Observations from DFW Child’s Project Preschool

As I’ve mentioned in my book, the German International School of Dallas, where my son attends, requires each family to volunteer ten hours every semester. So today I went to Northpark Mall in Dallas and represented German ISD at DFW Child’s Project Preschool, a preschool fair, for a couple of hours.
Poster-2017.jpgIt’s easy for me to talk about German ISD because it holds such a special place in my heart. But it’s not so easy to catch–and hold–a busy parent’s attention in the middle of the mall to talk about the school. Fortunately, the German ISD director brought a craft activity to occupy the kids while we discussed the program with the parents.

A couple of themes emerged from my interactions with families:

“My [insert family member] is German, and they’d love if my child could speak German with them.”

“My family speaks [X] languages in the home already, and we’re looking to add another.”

So some people were excited about extending their cultural heritage, whereas other families just value language learning.

What I loved most about my time at Project Preschool today was getting to spend time with another German ISD parent–one who speaks German fluently and visits Germany often. We talked at length about our cultural differences, and she made me want to visit Germany more than ever. Someday…

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Sunday Language Challenge: Coffee

My newfound obsession with cappuccinos (and my failed attempt to DIY one at home todady) has me brushing up on my German coffee terms. I’m using Transparent Language’s blog post, Kaffeepause at a German Cafe, to help me.

Visiting a coffee shop in another country is more than just ordering coffee. It’s asking if a seat is open, where the bathroom is, and if WiFi is available.

For instance:

“Ist dieser Stuhl frei?”

  • “Ja, Sie können sich hinsetzen.”
  • “Nein, er ist besetzt. / Nein, hier sitzt jemand.”

“Gibt es WiFi hier? Können Sie mir bitte das WiFi passwort aufschreiben?”

I love a good cup of coffee, and I can’t wait to be able to order one in a German or Austrian coffee shop someday!

My language challenge for you today is to learn the vocabulary, grammar and pronunciation to be able to order a coffee and make your way around a coffee shop in your target language.

Wonder Woman: Language-Specific Review of the Movie

Finally saw Wonder Woman! It was a beautiful movie but not without its imperfections. Specific to languages, here's what I liked and what I didn't (don't worry — no spoilers here): … ⭐ Diana supposedly speaks thousands of languages, so the scenes in which she showed off bits of this knowledge were fun to watch. … 🚫 I get that the masses don't care for subtitles, but the characters speaking English when they clearly should be speaking in another language cheapens the movie. … Are you OK with subtitles in some scenes, or would you rather just hear accented English? Leave a comment 👇🏻 . . . . . #wonderwoman #galgadot #languages #mandarin #movie #moviereview #languagestudy #languagelearning #greek #russian #english #acting #hollywood #actress #warrior #dianaprince #warnerbros #cosplay #dccomics

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Finally saw Wonder Woman! It was a beautiful movie but not without its imperfections. Specific to languages, here’s what I liked and what I didn’t (don’t worry — no spoilers here):

⭐ Diana supposedly speaks thousands of languages, so the scenes in which she showed off bits of this knowledge were fun to watch.

🚫 I get that the masses don’t care for subtitles, but the characters speaking English when they clearly should be speaking in another language cheapens the movie.

Are you OK with subtitles in some scenes, or would you rather just hear accented English? Leave a comment!

Information Overload in the Language Learning Space

You sit down at your laptop. This time you’ll stay focused, you tell yourself. You’ll go straight to your language lesson and actually complete it this time.

You open your laptop, and that’s when things go off course.

What was that tip Benny Lewis recommended? You head over to his blog to refresh your memory.

What did Kerstin Cable suggest again? Now you visit her blog.

Then you watch a couple YouTube videos of other polyglots and language teachers. Next, you’re checking their Instagram accounts. And Facebook pages. Downloading their latest podcasts, even.

They’re all giving fantastic advice. Inspirational. Guaranteed to keep you motivated when you feel like stepping off the language learning path.

But there comes a point of information overload in the language learning space. It’s when you’re spending so much time consuming content about language learning that you’re failing to do what you set out to: learn a language.

This is where I am right now. I am so passionate about the art and science of language learning, but I’m not making myself a practitioner. I’m not progressing in my German speaking, writing, reading and listening. Now that my book, The Language Immersion School Handbook, is published, I don’t have an excuse for my lack of improvement.

