Thursday, March 24, 2011

Hablo Deutsch?

We are beginning to think about tackling foreign language in our homeschool. We’ve done some basic Spanish, and my older son took a year of Latin, but it’s time to get serious.

Personally, I love the idea of being multilingual. Of course, as I’ve told my children, the fact that I want to be able to speak another language isn’t enough. The desire doesn’t make it happen – it’s a lot of hard work! Wouldn’t it be great to go to bed one night and wake up the next day speaking several languages?

So, the question is – which language to learn?

My older son wants to learn Spanish. There are a lot of practical reasons for this. It is the language he is most likely to encounter. Additionally, Central and South America are closest to the U.S. giving us the best opportunity for taking a cultural excursion to practice what we have learned. We’ve already been to Mexico once. I know I enjoyed testing out my limited abilities.

However… My younger son is a big fan of German. Sure, there are lots of reasons for studying German as well. It is one of the major languages and offers more opportunities for international business. I took two or three years of German (can’t quite remember) in high school. I still recall the basics, but that’s it. We’ve also been to Germany, but I think it’s less likely we’ll be going back any time soon.

Personally, I’ve been encouraging them to pick one since they would at least be able to practice with each other. They aren’t buying that argument.

I’m happy to do either as I’d like to study with them, but doubt I would be up for doing both. Is that lazy? What are your thoughts?

The fact is – we have to do language. NC colleges require two years or more. I want to pick a good language learning program. I’ve beta tested Rosetta Stone, but didn’t like the lack of grammatical practice. Remember – our goal is to apply this in college, not just be conversational. Plus, it’s REALLY expensive. I have Tell Me More at home – it has gotten better reviews and does do some grammar, so we may go this route. This is one of the areas that I worry about messing up.

What programs/curricula do you use in your homeschool to teach foreign language?

You know – I think Americans are at a strong disadvantage in this area. If you live in Europe and want to practice your Italian, you hop on the Euro rail and spend the weekend in Italy. We just don’t have that option. It’s no wonder Europeans are bilingual and we’re not. So, how do we give our children this advantage?

1 comment:

  1. Hi Amy. I'm so happy to have you as a new follower. Thanks for coming by to visit. I'd love to learn a new language. There's nothing like hearing French or Spanish with a Southern drawl like mine. ha-ha.

    Good luck in my giveaway. Hugs...Tracy :)


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