Learn the Language for International Travel

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Palm TreesA couple of weeks ago, I took a trip to Acapulco as a guest of Park Royal Acapulco resort.  Most of the people I’ve met on previous trips to Mexico have spoken fluent English.  This resort was different and wonderful, in that it is more of a getaway for people from Mexico City this time of year than Americans.

The only English being spoken was by my traveling companions and me, so it was the perfect time to  practice the four Spanish words I know!

If you’re traveling internationally with your kids, make it a project before you leave home to learn four new words in Spanish, or French, or whatever the native language is where you are going. (Stick with just four or five, or it may be overwhelming for the kids.)  Practice the words at home for a couple of weeks before you go, and then consistently use them throughout your trip.  Make a goal to learn one new word each day. 

Attempting to learn a new language can be a humbling experience, but one that is very satisfying.  As a teacher, I had many students show up at the door of my classroom who spoke very little English.  Giving your kids the opportunity to experience the joys and frustrations of trying to communicate in a new language is a fabulous way to promote acceptance and understanding of those who are trying to learn English in their schools and communities.

And it’s fun.

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One Reply to “Learn the Language for International Travel”

  1. Great ideas. We are practicing this with my kids before moving to China. They *should* be fluent already with a Chinese father, but have mastered only a few words. That won’t help a lot when being thrown into a Chinese setting but half a dozen of the basics will at least make it easer when being introduced to strangers (who will think they are Chinese…) I do think taking kids to another country and them not knowing any of the language before returning home is a shame.

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