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Going forward requires a look back

11 Nov

I am now part of the Blog Expat community.  I decided to go back and look at some of my past blogs to see what the whole world may read rather than just my family and friends.  I found some funny stuff, some favorite posts, and did some reminiscing.

The first sentence in my first blog post clearly demonstrates how little I knew about what I was beginning.

Jan ’09  This is the beginning, as of today I am fully monolingual, by the end of the year I will be bilingual.

I’ve learned so much and so little since then!   I am NOT bilingual in anything.  I haven’t even gotten to a point of knowing enough of the Spanish, Czech, or Mandarin that I have needed to use, to actually communicate a thought with anyone.   I can repeat phrases, but I am afraid that if I say “Ni how ma?” to someone here, they will expect me to know more and start trying to have a conversation in which I will be able to answer with only the other phrases I know, “I’m full”, or “I’m hungry”.

I have a long way to go.

Or there’s this little tidbit

24Jan’09   It’s getting easier.  So there I am, listening to “Exercises on minimal stress contrast” or something, when I pick up my son from school.  -Now, here I should mention that my CD player is permanently stuck in random mode.  For the life of me I cannot listen to any CD from track 1 to track 2 to track 3 and so on.  I get track 7, then track 43, then track 2, then track 14.  This is *slightly* frustrating.   Enter my son, the CD is saying pronunciation drills in complete sentences.  (these are the drills I especially get stuck on because I haven’t learned all the tracks up to this point, at this point we’re on like track 42 and I just finished my third round of track 6 because random sometimes mean repeat)

Remember that I do not have any written words, I’m in my car, I don’t know  these words yet, and I hear,(I don’t know how to put the accents in, sorry) “Donde esta la Embajada Americana, ahi a la izquierda, perdon come dice usted, deme la pluma”  Right now I can write what I was hearing then because I have the book in front of me and I can look it up, but I didn’t then and each sentence rolled together like one long word.

I need to give tremendous kudos to the instruction I received at TEFL Worldwide Prague.  With the actual grammar I learned during this class, (not what I thought was grammar before this class), I have had a much easier time understanding how to begin learning Mandarin while I am here in Taiwan.  I am not sure if I’ll take actual classes, but I have been able to learn more Mandarin in my almost 2 weeks here, than I learned of Czech in my month in Prague.  I honestly wish I could go take the class again.  I would be able to concentrate more completely on the how.  And, I miss the beauty of that city.  Taiwan has it’s own beauty, but Prague’s beauty is unmatchable.

I will always like my Are Mommies Super Heroes? post.  Try to hear the words in your mind as you read it….

27May’11  No Spanish for 2 weeks now, but it has been nice to have sporadic Spanish conversations with David and Thane at home.  Granted they are the kind of conversations that the average 2-year-old Puerto Rican would feel was childish, but still… we are trying to use it and that counts.   The other day my phone battery died and I said, “ahhh mi celular es muerto” ( which I’m not sure is exactly correct), and David says, “like battery dead or like no es bueno?”  to which I replied, “umm, either way, no es bueno….  but, just the battery”.

Of course some of my very favorite favorite posts are those dedicated to teaching Les Miserables to my 8th grade ESL class during my last semester of student teaching.

14Apr’12      22Apr’12       01May’12        24May’12         10Jun’12

And then a few others:

24Aug’12  Is an incomplete list of the many things I’ve been taught by friends.

19Sept’12  My life as an expat is beginning

01Nov’12  Day two of being in Taiwan.

Let me know what your favorites are 🙂

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