One way in which I’ve decided I am going to proactively fight the feeling that I am a lazy, slack ass and have lost the ability to learn things, is I am taking online Spanish lessons.
I looked into a community college class but felt like I was a bit between classes. I have taken three years of Spanish (eons ago) so starting in the first semester class seemed like I might get frustrated but starting in the second semester class might have been a (major?) reach.
So I put an item on my calendar to study my Español at home. I signed for a Gold Key at Live Mocha which is turning out to be a pretty cool language learning toolbox. With my key I have access to any of the languages but I think focusing on this one is in my best interest.
The program, as I’ve figured it out so far, has a few interesting components. Each lesson starts with vocab/phrase learning and associates the words with pictures (like Rosetta Stone). Then there is a mixture of exercises where you identify or put together phrases. Then there is a written component and an audio component. Here is where it gets interesting. Your written/vocal submissions go to other users who are fluent in the language you’re studying. They submit feedback and you’re given English learners to review.
I was telling M that they’re a tad harsher than my fellow 10th graders were. I am still feeling a bit shy about it all and haven’t engaged anyone as a language partner.
The truth? I don’t take naturally to languages. I always got pretty good grades in language class because I was a good test taker. I learned the conjugations and was great at inferring. This method of learning is a bit more open (and more like how children learn their native language I suppose) and feels harder for me.
I have a gold key for one year…let’s see how much progress I make.