This week we are working on Language Acquisition. Our instructors, Dwight and Barbara Gradin, have been expert language instructors for over 30 years.
The first two days have been great. The Gradins are not teaching us Spanish, but instead they are teaching us the concepts of linguistics. They are teaching us about the basic concepts of acquiring a new language.
They are spending some time lecturing on language, but, much of our time in the first two days has been small group learning. English has only 44 known sounds, however, there are millions of sounds that are made in all the world’s languages. These small group lessons provide opportunities for us to practice, under expert tutelage, making some of these sounds that are foreign to us. It is frequently awkward and periodically embarrassing, but it is an amazing opportunity to be exposed to such information. We often sound ridiculous and are struggling to make some sounds our ears have never heard.
Just like us, the people of the world prefer to hear others talk in their own heart language. It is imperative for us to understand the importance of learning the language of those we are to serve.
Check back frequently in July as we will be sharing lots of stories and pictures from our month in New York City.
If you want an overview of our missions training in New York click here.