The main reason people want to learn a language is to hang out with new, cool people. This week I asked myself, is that what our schools are teaching? I wanted to interview my children to see how well school Spanish helped them do what was most important to teenagers: socializing.
My kids just got back this week from Spain. We went as a family for 10 days, and then they stayed for another couple weeks. They stayed with two families. One was the family of our former exchange student. The other was the grandmother of my daughter’s friend.
Of my two daughters, the older had taken a year of standard high school Spanish. The younger had no formal Spanish other than a few weeks of Duolingo practice.
I interviewed them to see how it went.
- How well did they feel prepared? What could they do successfully in Spanish?
- In attempting to learn Spanish, what worked? What didn’t?
- If they could spend the next year learning Spanish, what would they focus on?