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Monday, April 30, 2007 (read 1006 times)
Could you start your immersion in Spanish right where you are?by Erin
I ran across an idea-inspiring article from a US newspaper on the web today. A Spanish teacher from New Jersey took her high school Spanish students on a 20 minute bus ride to a largely Hispanic town, and then sent them off to practice their Spanish with the locals.
A few choice excerpts from the article, published in The Montclair Times, in New Jersey, USA:
"Monica Lavosky's Spanish Club students from Montclair High School just got back from a Spanish trip. In the town they visited, they met and conversed with native speakers in Spanish, shopped in local stores, and tasted local foods."
The article quotes the teacher:
"I wanted to give my students an opportunity to interact with native speakers, and to use the language they've learned in class in a real life setting, " she said. By taking her students outside of the classroom and into the community, Lavosky made the language real for her students. And they loved it."
And at least one of her students learned the most important lesson of language learning: just talk. Says one student:
"I heard a song in the supermarket that I really liked, and I wanted to ask what it was, but at first I was worried about whether my grammar was correct. " She soon found that her efforts were encouraged, and saw that it is much more important to communicate than to let worries about perfect grammar and pronunciation get in the way."
The article ends with the comment that with a look at what you can learn by immersing yourself in a language, even for a day, and wholeheartedly using what you've learned to communicate with native speakers, these students are unlikely to wind up quoting the line repeated by so many Americans when asked if they speak a second language:
"I took four years of (insert your favorite language here) in high school, and I can't speak a word! "
Are you sure there isn't somewhere nearby you could sneak away to, even for a few hours, to try out your Spanish live and in person?
Are you sure?
(If you've really come up blank , haven't got time for a full week's course, and live within a discount flight to Barcelona, don Quijote's weekend in Barcelona might be an easy opportunity to take your Spanish skills out for a walk…)