As I have mentioned before, I am taking the second level of ulpan. Since we dont live in a place with many immigrants (at least non-Ethiopian immigrants- they get their own ulpans), there are only two levels offered. Thus the class I am taking, while supposed to be "bet" is really a combination of all levels above the first. Since I never really finished the first level, this has made it hard to catch up. I feel comfortable in class, but I know that the level is really slightly above where I should be if I really want to learn.
Last night class was crazy. We had a sudden influx of new Russian students, and a lot of them took cell phone calls, talked in Russian and totally ignored the teacher. After class the teacher pulled me aside and said that she knew I really wanted to learn, but thought that I could use some help. She gave me a workbook to use that is more on my level, and told me to do the exercises, then come show her and ask when I need help. I was floored and so thankful! She wouldnt take any payment for the book (or the extra time, but since I also have Yehi I promised not to take up too much of her extra time). It was nice to know that she really wants to help me learn.
It is still strange to me to be learning a language to use in daily life. Most of my previous experience has been with Latin and ancient Greek, neither of which are actively spoken. I am trying to keep up my motivation without grades or tests, and keep reminding myself that my tests are really in every conversation I have with my mother-in-law or in the grocery store. I know that I rely on Yehi and his perfect hebrew too much, but right now I just dont have the vocabulary to go some places... I will have to get over that fear once Yehi gets back to work
My goal is to be relatively fluent in two years- at least to the point where I can understand the news and tv shows and most of daily life... I was told this is a possible goal- seems so far away, but I am working on it. Language is so important, and I hate feeling one step behind everyone else... or like people are talking to a first grader. Oh the joys of living in a foreign country...