Thursday, September 21, 2006

Estoy Apprendiendo Espanol

Spanish classes are not the time for introversion. I've always hated group activities of any and all kinds--group work, teams, pairs, and, of course, and kind of interactive group activity, including but not limited to "ice breakers" and other demonstrative and usually embarrassing games. However, in Spanish class, games, teams, pairs--the whole roster--are employed frequently as language-teaching strategies. During my time in classes here, I've had to sing the National Anthem; ask questions (in Spanish, claro) about what activity was written by another student on a Post-It note affixed to my forehead; and throw and catch a ball to shout out conjugated verb forms. Doing these things is helpful, usually (with the firm exception of singing the National Anthem), but still not fun. However, my preferred method of learning--reading or doing exercises quietly to myself--is obviously not the way to learn a language. So I participate without grimacing (again, the Anthem is the exception) and chalk it up to a necessary evil.

Group activities aside, the classes are really fun, and even though four hours is a long time to sit there saying things like "Me, yet I have not ridden a camel" and "No, me I have not never ridden in a hot air balloon," and hearing the other six students declare similarly ridiculous things, I look forward to starting the day this way. I feel like I'm doing something excellent for myself, something whose purpose is simply to make my life easier, better, more interesting, more fun.

And the people who show up each week as new students are always good motivation to keep studying: almost always Europeans, they speak handfuls of languages and seem unfazed at the prospect of learning another. This week, my classmates come from Switzerland, the Netherlands, France, Australia, Germany, and Ireland. In other weeks they'd come from Sweden, South Africa, Norway. Among such a group, it's almost (almost) exotic to be an American.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

There is only one "p" in "aprendiendo," guapa.