We are a little over half-way through the year 2013.  How has the year been for you?  The older my kids get, the faster the years seem to fly by!  I thought it might be fun to do a six-month check-up on my Spanish goals I made for the New Year in January.  Here we go!

Goal #1: Learn 2013 New Spanish Words

Check-Up: Last school year in the second semester I was teaching six Spanish classes, and this helped me to learn a multitude of Spanish words.  I, however, did not keep track of them as I had hoped so I lack an official list of how many words I have learned since January 1.  I do have one list of new words on my phone.  Only eight words.  Oh dear, I do believe my follow-through is a little lacking.  But I am determined to stick with this goal and record 2013 new words I have learned.  What new words have you learned this year?

Goal #2:  Read a novel completely in Spanish, even if it takes the whole year!
Check-Up:  About a month ago I finally looked through my bookshelves to decide which book I wanted to use for this goal.  I buy books very impulsively–they are the one thing I could easily spend my life’s savings on.  I love books.  So naturally, I have bought a few Spanish books in my day, one of those being La Casa de los Espíritus by Isabel Allende.  I read a collection of short stories by Allende, The Stories of Eva Luna, in college for my English 101 class.  Since then, I have not read a book of hers so I thought Casa de los espíritus would be great to choose for my New Year’s goal.  I have a feeling the next 2005 words for Goal #1 will come from this book.

Goal #3: Memorize a Verse or Poem (or both) in Spanish
Check-Up:  Not accomplished.  Yet!  Originally I was thinking I would use Los heraldos negros by César Vallejo for this this goal.  When I taught English in Peru one summer, I went to an assembly of sorts where all the children from the school had prepared different songs, presentations, and plays to demonstrate what they had learned that year.  I was impressed by one student who recited Los heraldos negros by heart.  I can still see him on that stage bolting out, “Hay golpes en la vida…tan fuertes yo no sé…”  Later I was told that every Peruvian student will memorize that poem in their educational career.  Why not join them?

Goal #4: Teach My Children Spanish
Check-Up:  I have to say, I am proud of myself on this one.  I have actually worked on it with diligence.  I have joined an awesome group of bloggers at Multicultural Kid Blogs, and they have been a great support and resource for me in navigating the vast landscape of raising bilingual kids.  Currently, the two books on my bedside table are Bilingual Is Better and 7 Steps to Raising a Bilingual Child.  I highly recommend them both.  Each has encouraged me that I can accomplish this goal of teaching my children Spanish…it will not be easy, but it can be accomplished!  Right now we have not chosen a specific method for raising our children bilingual–neither my husband nor I are native Spanish speakers–so for right now we are just reading lots of books in Spanish, working on phrases like “Come here,” “sit down,” “let’s go,” “hello,” “my name is…” and trying to expose ourselves to as much Spanish as possible!

Goal #5:  Keep a Spanish Journal
Check-Up:  You may remember this post from a while back.  That is the only journal I wrote in Spanish.  However, not too long after that post, I decided to start a vlog called Café con leche where I vlog daily about whatever is on my mind.  During the first trimester of my pregnancy  I vlogged less, and I hope to start doing it more regularly again–it exercised my brain so much, kept Spanish fresh in my brain, forced me to learn new words, and helped me practice pronunciation.  Not to mention it made my children speak Spanish more, as they were seeing me and hearing me speak it so often!  (I vowed not to edit the videos and keep them “as is,”  so I did lots of “takes” until I got the video completed all in one sitting, so they observed me speaking it a lot!)  Here are some of my favorite videos…

I hope your New Year’s goals are going well!  I would love to hear about them and your progress…what have you learned?  How have you failed?  Have your goals turned into something unexpected?  (I never thought I would become a vlogger!)  Leave your comments below and may you have the best end of 2013 ever!