Enrichment Activities – Learning a New Language. #SOL20, Day 20/Year 3

One of the activities that have kept me busy for a few minutes each day over the last month as been learning the Italian language.  I genuinely like learning a foreign language and find it challenging but not frustrating. And, when it is not for a formal class but only for self-enrichment, one can walk away from it when a break is needed. I also think that while learning Latin in high school was useful for my nursing education and career, I missed out on learning to speak in another tongue.

In the past, Duolingo was the platform selected for my language enrichment. In 2016, I became acquainted with this digital form of language learning before I took a trip to The Netherlands with my oldest son. It was helpful and fun, although I cannot remember much of what I learned now. I know I did not have the need to speak much Dutch in The Netherlands because it is a place where a lot of English is spoken anyway. I know I tried speaking it in a chocolate shop and finally reverted to English because I wasn’t being understood!

This interest in learning Italian comes from knowing my husband has Italian heritage stemming from a Grandfather who came through Ellis Island as a young man. We have talked about taking a trip to visit this country now that we are both retired.  When that trip will materialize, now remains to be seen but it is still fun to learn the language. So, I turned to Duolingo again, this time for Italian.

It’s funny what one notices when studying something for fun. First, I can read the language better than speaking it.  I also noticed that I probably need to augment my online learning with some old fashioned flashcards that I make myself. Writing things down has always been an essential part of my learning. This is missing when you are only required to click through webpages for questions and answers.  Over the weekend, I will take some time to make the vocabulary list and some flashcards.

The Duolingo platform can be used for free, which is what I have used each time. It tracks your progress and keeps the stage you have attained. You just have to put up with some advertisements in the free version.

In the meantime, 5-10 minutes of language practice a day is fun and easy.  It might be put to use in the future or it might not. In any case, I am using my mind and enriching myself with learning a foreign language.

Image by RJA1988 from Pixabay


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10 thoughts

  1. I learned French in high school and during my first year of university. Fifteen years later I moved to Canada. So now I see French everywhere. I am actually pretty good at reading it! But I can’t speak in a way that is understood by many. I’m working on it. I teach with a lot of French speaking teachers so I really have no excuse. Maybe this should be one of my projects in the next few months! (I need to keep reminding myself I don’t need a project for every second of the day!!)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I have difficulty with the same thing — thinking I need to be busy the whole time. But, I also don’t like to be idle. I’m trying to see this time as an opportunity to do a few things I might not normally do!


  2. Wow, I certainly applaud you trying to learn something as big as a new language! I lived in Germany for a few years while in the military, and got to where I could be understood if I needed something. That said, understanding Germans as they spoke to me was an entirely different subject. Keep it up, and I hope you’ve got the opportunity to use the language sooner rather than later.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I hope your trip to Italy will happen one of these days and that you’ll get to use your Italian. I’ve found Italians to be very forgiving – they’ll appreciate the effort you make to speak in their language.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! I hope so too. I feel worse for my son who was to go over for a month and stay in the town where his grreat grandfather came from. He got permission to work remotely from his university mentor. Unfortunately, he’s working remotely but from our house due to schools’ being closed. (Although we really like having him home).


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