A Day in The Life of a Language Learning Dad reprise


Sunday (Photo credit: ex.libris)

When I was in New Zealand, I wrote about a day in my life.  That post was fun to write, because it showed how a regular boring person can still study another language despite their schedule.  A log has changed from that post.  I have moved my family back to the US and I work some place entirely different.  So I thought it would be fun to add a little update or reprise if you will to the last post.  So one can see how my schedule has changed and how I am adapting my study patterns to fit my schedule.  So here we go, a day in the life:

Me Levanto MUY MUY Temprano

(I wake up VERY VERY early)

On a regular week day I get up around 6:00 A.M. so I can get out the door around 6:30.  I have a 50 min commute, so I have HEAPS of time to study Spanish on the way.  This is probably where most of my studying gets done, so I try to prepare myself on Sunday for anything I need to put into my iPod.  That way I don’t have to think, I just push play and start practicing.  Sometimes I don’t even use my iPod.  Sometime I talk to my steering wheel about whats going on in my life(all in Spanish).  I sometimes even pray, once again all in Spanish.

Trabajo como….es desmasiado deficil explicarlo

(I work as a…. it’s too difficult to explain it)

My official title is a Central Review Unit Sales Supervisor Trade Risk Analyst(Now say that 10 times fast).  A better title would be a Trade Risk Supervisor.  I am a big proponent of working when you are scheduled to work.  I don’t use my time at work to do other things.

That said, I am a proponent of using your FREE time at work for your advantage.  I don’t have a set schedule, I take breaks and lunches as I need them.  During those times AWAY from work I read in Spanish.  I read websites or Spanish Readers.  It’s great time to do read, because people would think I was weird if I started just talking in Spanish out of no where.

There is one thing I allow myself to do during work.  I try to think in Spanish when ever I get the chance.  I use Spanish and fill in the rest with English.  Sure speaking in Spanish would be better than just thinking, but thinking is better than nothing.  Plus I can go as slow as I want.  My mind doesn’t judge me for pausing a lot.

Manejo 50 Minutos Cuando Regreso a Mi Casa

(I drive 50 minutes when I go back home)

The commute home is just as long, but harder to stay focused on any one thing in Spanish.  I try to do things that take less work mentally, otherwise I start dozing off.  It’s common for me to listen to the radio in Spanish or maybe I might talk to myself in Spanish.  I do confess, on those days where I am just mentally fatigued beyond compare, I listen to just regular sports radio (gasp!).  I know I make myself seem so dedicated that nothing could stop me from learning (sarcasm), but yes even I have my down days.  If you can’t get yourself to learn spanish, then don’t.  Take a minute, hour, day off if you need.  It will be better for you in the long run.

There you go.  It’s different, but the similarities between the two days is that I try to maximize my time.  The 3 minutes it takes to walk in a building or pumping gas are prime times to practice Spanish.  Aprovecha su tiempo libre (Take advantage of your free time).  This is the key to learning a language as a busy person.



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8 responses to “A Day in The Life of a Language Learning Dad reprise

  1. Thanks for this post. I try to do something similar (practice language in my free time), but I sometimes have a very hard time concentrating on one thing for very long. So I will try to do what you talk about here, and practice a few minutes whenever I have a little free time.

  2. I think this is a great post. I use my lunch breaks at work to study Italian, but I didn’t think to use the time I drive to practice. I did at one point listen to podcasts in the car, but I didn’t really find any that I liked so I switched to a local radio station. You’ve inspired me to switch back to Italian podcasts. I’m going to try to find some new ones tonight!

    • That’s so awesome! I am glad I inspired you. The car is such a great time to practice. I hold conversations with my steering wheel and the steering wheel is so patient with me as I try to conjugate Spanish. I can speak as loud and soft as I want.

      Anyway how long have you been learning Italian?

      • Just over a year – I had a bit of a break in that time though :/ I’m hoping to go in the next year or so and that has given me incentive to really pick it back up.

  3. Pingback: Making Time for Language Study « Eurolinguiste

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