Friday, June 29, 2012

Learning New Skills: German Anyone?

Don't ask me why...but I must have been bored because in January I decided to learn some German. This from the girl who at one time didn't want to learn any languages then took ten credits of Spanish and twenty credits of French in college...don't ask!

The kids and I have been working on it together. After lots of research we selected the Rosetta Stone program. I like it, but the immersion system wouldn't work for everyone. The "linguist" in me has also struggled a bit because they don't explain any of the rules for why the pronouns and verb endings change. It's driving me nuts. So I went looking for a book that would help me understand some of those rules. I think I've found it in The Everything Learning German Book. I haven't gotten more than a few chapters in, but I can already tell that it has the why behind the do-it-this-way.

My 8 and 11 year olds have been able to work with Rosetta is effective, just not ideal if you want to learn survival language skills for a trip to the country. But if you just want to use it as a foreign language, then the program is probably perfect.

The other thing I've learned or has been reinforced about me is that I am not an audio learner. I'd bought several CD series. As long as I was listening to them  in the car, I could say the words. The moment I stepped out of the car, anything I'd just heard disappeared.

Maybe between Rosetta Stone and The Everything Learning German Book, I'll actually be able to communicate beyond Danke and Bitte.

What new skills have you decided to tackle?


Sarah Sundin said...

You and I have almost identical learning styles! I wanted to learn some survival Italian before our trip to Italy last summer. I like Rosetta Stone (though not the cost), and the CDs were great - but only when I had the little guidebook so I could figure out what on earth they were saying! And I kept asking myself, "Why? How?" and ended up buying a basic textbook.

But I'm so glad I did! It was a lot of fun to learn something new, I was able to get our family through Italy intact, and now I'm using bits and pieces in my next novel :)But a year later...I've forgotten almost everything. So much easier to learn a language as a high schooler when I had a brain.

Heather Day Gilbert said...

Oooh, I'm a big German fan (took it in college) and I was wondering about the Rosetta Stone for my kiddos. Thanks for the breakdown. We got a pretty decent French program from Sam's club, actually. But I'm like you--I have to SEE the words to understand them.

Cara Putman said...

Heather, I think I'll buy French, too, so I can refresh my brain on all those credits I took in college. Sarah, why am I not surprised that our minds work the same way!


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