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Logistics of adding a 2nd langauge


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On 12/17/2019 at 3:41 PM, Homebody2 said:

I've been so inspired by this thread! We've decided to drop Latin and grammar for the next 6 months at least and set some goals for learning our preferred languages. 11yr old is learning French and 13yr old is learning German. I'm refreshing my Spanish. 

Both boys are excited to read in their languages, so I've started looking for resources to support this. It's harder than you think!

Any suggestions for places to find easy articles about basic science concepts in French or German? I'd love to find a simple encyclopedia written in each language.

I've found many free older German and French children's books online. We love history, so it might be fun to read one and discuss it within the context of the time periods. I've found some kid's websites in both languages, each about specific topics my boys are interested in.

Also, both boys really enjoyed the layout of Getting Started With Latin. Any suggestions for a similar intro program for French or German?

 

 

Yes, Getting Started With French is a good starting point if you liked Getting Started with Latin.  

I don't know of any resources for French encyclopedias for language learners.  I can recommend the following for French speakers, which are at a low-ish grade level but still definitely a French-as-first-language resource:

- Petits Lecons des Choses If you click on the button "feuilleter", you can look through the inside.  

Encyclopedie des Sciences - very similar in style and level to an Usborne encyclopedia  

Histoire du Monde en BD world history in comic strip form

 

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So, since there are a least a few others who are trying to learn languages as a part of their HS education, I will share a piece of advice that I found really helpful to keep in mind   When you are

It seems like Pal is going through a linguistic growth spurt and it's very interesting to watch. Pal is not as wordy or verbose as his brother. He doesn't write stories and poems like Buddy. He defini

We did it! Their evaluations actually went better than I (we) had hoped/expected. Very happy and excited with the results.  

It seems like Pal is going through a linguistic growth spurt and it's very interesting to watch. Pal is not as wordy or verbose as his brother. He doesn't write stories and poems like Buddy. He definitely isn't as talkative as Buddy either, so it's easy to over look his language skills. But I've been observing him more closely these last few weeks and he definitely seems to be getting steadily stronger/better in Spanish than he has been.

He's working on reading longer, more complex books in Spanish now that I've gotten some high-interest reads for him. He has not yet left behind the picky-reader phase which is a little disappointing, but I got him 2 fantasy trilogies that he really likes in Spanish and he's working on those without complaint.

Pals "unlocked" a lot of Spanish word-patterns and so his active and receptive vocabulary has definitely ballooned.

It's very interesting and gratifying to see how much vocabulary and content knowledge Pal has retained from our on going study of the encyclopedia. As we're reading and discussing a lot of history in Spanish, there are a lot of words and stories that have been latent in his memory that are getting "activated".
We have a couple of Spanish language joke books, and when he reads them to himself, he laughs or snickers quite a bit.

 

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Pal wrote a story. In Spanish. Of his own volition.

It's a short story, but still a BIG deal.
If you'd told me 6 weeks ago that Pal would write a story in his secondary language this year, I'd have told you that you didn't know my kid very well. But I forget that kids can be changing and transforming every week or that sometimes, your child wakes up a completely different person than who they've been for the last several months or years.

Sometimes it's like they go to bed and then BAM Update Complete. Please restart the machine. They wake up newly capable of things. So neat.

I'll try and write a better update on their language studies soon.

 

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Since we've been working our way through the home library for over a year now, we are low on untapped secondary language books 😦...

Unfortunately, the majority of the books that we own have been read in-depth and repeated. So if this outbreak continues more than a month, I'm not sure what we'll do for reading material.

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Language Update:

Japanese:  I've disallowed "deep media immersion" (aka binge-watching Anime) during the COVID quarantine and as a result, Japanese exposure has slowed down. They do watch a couple of episodes each day and they keep a Japanese Journal where they jot down sentences or vocabulary that's new or useful to them. They've continued with Japanese literacy and they're making good progress with the Kanji.

They've taken to speaking Japanese here and there so that I don't know what they're saying.  I just encourage them to check each others grammar so that they don't reinforce each others mistakes.

I'm going to invest in online-language mentor and language-exchange practice for them because we need something to breathe fresh energy into their Japanese trek. It is very hard for me to gauge just how much Japanese they're retaining vs losing because I don't speak Japanese. But it'd really, really, suck for them to lose too much ground.

Spanish: Because we're home All.The.Time we've been getting an abundance of Spanish time in. This is when having a home-library of Spanish language media has paid big dividends. It's very easy to spend a lot of time in Spanish each day when their card games, books, video games, music, board games, movies and meal times are all in Spanish.

Pal seems to have caught a writing bug. He's started writing a lot of stories and they seem to always be in Spanish. It's a little weird to me that his stories are almost always in Spanish yet his his essays/notes are mix of Spanish, Spanglish and English. (I forbid Spanglish in all academic writing, but when he's writing for himself, he often writes in Spanglish.) I hypothesize that he writes stories mostly in Spanish because for the last 6 or 7 years, Spanish has been the language of imaginative-entertainment. But it's only a theory, and it doesn't stand up well to the fact that Buddy, our resident writer, writes all the time and he writes in English and Spanish. Because he does a lot of fanfiction, he's writing more Spanish these days, but he writes tons in English.

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16 hours ago, Gil2.0 said:

I'm going to invest in online-language mentor and language-exchange practice for them because we need something to breathe fresh energy into their Japanese trek.

Which online mentor program are you going with? I've been thinking about going this route for German.

Thanks for your updates! 

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1 hour ago, Homebody2 said:

Which online mentor program are you going with? I've been thinking about going this route for German.

Thanks for your updates! 

I'm not sure yet. I know we're not going with an app such as Duolingo or Rosetta Stone. I'm looking to hire a person for X hours of language mentoring each week. I'm planning to pay up some $$$ and get some Native teacher who can do both 1-1 and 1-2 sessions so that each of The Boys can get some individual attention, but still benefit from some shared instruction with his brother.

It's not my preference, but at this point language mentor/teacher with private lessons customized to them is just the route I feel that we need to take for Japanese to keep them progressing and prevent their Japanese from getting brittle or decaying. I'm not usually eager to outsource but I'm going to have to do things differently for Japanese because I have no way of effectively coaching or supporting them in Japanese since they're no longer working through finite and sequential resources that I can understand structurally if not linguistically.

On the flip side:: How are your families language-treks going? Does your kids approaches to language differ? How is your own endeavor for Spanish going?

Feel free to share an update of your own families language treks.

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