Thursday, January 7, 2010

Snow Day

1/7/10
Kristen says:

Home again, for the third day this school year--and it looks like tomorrow could be the fourth. Sigh. How I am looking forward to next year when I am in Honduras where there is no snow (although, I have a feeling I will be complaining about how I miss snow days...go figure.)

I am using this un-expected day off to brush up on my Rosetta Stone. I've been very bad about it since the week after Christmas--like working out, this is going to be something I have to make myself do. Spanish, like a slim waistline, won't come on its own.

After an hour of hard work today I'm on Level 1, Unit 2, Lesson 4 right now, and it is getting harder and a little more frustrating each day. You see, I had two years of Spanish in high school, so I know that mesa means table and falda means skirt. But that's not the point of Rosetta Stone. They want you to learn by immersion, not translation. I'm not supposed to think "I am a teacher" when they are saying "Soy maestra". But I do! Also, they say words like leyendo (reading)--see! I did it again--and the first time I don't understand what they mean, so I look at the picture and think about what the picture is of, but I think about it in English, not Spanish like I'm supposed to. (By the way, I'm living under the impression that words that end in -endo are -ing words in English--hopefully that's correct).

I WANT to translate, because I want to know what I am saying, but that's not the RS way. It's driving me crazy because I feel like I'm just supposed to be parroting, rather than actually learning. (Except that I am kind of learning, I think).

Obviously the RS people have been making a lot of money for a lot of years, and all those people on the RS infomercials talking about how good the software is can't be lying, can they? (Especially not Michael Phelps--he said it helped him get ready for the Olympics). So maybe I need to give it more time--maybe I need to hurry up and get beyond my limited Spanish knowledge to the harder stuff, where I have no prior knowledge to mess with my brain or make translations without my permission. It's just that I want to speak Spanish correctly, with all the correct verb tenses, and it is bothering me that I don't know what they are. I don't want to be an ignoramus gringa if I can help it...

Time to clean up the apartment, then maybe do some more RS...make up for my slacking the past week or so.

KF

1 comment:

  1. People have been learning 2nd; 3rd; etc.
    languages for centuries, and we've yet to improve on traditional instruction.
    Audio/video recordings are useful tools, but some programs lead students to believe they'll learn through osmosis. You'll do well to get out your old Spanish texts and evaluate your gramatic level and then find an appropriate grammar-based course of study.
    Vocabulary and phraseology come quickest with immersion which you'll get if you actually stay for an extended time in a Spanish speaking environment. You could memorize the Spanish dictionary, but without grammar you'll still be illiterate.

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