We call this "an apple" in English, "una manzana" in Spanish, "une pomme" in French, and "una mela" in Italian. If you were a child, learning one of these languages, you would likely know this well before your second birthday!
Many language courses promote their method of learning a new foreign language with slogans such as "Learn a new language like child!". While there are obviously many aspects of "learning" that children and adults share, there are also significant differences. In fact, "learning like a child" really tries to create the image for you of a young child learning his or her first language, seemingly effortlessly. And who wouldn't also want to learn in a similar way?
A recent blog we published on GEOS Language Plus : LEARNING A FOREIGN LANGUAGE LIKE A CHILD explains why there are major differences between a young child learning his/her first language and an adult learning his/her second (or third) language.
We've arrived in Madrid for the last week of our Spain trip. In the more than seven weeks to date, we have just seen a small part of this country, but are taking many impressions with us.
After our time in Barcelona, which we enjoyed very much (and which also gave us some insights into the Catalan language and political struggle, see our blog...) we traveled south. With visits to Granada with its marvelous Alhambra, and to Sevilla with its Giralda (left), Alkazar and Torre del Oro, we followed in the steps of our Spanish 1 “hero” David - and we learned much about the long and often violent history of Spain.
We also visited Aranjuez and the summer palace of Spanish kings so we could utter the words: “Die schönen Tage von Aranjuez sind nun zu Ende” - the first sentence of Schiller’s play “Don Carlos” (“The pleasant days of Aranjuez are now over”).
While in Madrid, we are also following in David‘s footsteps - indeed our apartment is in walking distance of all the places mentioned in Level 6 of Spanish 1: Parque del Retiro (see picture on the right with the monument of Alfonso XII), the Prado, and even the Plaza de España and the “Museo Chichote” (a bar frequented in earlier years by film stars and other famous folks). There are more museums in Madrid than we can visit in our time here, but we certainly are trying our best.
And equally important, our stay in Spain has given us ample opportunity to try out our Spanish and to collect new ideas both for our Spanish 1 as well as for our future Spanish 2 course...
Spanish 1 works for us
We’ve now been here in Barcelona for a couple of weeks. Our Spanish is improving by leaps and bounds, and we are having great fun exploring the city. (see Gaudi's Casa Mila on your right.) We prepared for our stay with our Spanish 1 course and are pleased at how many words, phrases, and expressions from our course we see, hear, and read every day. During our walks around town, we practice with shop keepers, waiters, and anybody else we can talk to. We read the local El Periódico every morning, and watch some Spanish television at night. Our list of new words, which we review often, keeps growing.
Research for Spanish 2
We have started to take pictures of the advertised daily lunch or evening menus, asked for them in restaurants, and are compiling a list of the most common names of Spanish foods and dishes. These terms, together with other words and phrases that we encounter, will then become part of Spanish 2. (They’ll also be available as downloads on our site for those who are interested.)
The following article appeared in the Watertown Patch on March 9, 2012 unter the headline:
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