Language Learning: Pros and Cons of Practicing in the Car
In a week my flight will be landing in Switzerland. Have I learned a word of German yet? No of course not.
I have been practicing my Italian however.
Mike and I have been listening to the Pimsleur Italian Short course I picked up from the library ever chance we get. Dek is so tired of hearing me say “Dove via Veneto?” that he starts to protest whenever he hears the discs come on.
I do notice a difference though. Whenever I am listening and repeating phrases every once in a while Dek chimes in and repeats a phrase too. He actually corrected me the other day. I was in shock! I almost slammed into the car in front of me. Don’t worry. I didn’t actually hit anyone.
You should have seen the smile on my face. Never have you seen a mama so proud.
Obviously Dek is picking up a few terms just by listening with me in the car. He is learning more by watching the Muzzy language videos and doing their vocabulary DVD, but it is definitely being reinforced with my own studies.
Learning in the car is not easy. It’s actually really hard if you have two kids, one of whom craves your constant, verbal attention.
- Dedicated time where you can do nothing but listen
- Your kids can learn along with you
- You can repeat the phrases out loud without anyone giving you funny looks
- You can learn in small chunks, making it easier to remember
- You can’t SEE the phrases you are repeating. I find it hard to remember things I can’t take in visually as well as audibly.
- Interruptions from kids in the back seat needing food, who are bored, or just don’t want to listen to what they consider gibberish.
- There are other things, like the cars in front of you that you have to pay attention to while also trying to listen to your language discs.
The trick is to stay with it.
Don’t let all of the cons outweigh what you are picking up in small doses. You are learning, even if you don’t see quick results. Stick with it and don’t give up.
After all, I can now ask for “something to eat” and “something to drink.” We’ve come a long way from “where is Veneto street?”
written by Keryn Means