Study Skills as a Foreign Language

My son’s fifth grade class visited middle school this week in preparation for next year. They went to Drama, Science lab, and Spanish. Fun activities. All about seeing how cool middle school is going to be.

So, at the end of the day, he got in the car. Smiling. Excited. Looking to the future. “We get to choose L.E., Spanish or French!”

L.E. is a study and organizational skills class for kids needing a little extra help in developing as academic learners. I explained, “You don’t get to choose L.E. The teachers tell you if you need it.”

The light in his eyes went out. Smoke came out of his ears.

“I am NOT taking Spanish!”

“Well, actually, you are.”

“I don’t understand a word anyone saying! Not a single word! Today, he said ‘tocar something something’, and everyone pointed to their elbow. Soooooo, I pointed to my elbow. That’s how I do Spanish.”

“How does everyone else know what he’s saying?”

“I have NO idea!”

Hope he cools off by August, when his teacher greets him with… “Buenos Dias!”

Serious, Seriously?

On Monday, my son’s Spanish teacher emailed me to let me know that he was upset. He had forgotten about a quiz scheduled for that day, even though it was posted on her website and announced in class.

On Tuesday, he went to Freshman Registration Night at the high school he plans to attend next year. His schedule is going to be really tough. So while his teacher had recommended Spanish III, I suggested taking Spanish II, so he isn’t slammed from all sides.

Nope. “I should take Spanish III.”

“I don’t know,” I shook my head, imagining another four years of nagging and checking up on him.

“Mom, it’s time I took school seriously.”

Well, you can’t argue with that… until an hour later when I received a late-night, bail-out email from his Social Studies teacher, saying that he “probably knows this, and has yet to start… but please remind him to…”

“Aw man, I forgot!”

He didn’t even remember that it was his turn to bring snack today. How can you be a serious student when you can’t even remember snack?!

90 Percent in Spanish

My sixth grader is in a Spanish class where the teacher conducts 90 percent of class in Spanish, and the students are expected to aim for the same. He seems to be enjoying the challenge and often blurts out what he wants or what he did at school en Español.

There’s only one problem.

He says things like “Moi no comprendo!” and “Moi tengo hambre!” and “Moi gusto futbol!”

So we had to let him know that “moi” is “me”, not “I” and, more importantly…. French.


“It’s not Spanish. It’s French.”

But it’s so fun to say!”

Too bad you can’t get points for enthusiasm.