Language Learning: Return on Investment

A2B2 (Fluency Fox Adv. Beginner through Intermediate Conversational Spanish)


Get A Return On Your Spanish Language Investment

12 years (or however long) ago you received a B+ ( or an A or maybe even a C-) in high school Spanish 2.

You met your graduation requirements and that was it.  No more Spanish vocabulary lists to memorize nor verb conjugation charts to trudge through. 

Great, right?

But, what do have to show for the roughly 360 hours of classroom Spanish instruction?

What is the return on your investment?

Even at minimum wage if you converted the amount of time you spent sitting in Spanish class adding accent marks and upside-down question marks to words and sentences you didn’t understand all that well, you would have earned well over $3,000.

But even if you are not going to be financially reimbursed for your time in class, (which of course is a pipe dream but would be cool) there should be some standard relating to your language gains based on your time spent learning said language.

Some facts

According to  the ASCD’s  estimate of where a student’s language “characteristics” would be after approximately 2 years of formal Spanish (or any formal language) instruction are straight forward.

The student would:

*have good comprehension

*produce simple sentences

*make grammar and pronunciation errors

*frequently misunderstand jokes

Also, the language learner at the end of year 2 would be able to answer “Why and How” questions and explain answers with a phrase or short sentence answers.

This sounds fairly simple, right?

The problem is . . . that even though this assessment is on the more forgiving side of what should be attained after 2 years of formal study, most people don’t get this far.

In part, it is because most programs offer grammar based instruction and do not provide the Comprehensible Input nor the needed number of repetitions for students to acquire this “Speech Emergence” level of fluency in the target  language.

Are you satisfied with having wasted your time in high school Spanish with little to nothing to show for it?

Or, would you like to take the Spanish you’ve learned and make it the Spanish you hoped it was going to be when you first walked in to your Spanish class?

If you choose the ladder, keep reading!  If you choose the first, have a nice day. (You can always change your mind in the future 😉

Fortunately, there is such a theory know as Recall of Memory.

The basic idea is that when you reinitiate the study of a subject you previously studied, you will remember some of the previously learned information.

The great thing about “Recall of Memory” is that you will be able to capitalize on what you have learned in the past that was lying dormant and just waiting for the wake up call.

Get the pay out

So, if you want to get back that return on your 360 hours or more (or less if you were sick or ditched your Spanish class a lot) find the resources that will get you on your way.

It’s doubtful that you will need to return to the absolute beginning of the language learning process.  Depending on your memory and how much Spanish has played a role in your life since your last Spanish Exam, the best idea would be to start with resources at the advanced beginner level.

As you begin, your “Recall of Memory” will kick in and you should be making noticeable gains rather quickly.  You can always work backwards to fill in the gaps about concepts and information that you just cannot recall but at least you will be challenging yourself and allowing the process to run its course.

Try it for a week.

With the appropriate materials, you should not only be making a return on your invested hours of Spanish instruction but also earning interest in becoming bilingual.

Now that’s a win win!

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