Gilbert Smith may be the oldest Spanish student in Marin County-or the Bay Area for that matter.
The retired urologist has been studying Spanish for 40 years, off and on. "I keep trying," says Gil, "I’m getting better." Currently, he’s a student at Spanish in Marin, run by Patricio Tapia, a native of Chile.
Studies have shown that studying a language, learning to dance or play a musical instrument are all helpful in keeping the brain sharp, at any age. Another healthy side effect is the social connection that comes with attending a class. Read complete article
¡Fantástico! A Workout for the BrainTiburon Ark, July 21, 2008
¡Salud! Student Dave Albert (l.) and Spanish teacher Patricio Tapia toast each other's health. Studies show that the constant challenge that comes with learning a new language helps to keep the brain fit, but interactions that begin in class often lead to new friendships too.
Hooked on Sudoku? Counting on the New York Times crossword puzzle to keep your brain sharp? They're great activities, but according to a recent Brazilian study, learning a foreign language, participating in a dance workshop, playing a musical instrument and adding regular reading to the mix will give your cerebrum a more effective workout. Itís a combination of regular activities, both mental and physical, that really keeps the brain in shape. Read complete article
Translators Help Marin General PatientsMarin General Progress
It's 11 a.m. Someone in the Emergency Department needs a staff person who speaks Vietnamese. The MGH operator checks the hospital's foreign language registry, of over 125 MGH employees who collectively speak about 50 different languages. If there is no one available, the MGH operator immediately places a call to the AT&T Language Line. Within several minutes of the initial request, the Emergency Department physician and nurses, through a translator via speaker phone, can communicate with the Vietnamese-speaking patient. Read complete article
Spanish Classes Offer Anti-Aging HelpSenior Life-Marinscope Newspapers, August 14, 2008, Andrea Hine
Experts agree that as we age our brain cells lose the branch-like connections (or synapses) between them that are essential to thought. But never fear, they add, as anti-aging protection for the brain is readily available. According Dr. Michael Merzenich, a neuro-scientist at UC San Francisco, "The biggest find≠ing in brain research in the last 10 years is that the brain at any age is highly adaptable. It is literally a learning machine. If you ask your brain to learn, it will do so - and it may speed up in the process." Read complete article
Spanish Classes Fill Need at MGHSenior Life, Marin General Progress, August 14, 2008, Andrea Hine
Cartoon dialogues and other non-traditional teaching methods plus small class size and a native speaking, Spanish instructor are three reasons why the new conversational Spanish classes are so popular with MGH staff "It's fun to learn," said float nurse Marilyn Lease, who took the class because of the "necessity to understand at least a little Spanish." With staff's need to communicate with an increasing numlber of Spanish-speaking patients, the Education department began scheduling conversational Spanish language classes at the beginning of the year. Read complete article