ERIC Number: EJ840718
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009
Reference Count: 5
In the Bullring with a Foreign Language--Ole!
Childhood Education, v85 n4 p242-C Sum 2009
With the rapid onset of globalization and increasing demand from business, government, and schools for fluency in another language, the author decided to learn Spanish. Driven by a desire to acquire functional language abilities in Spanish, he has embarked on this "better late than never" opportunity to learn the language, and in this article, he shares some preliminary thoughts. As an educator, he believes a second language should be part of everyone's schooling, university studies, and professional lives. Mounting evidence indicates that learning additional languages has cognitive and academic benefits. It leads to mental flexibility, the ability to shift easily between symbol systems, improved abilities in divergent thinking, metalinguistic awareness, and maybe even higher intellect. Importantly, it contributes significantly to cultural understanding, which is crucial to the well-being of the social fabric. In spite of the many vagaries of learning a new language, the author finds that it has been a unique and fun experience, one in which he is progressing, regardless of his age. He approaches learning with an open mind, and continues to reflect on the methods used to teach him. He also thinks of ways to help his teacher candidates teach English language learner (ELL) children to develop their abilities to communicate accurately and effectively in English. Looking back on his fascinating learning experience, he feels satisfied and dissatisfied. His Spanish endeavors are slow but remain meaningful.
Descriptors: Metalinguistics, Cultural Awareness, Global Approach, Learning Experience, Second Language Learning, Language Enrichment, Spanish
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Adult Education
Authoring Institution: N/A