Friday, April 4, 2008

Sarah's Spanish

We have been amazed at watching Sarah learn Spanish while we've been here. As teachers, watching the learning process in our own child has been very interesting. We have not interfered in the natural progression and we have just watched as she learned naturally from her friends and her Costa Rican preschool teachers and people in her life. She went through a stage where she was doing a lot of listening and processing, but not much speaking. She also went through a stage where she would only speak Spanish to people who obviously looked "hispanic" to her, and she would only speak English to the "gringos"... if a gringo asked her to speak Spanish, she wouldn't do it. I guess in her little head, it didn't make any sense to speak Spanish to someone who so obviously could understand English - duh! So for a long time, we didn't hear too much of her Spanish. Then one day, we just happened to overhear a complete conversation between Sarah and Lizbeth (our empleada / friend) and it was amazing!!! Just within the past month, she has started to speak Spanish to anyone who speaks it to her... including us. If I speak in Spanish, she will stay in Spanish with me. If I switch over to English, she will switch, too. It's really amazing. Last night we had several of the 20-somethings over to eat brownies and watch TV (a kind-of family night) and Sarah told someone, "Vaya y traegamelo" (Go and bring it to me)... the entire room stopped and our mouths dropped open. She was using the subjunctive tense with imperativos / mandatos and complimento directos and indirectos! These specific tenses in Spanish took the rest of the room 8 months of school to master and she managed to do it without ever picking up a book or studying or taking a single test!!! Wish I could learn like a 4 year old!!!


Sean Moore said...

So jealous right now...Sarah's going to be better than all of us.

Sue said...

Hi, Laurie, I just found your blog today! How are classes going? The four week intesive course was the hardest thing I have ever done! When are you scheduled for Peru?