02 November 2011

Tried something new

I took a month out of life to go increase my Spanish language skills which involves a lot of discussion of grammar. That's for my day job but it's interesting and extremely taxing on my brain. I realize I've forgotten all the names of the parts of grammar and exactly what the rules are even though I know how to use them.

So now I turned around and started volunteering to help people increase their English skills. Since I was just in classes, I feel like I know what I found really helpful. It's just conversational English so I don't feel pressured to make all the grammar crystal clear, and I'm having a good time.

One of the hardest things for all of us when we're learning another language seems to be getting it into a conversational mode. Most folks can study and read the language, but getting it to come out of your mouth is another thing. Everyone - globally it seems - is afraid of embarrassing themselves. I'm struggling with how to get conversation flowing among the ladies I'm teaching. We've been simply listening to questions and answering them. That isn't truly conversation. We are having a good time though and that counts for something among my new Spanish and Bengali friends. This week we continue the discussion of food.