Uh, huh. We did. ;)
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My husband is from Costa Rica. His first language is Spanish. I grew up in San Diego and I’m as white (meaning Caucasion) as they come. I grew up speaking only English. He grew up speaking only Spanish. We both had to take classes in high school to learn each other’s language (years before we met) and we both quickly became disenchanted with rote memorization, grammar, verb tense and pronunciation. We wanted to SPEAK! Not memorize and recite day in and day out.
When I moved to Costa Rica in 2001, I had 6 years of these tedious language classes under my belt. If we’re comparing learning a language and language fluency to an outline of a book and the fully written poetic book itself… well, I had only the bullet points of most of the outline. I had the structure, but none of the poetry. In fact, when I arrived at my new home in Costa Rica and attempted to communicate to my house mother about meals, showers, laundry and sheets, I was reduced to pointing and signing. I had a long way to go.
I dove into my new world with eager enthusiasm. In addition to living with a Spanish speaking family, I made Spanish speaking friends and endeavored not to spend all of my time with the English speaking missionaries. I attended a Spanish speaking church and I taught English in a Spanish speaking school. Staff meetings, the breakfast table, the bus, the meat market, the bakery. These were my teachers. Oh and I threw in some more Spanish classes just for good measure. Just six months later, I was fluent. Granted, I still made a lot of mistakes, but I could clearly communicate in complete sentences with relatively little effort.
That was over ten years ago. Since then...
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