For the Love of Learning Episode 54
Monday April 11, 2016 8:00 pm – 10:00 pm EST
Tuesday April 12, 2016 1:00 am – 3:00 am GMT
Cristian Florin Ivan
What does it take to learn a second or third language? Is learning a new language any different than learning anything else? And what about the learner, do children have an easier time learning a second or third language, or does it add confusion to their natural development?
Most agree that learning a new language is not an easy task, even for children.
The brain must develop a brand new cognitive framework for language processing. Therefore it takes time. From a brain perspective, when learners first begin to learn a new language, they translate the new language structures through the filters of their native language. As learners become more proficient in their new language, their transfer rates increase as new neural frameworks develop to support language process without out filtering first through the native language. Some of the benefits reported among people who speak more than one language are the ability to exercise more executive control, mental flexibility, and concept formation. Sounds like a great reason to become bilingual or even a polyglot.
Cristian Florin Ivan
Both Cristian his wife used to work full-time in Germany, his wife teaching French and took care of other people’s children, while their own children were in kindergarten being educated by complete strangers. So they thought that they should make a change in the order of things. Traveling seemed like the perfect solution, so they started travelling overland in a camper van from Europe to India while the kids were 1 and 4, followed by a trip through Western Africa.
Now you can find the Ivans travelling through the Middle East and do not intend to stop anytime soon. The Ivan Family is in a permanent transition.
The kids were schooled for two weeks ( if that counts as schooling) and then they were homeschooled for 2 years. Now the family has reached a new stage in their development where unschooling is replacing homeschooling. Cristian says, “This was the natural development in our last five years as full-time world travellers as a consequence of studies and books we have read about self-directed learning but above all according to our observations on our kids. During their learning experiences we came to the conclusion that learning only happens when it is based on motivation, passion, interest and never as a result of using external force be it punishment or reward.”
Having 3 different nationalities (French, Romanian, German), all family members are polyglots. In addition to that, the study and learning of other languages became a passion and a hobby for the whole family. They sometimes call themselves languages collectors. Travelling to so many countries facilitates following this hobby quite a lot.
Wiley Krishnaswamy- 17, Massachusetts, Eclectic Homeschooler
My name is Wiley Krishnaswamy, I’m 17, and I’m an eclectic homeschooler from Dunstable MA.
What does eclectic homeschooling even mean? Basically I have some sort of cobbled together curriculum that includes the usual suspects such as mathematics, sciences, writing, etc.
I also incorporate various elements of unschooling and alternative learning to supplement this curriculum, hence “eclectic”. (I totally didn’t have to google any of that)
I particularly like learning languages, not really sure why. I speak a bunch of them. Travel is also one of my passions. In the last couple of years I have visited India, Ecuador, Peru, Barbados, and Cuba (!!!) among other places. The two former countries I visited as a member of Lainie and Miro’s retreats. I had an amazing time on both of them.
In my free time, I like to play accordion or one of the other various instruments I own, cook random things, and be generally lazy.
I am a senior in high school this year (or I would be were I in school), and the normal thing to do at my age would be to send in college applications. I have no solid idea of where I want to go or what I really want to study, but I will pretend to if you ask. Probably anthropology or linguistics or the like.
I was born in Richmond, California, grew up in Boulder Colorado and graduated from the University of Colorado with a major in Spanish. Along the way I obtained two Master’s degrees, my Educational Administrative license and various certificates. I taught Spanish, Advanced Placement Spanish Language, and English as a Second Language in Colorado, Texas and California. I am fluent in Portuguese as well and understand French and Italian and intend to learn Arabic this year.
My son and I left the United States ten years ago and have been traveling in Mexico, Central America and South America. We have settled in Merida, Yucatan, Mexico for three years and have opened the Language Institute of the Americas, which is a subdivision of Universal One International Academy. We are Creating a global School much as the Xavier Academy developing future global citizens. We offer in person and on line classes and have a Dormitory which sleeps 12 individuals for Total Immersion classes and Summer classes. Bubba and I have been teaching English, Robotics, and Computer programming Applications on our travels. In addition, we are the Corporate Trainers of employees of El Diario de Yucatan ( the #1 newspapercompany in the Yucatan) Newspaper which is owned by Mega Media of Mexico, and have been teaching English for the past one and a half years at three locations in Merida.
In our travels we met Lainie Liberti and Miro over four years ago in Nicaragua and have stayed in contact with our friends over the years. We were even roommates in Huanchaco, Peru and had a blast sharing our adventures. Lainie encouraged me to start a blog site which I named Conscious Baby Boomers. We have other sites as well such as LanguageinstituteoftheAmericas.com, Universaloneacademy.com, Tlalikalli.com, Theuniversalhome.org – which is adobe housing construction.
It is our mission to be Agents of Change and to serve and educate the under served communities in which we live in whatever way possible. We are truly thankful for the opportunity to present our information and knowledge to a larger community and are here to help you learn another language as well as other subject matter.
As always, you can find out more about your host, Lainie Liberti at her website RaisingMiro.com and the alternative education & world schooling project she runs with her teenage son at: ProjectWorldSchool.com. You can also connect with her on twitter @ilainie & facebook.
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