Hola Meltingpot Readers,
I have a confession to make. I'm losing my Spanish. Okay, let's be real, I've gone beyond losing and feel like I'm on the verge of lost. It's been two years since we've been to Spain, el esposo and I speak English together and I don't have any close friends who are Spanish dominant. Ay de mi!
I've always considered myself a lover of languages and imagined I'd be trilingual by now, living abroad, traveling at a moment's notice, but hey, real life got in the way. But still, there's no reason I can't live out my language fantasies. But just like wanting washboard abs, maintaining one's dominance over a foreign language requires constant practice and I've been a little floja these last two years. And what's worse, my boys have been too (every since we took them out of the Spanish immersion school).
So, those of you who know me, know I'm not going to watch the Spanish wash out of me without a fight. My fluency is dormant, not gone, so I'm going on a quest to get it back and I'm bringing my boys with me. Here's what we're doing in the Kinky Gazpacho family these days:
1. All meal times, even when el esposo is not here, are Spanish only. We started this new rule on the first day of school. It's hard to make the change, but I figure it's the only way to have a guaranteed Spanish conversation every day. It forces us to charlar en espanol using everyday language and grammar constructions that are kicking my butt. But it's helpful. And the best part, as babygirl is always in the room with us, she's getting to hear a lot of Spanish. (FYI, el esposo only speaks to the kids in Spanish and they respond in Spanish.)
2. Since I'm now spending a lot of time in the house with a baby in my lap, I end up watching way more television than I have in the past. So, I'm making myself switch over to Univision or Telemundo whenever I can and just listen. One, I get to hear several different accents and two, I'm improving my oral comprehension.
3.And finally, crazy as it sounds. I'm going to read a novel in Spanish. Yes, I'm going to reach back into my stash of Spanish novels from college and see just how bad, er I mean how challenged I really am. I'm a little wary because I know I'll be frustrated reading with a dictionary at my side, but I'm going to do it and el esposo is going to ask me about what I've read. Oh, wait, I just remembered, I have a new collection of the Best Short Stories by Spanish authors. I think I'll read that instead.
So, there you have it people, my new Spanish regimen. We're planning on being in Spain this summer, so there's that motivation to succeed. Do you have any other suggestions for me and my boys? What do you do with your families to maintain the 'other' language? Estoy escuchando.