“Speak a new language so that the world will be a new world”.-Rumi
So… I was trying to read the front page of Yahoo! Brasil today when I came across an article about an accident in SP (Sao Paulo). This was the article -http://br.noticias.yahoo.com/come%C3%A7a-limpeza-imigrantes-220000508.html. Many Português language study guides and online sites that I have come across offered up the advice to read the local newspapers, magazines and websites and write down words you don’t know. Later looking them up to learn the language better. This is actually not what I was doing. I think it’s great advice and I do try to do it at times. Today, however, I was simply checking my mail. When I signed out, the front page appeared. What interested me most was what was at the end of the article (that I barely caught the gist of). There happily, angrily and flirtatiously staring at me were bright yellow emoticons with their meanings written underneath them. I consider myself a visual learner. Although, there are recent studies that there may in fact be no such thing and that we all learn the same. I’m going to disregard those studies for now and tell you how these emoticons sparked my interest. Their little shiny faces made me yearn for more words, phrases and verb usage tutorials in simple bright animated forms. I have the Português-English visual dictionary. Unfortunately, mine is Português from Portugal and not Brasil. Several words, I’m told, are the same. Don’t get me wrong, it’s still quite helpful but the problem is I don’t know what I’m getting wrong. You’re probably thinking that I should watch children’s shows and read children’s books. You’re right, I do and I want more. When I was a child I loved Sesame Street. I have loved television in general throughout my life. My parents weren’t the type who banned TV from the household. I’m really thankful they didn’t. I also read, played, learned musical instruments and generally had and took advantage of the opportunities to grow into as well rounded a person as possible. Maybe it worked, maybe it didn’t. My point though is that I learned a lot from TV. I learned how words, that sometimes I had only read, sounded. I learned different accents and different pronunciations, colloquialisms, dialects and slang. Because I read and studied away from the TV I also learned how to differentiate between what was correct, what wasn’t and how far beyond and between those boxes I could go and still be understood by the various people I was attempting to communicate with at any given time. Have I completely mastered the English language in every way possible now, no but am I much more advanced than when I spoke my first word? I sure hope so. Getting back to my original point, animated bright simple things are great when you are learning at any age. There is no shame in my game that I in fact watch Brazilian or dubbed cartoons. I’m learning.
Another thing I have found helpful is playing games. MGFI and I will play Scrabble in Português from time to time. I love it.
Here’s an interesting post about learning another language -http://thepolyglotdream.com/2011/01/13/the-3-stages-of-language-learning-evolution/