Friday, May 09, 2008

Spanish Lessons

I signed my son up for Spanish lessons this year. I can feel the Korean Adoption community shaking their heads. Why would I put my Korean adoptee in Spanish instead of Korean? The answer is convenience. My son’s daycare is offering Spanish classes; therefore, my son is taking Spanish. If they offered Russian, he’d be taking Russian.

Over the years, I have largely regretted the six years of French that I took. I have forgotten most of what I learned and in the last twelve years in the business field, I have only need French once (and I couldn’t remember enough of it to make it work). Spanish I have needed many times and still do.

Truthfully, I would be interested in learning Korean, but I haven’t been able to find anywhere that teaches it locally. The closest one I’ve found so far is over an hour away. I don’t have that kind of luxury, to take three hours or more out of one day (or more) and two thirds of the time would be driving. As it is, I’m running to all the things that my son wants to do and I can guarantee you that my four year old has no interest in learning another language when he could be playing tag at the play area. In fact, despite that fact that he’s picked up a frightening amount of Spanish words, he told me that he doesn’t want to do it anymore. He’d much rather be with his regular class and I can’t say that I blame him. I told him he had to finish this session, but that I wouldn’t make him do it again unless he changes his mind.

I’ve heard the arguments. People are always telling me that the Korean language is a part of my heritage and my son’s heritage. I think it’s wonderful when I hear that Korean adoptees have learned the Korean language and embraced the culture. My lack of enthusiasm definitely stems from the fact that I have a distinct difference in opinion about what my heritage entails. If my son decides that he wants to learn Korean, I will drive over an hour to get there, but until then – convenience rules!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

i think it's absolutely fantastic that you put your son in spanish- not only from a political point of view, but also because it is beautiful.

i'm a korean american adoptee and i can speak and understand spanish better than korean. and while i wish so much i could speak korean better and do my best to study when i can, i cannot let go of how important spanish is (and how important learning spanish is) from a global context.