I took my first Spanish class in 5th grade, I think. I remember the teacher’s face clearly and that the class was in a temporary building outside. Like a trailer with noisy ventilation. I don’t remember much of the experience.
I took another class in 6th grade as it was a requirement of magnet students. I remember Senora Boone very well, in fact, I ran into her a few times over the years. She had a daughter my age who played soccer in the same league. I think I struggled with that class, but then again, my whole 6th grade year was one of my worse years in school.
I skipped foreign language in middle school. I had enough going on playing every sport in the school even track! Not running – ha! I was never a good runner in terms of speed or distance. Instead, I did shot put and discus throwing. I did embarrass myself once in a track meet when I filled in for one of the runners. Came in last place. Barely finished.
I’m getting off track (heh) here, but I did spend one year in Hebrew school. Didn’t learn much Hebrew as the teacher spent more time disciplining the clowns in my class.
In high school, I was determined to graduate with an advanced honors degree, which required two years of foreign language. I ended up taking three years of Spanish and one year of French. It turned out to be a favorite subject. The first two years were a breeze. The third was tough.
When I took French, I had had two years of Spanish (I took French at the same time as third year Spanish and with the same teacher.). Good thing I didn’t take French instead of Spanish. It was heck trying to lipread and understand spoken French. Reading and writing wasn’t a problem.
Thankfully, I had a kind teacher (one teacher taught me three of the four classes) who let me take the listening tests individually so I didn’t have to embarrass myself with repetition. How I’d love to become fluent in Spanish or any foreign language. But listening is such a big part of it. Sure, many say “put your mind to it… make it happen… yadda yadda.” Becoming fluent is not high on my list right now. Getting a masters degree would happen before the fluent thing.
I love it when I watch a movie and see Spanish appear in captions actually written out instead of [speaking Spanish] and sometimes I can figure out the sentences. It’s amazing how learning a foreign language can help with your grasp of English.
It’s a darn shame that Americans aren’t expected to learn two languages. I don’t think there are very many countries where its citizens only know one language.
I had thought about getting tutored in Hebrew along with my daughter as she prepares for her bat mitzvah in the next couple of years. That darn time thing again! Gotta keep my priorities in order otherwise I’d get nothing done.