I know what I need to do, and although I already have an idea for my next book, I’m going to take the rest of 2017 to focus — intensely — on my German studies. It’s a game of balance because I don’t want to miss any content from my favorite polyglots and language teachers, but I also don’t want to stall on my German any longer this year.

Viel Glück if you’re in the same boat as I am!

Let’s do this language learning thing.

the language immersion school handbook

Announcing The Language Immersion School Handbook

I’m excited to announce that next month I am releasing my first-ever ebook, The Language Immersion School Handbook. Here’s a quick Q&A about the ebook:

Why did I write The Language Immersion School Handbook?

My child attends a language immersion preschool in the Dallas area, so I have a strong connection to and passion for this type of education.

But I also wanted to share what inspired my decision to start a language learning journey for myself and for my son, as well as the path that led us to our beloved preschool.

Language immersion school programs are growing in the United States, and as more parents become aware of them and increase their demand, the growth will continue. In these global times, becoming bilingual is more important than ever, and I believe that a bilingual education (whether in a formal program or not) is a priceless gift that parents can provide to their children.

How long is this ebook?

The ebook will be between 6,000 and 7,000 words. I am still adding content, but I want it to be concise and readable for busy moms and dads…or else they won’t get around to reading it!

How much does it cost?

Right now, The Language Immersion School Handbook is priced at $2.99. In the ebook world, this is a lot of money for a book so short. I think, though, that three bucks–probably as much as you spend on your daily cup of joe–is fair and reasonable, and once you read it, I hope you agree! By the way, if you’re completely unsatisfied with your purchase, send me a note, and I’ll send you a few dollars via snail mail.

Where and how can I get it?

My book is available for pre-order now on Amazon. It will be available by at least October 19, if not sooner, depending when I finish it. To those who’ve already submitted pre-orders, thank you for supporting me.

P.S. If you order it via the links on this page or simply use smile.amazon.com to access it (as opposed to just amazon.com), you can help support your charity of choice. If you don’t have a favorite charity, consider choosing the German International School of Dallas, which is a nonprofit organization and our favorite language immersion school. Danke!

Writing about Language Learning: My First eBook Project

My husband just asked me, “Aren’t you supposed to be writing your book instead of being on social media [my blog]?” And he’s right. I have a book deadline to meet.

But it’s been a while since I last posted on my blog, and I wanted to give a little update on my book project. I guess you could say I’m writing about writing.

The book cover is ready, and I’m excited to reveal it, but I want that first reveal to be when the book is available for pre-order on Amazon. I’m so close to having it ready for Amazon (just as a pre-order), but my heart says to wait one or two more weeks before I get it in the store.

I haven’t publicly announced the topic yet, but here are a few details:

  • It’s going to be a short eBook — meant to be easily digestible.
  • The target audience is parents, especially parents of daycare- and preschool-aged children.
  • It’s centered around language learning.

That’s all I have to say about it for now. Time to get back to the book. Stay tuned for more details!

Who to Follow Next on Instagram: German Roamers | @germanroamers

I spend a lot of time on Instagram these days because it’s my social media tool of choice. Unlike Facebook and Twitter, Instagram does something for me. I find inspiration and gain new ideas. It’s largely still a channel for positivity, at least from my experience based on who I choose to follow on there. Instagram also gives me an outlet to be creative when I don’t necessarily feel like writing a blog post or section of my book.

One of the best recent Instagram discoveries I’ve made is German Roamers, or @germanroamers. This is a collective of photographers who capture the most beautiful views of Germany and surrounding areas. I’m not alone in my appreciation of their work because I’m one of more than 194K followers of theirs.

Not only am I enamored by the quality of their work — it’s the colors that get me every time. I’m drawn to those blues and greens, and my own Instagram account, @YearofGerman, reflects my affinity for those hues.

I love their motto “View > Comfort.” There’s something ruggedly romantic about it. Like, they’re foregoing the finer things in life to produce amazing content for the world. I think that’s a beautiful thing.

Speaking of beautiful things, here are a few of their breathtaking castle photos:

Hohenzollern at it's best, thanks to @dominiclars for sharing! 🏰 #weroamgermany

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