“By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.” ― Benjamin Franklin
We have taken two posts on the subject of preparation. We continue with this post about language learning. It is our belief that you cannot make any lasting impact on a people without being fluent in their language. Learning the language is not an option, it is a necessity!
Monday and Tuesday I took a class on this very subject. We read “Language Acquisition Made Practical” in preparation for the class. I was with two other missionaries in the class, one to Japan and the other to North Africa. Brother Gardner taught the class. We not only discussed the importance of language learning but also the practical “how to’s” of learning the language. Here are a few of the practical guidelines we will use in learning the language…
- Spend 60 hours per week in the language.
- 20 hours of formal language school.
- 40 hours practicing the language by conversing with nationals.
- Memorize two Bible verses in the national language per week.
- Read in the national language.
- Start by reading children’s books.
- Read the newspaper 15 minutes per day.
- Watch 30 minutes of local news on the television.
- At first, write down any words you recognize.
- As you learn, you will gradually transition to writing down words you don’t recognize.
- Read the Bible in the national language and write a brief description of what you read. Go over what you wrote with your language teacher.
The language in Argentina is Spanish. We took 6 months of language school in Arequipa, Peru during our internship. We will be completing our language school when we arrive in Argentina. If you cannot communicate with people, you will not reach them!