I've written before about my language-learning journey and how I use Duolingo and spaced repetition in my daily practice. Recently, I started doing occasional lessons with my girlfriend, a native Spanish speaker.
We started out by doing some Italian lessons (a language she is learning), and then she encouraged me to do some Spanish lessons with her so she could help me with pronunciation.
I couldn't help but think about how interesting it must be to see a language course teaching your own language. How dumbed down must it feel to see simple sentences in your own language.
So I had to give a shot.
An interesting thing happened...
It was incredibly useful. Sure, I know English. I wasn't learning anything about my own language. But do you know what's different? Since I was taking a course geared towards teaching English FROM Spanish, the course assumed I speak Spanish.
That means the prompts and questions are written in Spanish and they're not dumbed down. They aren't trying to simply the instructions to me as if I don't speak the language.
Suddenly, I was seeing phrases I had never seen before in Spanish. I was learning new ways to say things, new sentence structures, and even new vocabulary. An English course was actually helping me learn Spanish.
Look, I'm sure I'm not the first person to think of this. It's not a revolutionary idea. I'm no genius. But I hadn't thought of it before in 2+ years of learning Spanish.
So I'm just putting it here in case you hadn't either.