle school students taking it together.
In the beginning, Smarty did not care for her Spanish teacher. She was used to a lot of praise from her teachers and did not like it when the teacher corrected her pronunciation and did not provide effusive positive feedback. I, on the other hand, could not be happier, because it showed that this teacher wants everyone to get better rather than allowing students to be complacent about what they already learned. With time, Smarty started appreciating rare positive messages so much more. She is also working hard (for her) on mastering the vocabulary and grammar. When I say "for her", it means that she spends a whopping 15 minutes a day or so on her Spanish homework and review.
It amazes me how quickly Smarty is improving in Spanish when having it 4 times a week in school and doing 15 minutes a day at home. I like that her curriculum has a good balance of conversation skills and grammar. She can also see this improvement herself - she was telling me with glee that she was able to write the whole page about herself in Spanish - a pretty steep rise from knowing only a few words 6 weeks ago. She is determined to keep up with Spanish and take it all the way to AP Spanish in the remaining years of high school. My husband and I are already talking about possible trips to Mexico and Latin America when she is older and can guide us around :)

Your Turn

Are your kids learning a foreign language? Which one?


Ticia said...

They're going to be starting next year. I've made abortive attempts earlier, but it's never really gone anywhere.
Here's what I got when I asked them what they wanted to learn:
Peter- Latin
Drake- German (because Dad learned it, and by that I mean he took a semester in college)
Wendy- sign language

I'm still researching what I want to use for them....