My trip to Vietnam in December of 2017 is now booked, kicking into high gear my motivation to learn Vietnamese. With just three short months left to learn this completely new language, I find the task to be a bit daunting. Unlike Spanish or French or Greek, Vietnamese is completely unconnected to anything I know. I dive in and try several different language programs and on-line applications. However, I think my favorite part about learning a new language is what it teaches me about how it connects to San Francisco. Learning Vietnamese has given me an opportunity to learn and connect more with the vibrant Vietnamese community living in my beautiful city by the Bay.
Every year, I make New Year’s resolutions. Resolutions to exercise more, pay off my debt, watch what I eat and save more money. I know some people who make resolutions and some who do not. But at the end of the day, don’t these resolutions end up sounding pretty generic? They are more like declarations of values versus something new and exciting. Last year’s resolutions blur into the previous year’s.
So instead of making resolutions, why not pick a Theme for the year. Project Based Learning is all the rage now in early education. PBL is a teaching method in which students gain knowledge and skills by working for an extended period of time to investigate and respond to an engaging and complex question, problem, or challenge. Cool. Here’s how you pick your 2016 Theme PBL style. Pick a country where they do not speak your language, pick a language and plan a trip. There you go, you have a theme. For me, my theme for 2016 is half Croatian/ half Vietnamese. Kinda sounds like a San Francisco food truck. The plan is Croatia in June and then Vietnam next year.
So now that you have a theme, here are all the fun things that you can spend your year doing.