Sunday, January 22, 2012

The Language Diaries- One and a half years

It's been a long time since I updated on my progress in learning Arabic. Mainly because when I am on the computer, the last thing I want to think about is the language. The last official update I gave was after the first three months and alot has changed since then.

In my second semester of Arabic, Ian and I were in a different class together. The institute split up the students into a class with prior experience and a class without. I fell into the latter and Ian fell into he prior category. But, since I was big ol pregnant and an emotional wreck, I asked for Ian to come with me into my class, mainly for emotional support.

Being the awesome husband that he is, he complied and was wonderful for me during those first 8 weeks before Grace was born. After her birth, I had 4 weeks of maternity before I started back to private lessons for the rest of the semester. The goal was to get me caught back up with my class so I could rejoin them in the Fall 2011 semester.

Just 4 weeks after starting back, I took the end of semester exams with my class, even though I had missed so much and hadn't even made up half of it. I didn't do well and barely showed any progress. But I pressed on and that summer I saw a great improvement in my understanding of the grammar and my willingness to try to speak, even if it meant failure.

Fall semester began our third term studying full time Arabic. Ian and I were in separate classes and I (shockingly) didn't mind and really enjoyed myself. I was in a class where I wasn't necessarily the slowest or the least informed, and, as the semester wore on, that became more and more apparent.

Nearing the end of the semester, the gap between the two halves of the class were rather wide. But luckily, several of the students left for private classes and several said that this would be their last term.

During this last semester, I really saw growth in my vocabulary base and my use of past, present, and future tense verbs. I still have these huge gaps in those areas, that would help my fluency tremendously, but I was happy with the progress I was seeing.

I also had alot of success with my cultural adaption. I just became alot more comfortable in my own skin in my new environment. It made me more relaxed when I was out in public, which, in turn, made me more at ease when using the language.

This past week we took our exams again, but this time, when I came out of my interview portion, I wasn't really kicking myself for any one thing (except using the verb "to dance," instead of "to run." my bad.) My results showed a HUGE leap in progress and I am on track with where I should be with my class. My written portion wasn't the best, but I think I just had a case of test anxiety/end of semester jitters, since the day before I had answered alot of those same questions with ease on our review. The written portion doesn't really bother me though, since the teacher still gave me good marks on my overall semester evaluation.

Ian, of course, did amazing, seeing as he is neck and neck with getting the best possible score you could ever get. It is very possible that at the end of neck semester, he literally gets a 100% on his spoken, pretty much meaning he is fluent.

It is hard to believe we only have one more semester of full time language study! I am so ready for this phase of life to be over and to get on with the real living like adults part of our life.


katie said...

Wow: it is such a process! I can't imagine everything that you have learned and gone through. Congratulations on your breakthroughs and continued progress!

Do you guys mainly speak English or Arabic at home? OR some combination?

Hilary said...

Gave you a blog award @