This week I found myself being able to understand more in Arabic than I imagined I would by the end of week 3. During my meetings with my academic partner AKA supplemental Arabic instruction time, I am able to function during our hour with limited English translation which is a major accomplishment for me. This week brings my Arabic hours of instruction to approximately 42 hours in the past few weeks. I am so excited to see how my progress will compare at the end of the summer.
In terms of what I struggled with, I was extremely nervous about an Arabic conversation I was required to have with another teacher in my program. The purpose of this conversation was to help me get used to speaking with other Arabic speakers other than the two teachers I am most comfortable with. Due to the fact that my brain works very slowly in the language (which is completely normal as a beginner!) I felt like I had to rehearse the conversation over and over to feel confident enough to speak with a stranger.
I practiced my pronunciation and brainstormed questions I would ask all week. By the start of the conversation practice, I was incredibly anxious as speaking has always been my weak area in the two other languages I’ve learned in school.
But as with all of the lessons I’ve discovered thus far, occasionally doubting my abilities while not uncommon, is never helpful.
The conversation was very light-hearted and easy! I asked about the teacher’s job, her family, where she lived, her favorite foods, and her favorite color (all in Arabic)! I was even able to answer from the top of my head when she asked me about a question I had not prepared for ahead of time which was quite rewarding.
Overall, this week I really learned how to trust myself more and the process of this program. Giving in to my frustrations and letting the process guide me in my learning has been a slow but steady progression!
Below are some sentences I worked on during my second week that I wanted to showcase. I apologize for any formatting or grammatical errors. I really appreciate the beauty and complexity of writing in Arabic and I wanted to share it with you all.
As always, see you next week!
أدرس علوم و عمري واحد وعشرين.
أسَافِل إلى كايفورنيا و أنا بحب الرَّسم.