I’ve decided to start the journey. The journey of becoming trilingual. I’m scared. I’ve come up with several excuses as to why I can hold off on starting my French classes: no time, too much money, how much could I possibly learn….the list goes on. I decided to start this HUGE endeavor because I’ve never taken a foreign language course. Sure, I took Spanish in highschool for the easy “A,” but it wasn’t a foreign language to me.
Mostly, I decided to do this because I envy & admire people who can speak 3, 4, or more languages. I envy their experiences. I admire the work and committment they put into acquiring a new language. I’m jealous that they can see the world through a different lense AND I know they can because I do when I speak Spanish.
Truthfully? It’s not all about being envious and admiring multi-linguals. I think it’s important to learn more than one language. I’ve stated it before in my blog that I believe the entire US should be bilingual…at least. They should AT LEAST have the opportunity to become bilingual. As I have found my self saying this numerous times it dawned on me that I haven’t ever tried to learn an additional language. How can I say that everyone should learn a second language when I haven’t even done just that. I’m what they call in the bilingual education world a “heritage language learner.” I was lucky to live with parents who’s native language is Spanish. It was easier to “pick it up” as they say. So…..as I mentioned….the trilingual journey has begun.
The language of choice? It’s French. Why? Well it ultimately came down to logistics. At first I really wanted to learn Portuguese because I thought it could benefit me and any possible research I may one day do in South America. The more I thought about it, AND believe me this is something that has been stirring in my mind for some time now, the more I realized that it had to be French. It’s quite simple. My husband speaks conversational French. I don’t think he’s fluent, but then again it’s hard to tell when I have no idea what he’s saying, BUT based on what others and he have told me, he knows basic conversational skills, what we call BICS in the bilingual education world, which is fine with me! Since he speaks French I thought it would be a lot easier to teach our children French, Spanish, & English if the whole family spoke the same languages. See…purely logistics.
So, I’m now at a point when I have to pick a school to learn French. I’m leaning towards the “Alliance Francaise” in Austin because they have small class sizes and they’re pretty reputable. Another reason why I decided to take this on is because I wanted to get a students perspective when learning an additional language…one completely foreign to them, unlike what my “foreign language” experience was like in high school. I am realizing why many individuals do not learn a second language. There is a huge commitment, financial, and time component. There are also alot of “not so great” language schools out there.
All of the above being said, I’M EXCITED. I won’t actually believe it until I am sitting in class listening to French and slowly, but surely sharing a few French words with fellow classmates.
Wish me luck!