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Learning a language is a lifelong endeavor, so when I receive ads about “learning any language within 10 days!” it makes my skin crawl, ¡Dios mío! Language, by nature and nurture, is directly linked to the community that labors it and cares for it. So if another desires to be a part of that community, s(he) must develop a permanent relationship with the community and not simply tour through it for 10 days. As with any trip planning, a student of a foreign language must prepare for a lifetime journey into a foreign cultural community that will ultimately become family. Here’s an in depth explanation of the first rule in Language RULLEs.

RULLE 1: Read bilingual books routinely, just as in reading travel guides in preparation for a vacation trip. This rule refers to culturally relevant titles written by ethnic authors. The exposure to the foreign language, tradition, and folklore combined will allow you to experience the community. Reading Harry Potter in español will not provide a Latin American cultural experience.

Suggestion: Organizing a cultural book club or joining one is a great way of starting this habit. May I suggest joining the Dulce Book Club on Goodreads.