Thursday, March 26, 2009

Ideal Language Learning

Most people probably know that I was a Linguistics major in college. Particularly because of my background, it is fun for me to have this experience of learning Arabic in a country where it is the first language. I have definitely learned things that I never could have learned in a classroom, and I have been able to apply many theories that I learned in the classroom. Before we moved here, I was so excited to sit down and study. I am internally motivated, and I spent many hours a week making notecards and learning vocabulary. I never would have imagined that I would get tired of it. Now, partly because of Joshua, but mainly because of where we are in our knowledge of the language, I can hardly stand to sit down and study at all. It seems like a complete waste of time to expand my vocabulary list. What I love now is to practice! (I guess when I say "love", I mean that I recognize this is the most important thing right now.:-P) Last weekend, I had the best time sitting with several women who speak very little English. They are all in the same family, so they are very comfortable with one another. It was so nice for me because there was opportunity for me to speak, but it wasn't as stressful as it can be when I am one of two people in the conversation. The best part is listening to them chatter away; it is encouraging to me when I can understand a lot because I feel pretty dumb when I try to form my own thoughts and verbalize them!

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