Trust in accumulation is a phrase I have come up with to remind myself to have patience and faith when I begin an endeavor that is going to take a long time before I see the fruits of my labor. By steadily plodding and diligently working eventually my efforts will accumulate, and I will accomplish what I set out to do.
Learning a foreign language is something that takes steady work over years to accomplish. People of all ages can learn a foreign language, but they need to have patience and know that it can take a long time to become fluent depending on their circumstances. Sometimes a person becomes immersed in a language by living in another country, or a child goes to an immersion school where the foreign language is only spoken, and they learn a language more quickly. But, usually students are learning a foreign language within the circumstances of their daily lives, in which case, they need to learn to steadily plod along and trust that over time, with much patience and practice, they will become fluent.
In the case of elementary and middle school students, I tell parents, "Time is on your side!" Often, parents' goals are that their children become fluent in another language by the time they are adults, in which case they have lots of time to begin preparing to reach that goal. However, parents may ask "How am I going to fit yet another thing into our schedules?" This is where "trust in accumulation" can help you.
The truth is that you do not need to approach this learning endeavor as a huge time consuming effort that has to hurry up and be accomplished. If you use a simple, effective approach with continuity of effort, then, over time, your child will accumulate much learning. You just need to begin and keep plugging away at it, steadily, bit by bit.
Parents may ask, "How often should we work on it?". Well, this depends on what you can manage. You can choose to work one hour 3 times a week, 15 minutes 3 times a week, 1/2 hour 4 times a week, 2 hours twice a week, etc. The key is to try something and keep it going. Adjust it if you need to, but keep feeding it so it grows!
Now to chime in about Spanish for You! (Sorry, need to do this today because it fits this trust in accumulation idea.) Spanish for You! is great to use because it is based on the very idea of building foundations over time through a simple, effective approach in preparation for more intense Spanish learning at the high school level. It is designed so that students can move at a pace that works for them. The lessons are laid out for 4 days a week, but that is just a schedule that I created for use with the coop. classes I teach. The truth is that you really just need to follow it in order. You decide the number of days and amount of time that you can schedule.
Just trust in accumulation. Over time, bit by bit, your efforts will accumulate, and you will have something of value. As one parent so eloquently put it on a class feedback form to me:
"The steady plodding of learning a language brings much educational and intellectual prosperity." Karen H.