I believe we speak best when we build our vocabulary and then use it. Many say I don't have an accent, and I believe that is because I learned to speak by speaking and listening. My biggest improvement in Spanish was a class that focused on building vocabulary and using it. I expand a bit to allow for the student's interests or areas of specialties, by adding some reading and grammar corrections, but even these things improve with the focus on building vocabulary and using it.
I work with a multicultural church that hosts 4 different cultural congregations. My husband is Brazilian and I teach my daughter Portuguese, Spanish, English and some German. I have translated conferences in Portuguese, Spanish and English, and am told that I don't have much accent in any of the languages. I graduated with an Intercultural Studies major, a minor in Spanish and am self-taught in Portuguese through immersion. I studied a semester in Germany and live within the immigrant communities of a large city, helping with translation and interpretation for social workers, international conferences, and daily needs of the community such as school paperwork and doctor's visits. Many of my own life experiences I've needed to translate for my husband who speaks Portuguese.
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