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Keeping it all straight

IMG_5269I’ve been in several formal language classes in my life and one thing I’ve noticed as I’ve moved from one language to another was a mixing of languages in my mind.

For example, if I was currently studying Spanish, but had studied Russian several years prior, whenever I would have trouble coming up with a particular Spanish word, my brain would find and serve up the Russian equivalent.

That left me in some strange conversations with some strange looks.

I guess my brain must have thought: Hey, she’s looking for a foreign word, and it’s not here in the Spanish department, put out an all points bulletin for foreign language! Find that word! Foreign language word! Any foreign language.

This has baffled me. How do I set up the boundaries between languages?

Do I study Russian whilst sniffing rosemary and Spanish with lavender?

Recently I completed the Oxford Seminars English as a Foreign Language Certification course. In it I learned all kinds of language acquisition methods that I’ve been dying to try.

I’m planning to start volunteer teaching in the next few months, but in the meantime, do these methods really work? Could I try them on myself with something as foreign as Georgian or Arabic?

I’m going to try everything that comes to mind. I’ll be researching other methods online and refreshing the Oxford method too as I go along. I’ll keep track of it all here as I try to bend my brain into the “right” kind of pretzel.

Cheers!