Babbel, Babbel, Babbel
I was talking to my dear friend, Miss Patricia the other day and was telling her about an upcoming trip I was going to take to Spain and Portugal. She said, “Do you speak Spanish or Portuguese?” The answer to that question is a big no! It’s not for lack of trying, or perhaps, attempting is a better word. Our son-in-law is from Colombia, and needless to say, is fluent in Spanish, so for that reason alone, I have no excuse. I have a real live instructor in the family!
I signed up for a course in Spanish with the online language learning software named Babbel. I’m sure it’s very good for most folks, but for me, the lessons went in one ear and out the other. It reminded me of High School because I didn’t do my homework and didn’t show up for classes on a regular basis. I guess old habits are hard to break.
I often wonder if some people just have a natural aptitude for learning a language. I know people who have mastered 3 or 4 languages, and believe me I’m still struggling with English! I’m not after a Master’s degree in Spanish, I’d be happy to just tackle enough to make my way around Spain as a tourist because really Hola, Baño, Vino Blanco, and Gracias just aren’t enough.
It has been said that a little knowledge is a dangerous thing. A friend of mine, (not to mention any names, Fred) proved that on a trip to Mexico. We had a long hot day on the beach and had settled down for a lovely meal when the waiter asked if we’d like something to drink. My friend answered in his very best Spanish, “Uno vino tinto blanco por favor!” Which of course baffled the waiter because Fred had just ordered a Red White Wine!
Back to Miss Patricia, she suggested that maybe I was the type of person who learns better through show and tell, or actually doing as opposed to learning through reading and writing. Interesting thought, so I researched that angle and to my surprise, there are as many as 12 ways of learning! Visual, auditory, tactile, kinesthetic, sequential, simultaneous, reflective/logical, verbal, interactive, direct experience, indirect experience, and rhythmic/melodic. Surely I must fit into one of these categories!
According to Wilfrid Laurier University, of those 12, there are 4 predominant learning styles: Visual, Auditory, Read/Write, and Kinaesthetic. While most of us may have a general idea about how we learn best, often it comes as a surprise when we discover what our predominant learning style is.
Which kind of learner are you? If you’re wondering, here’s a way to find out. It’s called the Vark, a 16-question survey that was designed to help discover your learning style by presenting a variety of scenarios and asking you how you would best make a decision, give advice, or integrate new information.
I went to the website Vark-Learn.com and took the free survey. As I was responding to the questions it became obvious what kind of learner I was. What I found out, based on my answers, was that I preferred listening, discussing, talking, and questioning. Which puts me in the visual, aural, and kinaesthetic category of a learner. I scored a big zero in the read/write category, which wasn’t surprising. I’ve never been able to read a service manual, or instruction booklet to save my soul. I love to read novels as a form of relaxation, but reading how to put something together or fix something, forget about it. However, give me a good YouTube video of someone showing me how to do something, and I’m all eyes and ears.
This was good to know, I guess, and not much of a surprise but what do I do with this information? If I remember correctly, the Babbel course did have an aural component to it, there were some visual aids, but I guess I’ll have to come up with the kinaesthetic component.
The way I see it, the answer is obvious and includes taking up residence in the Portuguese Algarve or Spain’s Costa del Sol for a few months. Soak up the sun, enjoy the food and drink, all of that kinaesthetic stuff! Full immersion if you will.
It wouldn’t take much to convince my wife of this idea!
Till next week...
Welcome to The Word.
Join our VIP List
Be the first to be notified about upcoming shows, premieres, live streams, blog posts (like the ones on this page!) and exclusive offers from Blue Frog Studios.
Thank you to our sponsors!
1328 Johnston Road
White Rock, BC • Canada V4B 3Z2
White Rock, BC • Canada V4B 3Z2