Having gotten my vaccinations today, it dawned on me that it is a bare two months before I’ll be headed toward Central America and expected to work on a project related to climate change and agriculture – all in Spanish! Gulp! I mean, I have brushed up my grammar, but my vocabulary concerning fertilizer methods and extreme weather events is still… on its way of improvement. I was wondering how to work on it systematically and get away from the whole “I would like two glasses of sangria”-style language courses (albeit at a higher level, they still tend to be very general) and was positively surprised when I found the FAO e-resources, which are available in English, French and Spanish. Their courses are rather straightforward in format, using text and imagery (I believe this is purposefully done such that it’s possible to download at computers with lower connectivity as well), but they talk about the exact issues I’m interested in – food security, climate change, and development – in the language that I need it in! I have started with the class “Climate Change and Food Security” (this is ‘cambio climatico y seguridad alimentaria’ in Spanish) for now, but am excited to explore others such as ‘Communicating for food security’ and ‘impact evaluation of food security projects’. The greatest amount of courses are available in English, and it’s free to set up an account – why don’t you try out one as well and let me know how you like it?
*this might also mean that I’ll be posting a bit less frequently in the coming weeks since I want to dedicate a bunch of my free time to language training – I’d better show up there ready and able to write communication docs on these issues!*