I have to say that already having learned French has made learning Portuguese much easier. (Note I didn't say easy, but easier!) I already understand the process of language learning, the parts of speech, and things that are different from English like masculine and feminine nouns.
You might remember that I was very concerned to learn on my first day of class that my teacher, Maria, doesn't speak English. In the end, though, this has been a huge blessing, because I'm forced to speak (or at least try to speak) Portuguese. I also have realized that with my English, French, and some Spanish, I recognize a lot of the Portuguese words. Another big help. (Though this is hard on my pronunciation!)
Scott goes to class for three hours every morning. We eat lunch together, then I head off for class for two hours. The kids are now taking two hours every afternoon, and after a week, they still seem to be enjoying it!
Now so you don't think that life is all work and no play, we have incorporated a few fun things into our life. We play Mexican Train together every night during dinner (a domino game) and have had a lot of fun with it. Today we joined a nearby swim club so the kids can now swim everyday after school. They are so excited! For some reason they think this is a more enjoyable exercise than walking home from the grocery store with an armload of groceries.
We're also going to some friends' house tonight. They're Americans so we will be speaking only English! (Sorry, but a girl does need a break every now and then!)We are also planning to take the bus out to the mall in the next couple of weeks and go bowling. A neat observation I've made is how our family is growing closer through all of this. We've embarked on this huge adventure together, and I love seeing the kids work together, play together, and enjoy being together. (They're still kids, so not all of the time, of course :-))
Today being Friday, I'm tired and my brain is overloaded, but walking home from class, I felt like things were beginning to come together. Language is like a big puzzle, in some ways, and I'm excited to see some of the pieces come together and to feel as if I can actually say something! My teacher left the room today with her cell phone and told me to call her and invite her over for lunch as an exercise. Yikes! I thought, there is no way I can do it, but I did! She walked back into our class room after I hung up and gave me a big thumbs up! I felt as if I'd just completed the Boston Marathon!
So after three weeks of class, I'm feeling good today. The past two Fridays I was so tired I thought I was getting sick. But God is good and continues to give us what we need for each day.
P.S. Please ignore any grammatical problems with my posts. These are to be expected when you spend hours a day studying a new language, another few hours a day writing in English, and yet another few hours a day teaching your six-year-old English phonetics which are completely different from Portuguese phonetics!
Maria and I
Scott and Gabriel studying together.