Wondering what benefits learning Spanish (or any second language that's spoken) may have on your teen's BRAIN??? (Or yours?)
Check it out! It's not just about "credits!"
Part TWO: "What did I come in here for?
Short Term Memory - Do you struggle with short term memory? Does your teen struggle with short term memory? There are SO many tools - highlighters, post it notes, apps, alarms - to help with short term memory! Did you know the color YELLOW helps to activate the memory portion of the brain? That's right! So, you're not alone!
In case you wondered why all those legal pads and steno pads were yellow... Now you know! It's not an accident! Yellow classrooms, yellow post its, yellow caution signs, etc... It's a short term memory hack. (And you MAY notice that all the past tense flash cards in the See it and Say it Level 2 curriculum also have a colored back ground. That's right... YELLOW!)
Surprisingly, forgetful teens are not behaving with some sort of deliberate
disobedience, though it feels that way to us parents at times. The students' brains are RACING with ideas, dreams, regrets, fears, and expectations. Holding on to a brief thought for more than three minutes is often very difficult, especially if the thought is a spoken instruction with no concrete evidence - like "clean your room." The end result is often nebulous in the student's mind, and the actions required don't seem to be either important or very exact. Too many steps. No clear cut ideal or goal. Too many outcomes, and too many variables of how long this will take, and what options should be performed first.... LOTS of variables.
Overwhelmingly so.... and BOOM. That thought escapes with the addition of the next thing they see, read, taste, or hear! This lack of action feels like some sort of disrespectul, disobedient irresponsibility, doesn't it? More likely it's the lack of practice (also known as discipline) of attending to their short term memory and exercising that action of actively obeying in a intentional way.
Here's the GOOD NEWS: To practice short term memory, add a new word into their lexicon in a second language, add a doodle or an action to the word and then SAY the word in a meaningful phrase (yes - communicating to someone!).
BOOM! This tiny little action of listening, reading, and repeating EXERCISES in a disciplined way is the same process of practicing listening, remembering and ACTING on any other short term instruction. The ease will come as the practice endures, and the process just gets more and more natural.
This tiny lesson (ONE WORD!) is like strength training. Football players lift weights to be able to throw the ball further. They're not throwing the weight, and they're not lifting a ball. Military personnel train not to just train, but to prepare their minds and bodies for DIFFERENT important missions and requirements. All of this is to increase the ease of acting without needing so much intentional thought. It's a discipline, a habit (Charlotte Mason homeschoolers, you know these terms!) In short, you're creating a pathway that becomes more adept at performing a completely different goal.
Yep - one new Spanish word = the same idea.
Yes, your student will get better at memorizing vocabulary (HOORAY!) and then as they put together a meaningful sentence, they are ACTING on the small thought. This becomes a habit, and gives them the ability to pause and make USE of any future need of short term memory. You'll be amazed. Working with your memory improves your memory.
Comment below! What word (or flash card) did you use for this? Need a quick start? We have a set of FREE downloadable flashcards here!
(Already have them? USE them, choose ONE WORD and then leave a review!)