Another thing that surprised us was just how many kids could speak multiple languages. Kids who do not have mixed nationality parents. Kids who are not "full-time" expats. We learned kids are like sponges and soak up languages easier when they are younger. This point was proven to us over and over again.
When we moved to Japan we had this very unrealistic idea that we would leave the country being able to easily speak Japanese. While Emily can speak and understand it pretty well, they rest of us left with what I like to call "survival Japanese". Japanese is hard. Like, really hard. It takes alot of effort and I really think total immersion to learn it. While I took lessons the whole time I lived there, I reached a point that to progress any further something different needed to happen.
We have made a family goal now that we are back in the states, to all learn Spanish. Our hope is someday we all will be fluent. Emily and Chris started taking Spanish at their school in Japan. Matt and I both took it in high school and I tested out of it in college. My mother taught high school Spanish and my Aunt has lived in Venezuela for over 40 years (I spent the summer before college visiting). So besides Sami, we all have a basic understanding and some background, although Matt and I are pretty rusty.
All three kids are taking Spanish here in school. So it is Matt and I that need to really buckle down and get our feet wet. I am not a Rosetta Stone fan, although we do own the
I would love to hear from people who have learned a language as an adult. How did you do it? What advice and suggestions do you have? In the meantime, I am thinking the best place to start may be with the words margarita and enchiladas.