Have you ever made that once in a decade trip down to Mexico? You know, the one where you get to try out your "yo quiero tres tacos, por favor", dialogue with the server, letting your kids know that you know what's up!? You take the family down there to experience something new, something different, something hopefully a little less expensive than any given California theme park these days. You take the family down there to get some relaxation time in and to get the kids some CULTURE! And before you know it, you've ordered your 3 tacos, dinner for everyone, a few beverages and paid your pesos for a memorable family meal and now you are back in the states, five years past that great trip, looking back at it as a fond memory.
How'd that Espanish hold up in your kids' memories and skill sets? Did that mini-crash course of an extended weekend's language immersion program have any lasting impact on your language skills? Or the kids'?
We've lost that lovin' feelin', for pursuing dynamic and exceptional lives for our kids, if we ever had it at all. And, maybe even for ourselves. We have stopped expecting, pursuing and chasing excellence.
Language immersion, which has been touted by agencies like the FBI and CIA, the Mormon Church, and The United States Army, as being essentially the ONLY true and reliable method to move an individual towards fluency in any given language, is well applicable to our kids' lives today.
What kind of immersive experiences are your providing 'Sam and Suzie' with? Ones where they get to call home to mom and dad if they are having a rough day at their '1.5 hour sports camp'? Ones where their feelings, comfort levels, social levels and exposure to challenges are no more challenging than a 6th grade game of kick-ball? Ones where they aren't expected to struggle to put the words together of, "donde esta el bathroom?"
I posit (that's a little grad-school talk for "it's my belief that this is fact") that we speak very little of the words of excellence in our daily language, with ourselves, and even less with our kids. The lexicon, the actual collection of words, such as determination, struggle, victory, losing, champions, progress, goals, etc, has been replaced with, "Mom, can I have the iPad next?".
Let's make some changes, in our own lives and that of our children's, to expose them to discourse, movies, experiences, struggles, and those who made history- in, with and around, the vocabulary of excellence.
And as far as Spanish goes, a homonym exists in a single Spanish word: "Poder", which stands for the verb, "to be able to" but also defines the noun which means: "Power". Let's empower our youth with what they need, to be able to confidently face their future, including instilling in them the language and immersive experiences of excellence.