Today, we got to work with people who speak another language as their first language. The lady working with my team is from Russia, but has been in the States for eight years. She speaks English very well – thankfully! We were with our “LH”s (Language Helpers) for an hour and a half and we all had a plan to follow and specific tasks to do. It was an awesome experience. Monday was really hard because our LH was someone on CIT staff and as wonderful as our guy was, he hasn’t actually used Russian in a few years, so he was constantly looking words up and wasn’t really sure what they would say sometimes. So, our lady today was extremely helpful! It’s very interactive, but we pick and choose what we want to learn. Basically, we tailor-make our own classtime. It’s an awesome, awesome way to learn a language!
What’s really nice is that Brian really feels like learning Spanish is now attainable. He knew he would learn it eventually, but with these techniques, he’s much more excited about starting and feels much more confident about learning. Which is such an answer to prayer! We had a great conversation with one of the instructors who lived in Portugal for nine years and he had some awesome advice for both of us and was just very encouraging about the process. It is possible to be almost fluent (to a certain degree) in two years – our first term – if we work at it. Praise God! We feel for our friends who are going to have to learn Arabic; it could take them up to two years just to feel like they are at a child level of communicating. But, at least they’re highly motivated and beginning already!
Today was another very tiring day of working with the phonetics instructor and just reshaping our whole idea of learning a foreign language. We’re awfully tired tonight, but so grateful to be here.