Sunday, March 9, 2008

Language

3 weeks to go until I'm in the fire, teaching 3rd grade to kids who don't speak English. Language acquisition progressing nicely. I spend an hour every day on my independent study course and I now have confidence to speak and use the language. I've been using trying to use Norwegian exclusively at shops and with folks in the office or elevator, and conversations are getting longer and longer before I need to ask for a word or a phrase. I have a stack of science magazines in Norwegian that I enjoy trying to read. I speak with Pam's kids at school and they teach me things as well. There's been a spillover effect on my own kids, who now seem interested in learning the language as well.

On Saturday I took the kids for our weekly walk down to the library. How lucky we are to live so close to all of these books and videos! I checked out a selection of children's books and children's rhymes for myself. The find of the day: a book of Edward Lear poetry, translated into norsk, including my favorite poem, The Jumblies ("Their heads are green and their hands are blue and they went to sea in a sieve").

Another strange effect: signs no longer seem strange and the feeling of being someplace alien is gone. This was part of the charm when we first arrived. Something is lost, but something gained.

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