I love my spanish teacher. I love learning spanish. I’m not sure I’m very good at it, as it seems to be taking a long time, but I am loving the process. I think I’m good at pronouncing the words, and I’m not bad at reading, but conjugating verbs and coming up with words is proving to be difficult.
Turns out I remember more french than I ever thought I knew!! It’s been about 24 years (seriously? that long?) since I’ve taken a french course but, every time I try to find a spanish word in my head, up pops the french word instead! And it sticks – I can’t get rid of it to find the spanish word. And so I’m left with a curious mixture of english and french and spanish…engfranish? Hopefully it’ll work itself out soon.
We’re taking a ‘Spanish for Travelers’ course through our local college. I think normally a course like this might be pedestrian – look at the word, hear the word, say the word…you know. But the regular instructor could not teach this session, so we have a substitute. Crisi is amazing! She was born in England, grew up in Canada, went to high school and college in Argentina, and has I-don’t-know how many degrees in Latin linguistics, history and culture. She is cute, smart, well dressed and, well…amazing! Sure she is teaching us spanish, but we’re also learning about latin culture, about the subtleties of the different latin cultures, about latin history, and literature, and arts, and movies, and tv. I love listening to her speak, in both english and spanish, because she just has such interesting things to say. I want to be that interesting.
We’re also watching spanish movies, with subtitles (so far), to get a sense of the cadence of the language and to see what we can pick up along the way. We are lucky our local video store has quite a selection. We have managed to see a few good ones, and a few bad ones – we have learned already that spanish/latin movie production quality is quite different from that in North America!
We have each checked out a spanish children’s book from the library. Apparently, in spanish, we are barely even 6 years old because that is the level of book that we each have. And even at that I have to translate each sentence one by one using the dictionary! Humbling!
I’ve made flashcards…lots of flashcards.
We’ve made friends with our spanish/english dictionary. Good thing, because I think it’ll be with us for a long, long time.
There are plenty of online teaching aids. The Pimsleur method has been mentioned, although I haven’t checked it out yet. We did get a CD version of spanish lessons from London Drugs last week – it’s been fun to work through.
The final step will see us attending spanish school in Peru. We haven’t decided on a school yet, and probably won’t until we get there, but the goal is to be able to speak spanish at least on an introductory level. Wish us luck!!