First Days of Spanish School – Loren

Yesterday and today were my first days taking Spanish classes at La Union.  Both days have gone very well.  My teachers’ name is Julia and, after today, she considers me like one of her grandchildren.  She said that she is my “abeulita” which is like saying she’s my “Nana.”  We worked yesterday on figuring out how much Spanish I already know – she accomplished this through asking me lots of questions in Spanish and seeing if I could respond appropriately.  We did that during the first half of our lesson and in the second half we worked on articles.  Today we spend the first half of the day and an hour during the second half working on conjugating regular verbs.  We finished up our lesson today with articles of clothing, family members, body parts, professions and occupations.  Tomorrow we’re going to continue working on verbs and then numbers.  I know the numbers in Spanish but I really struggle with them when I actually hear them spoken.  I generally get stuck translating the first number I hear and then miss any other numbers that are added.  For example, if a vendor tells me that something is worth “15.75 Queztales” I hear the fifteen, or quince, first, but miss the setenta y cinco or seventy-five.  So if I can work with Julia on listening and recognizing numbers quicker that will help me a lot.

Yesterday I also started tutoring a new student named Justo.  He is in either fourth or fifth grade and has limited English.  That’s fine because it’s my job to try and help him with that…but unfortunately I tried to communicate with him using too complex of sentences.  For example, one question that I asked him which he didn’t understand was “What do you like to do with your friends?” — in which I used the word “do” in two very different and perhaps confusing ways.  None-the-less, I was able to learn from him that he is studying Australia in Social Studies class (“Australia has many lakes”) and that he learned about Brazil last week (“They eat green soup in Brazil”).  I work with Justo on Wednesday after I finish working with my other student, William.

As I may have mentioned last week I am very excited to be working with students again and, in general, doing something more constructive with time than watching T.V. or walking around Antigua.  It has been challenging, but I am enjoying it very much.

Until next time,

LP

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