Sunday, November 2, 2008

A Good Week

This week was good. I felt relaxed and comfortable here and I'm feeling healthy again after having some problems. I also feel like I got over a bump in my road to becoming more fluent in Spanish.

I like speaking Spanish, but I am very aware of my mistakes. One of my first Spanish teachers was very strict. He always corrected me every time I made a mistake. I was not able to finish a sentence without him interrupting me. Then he would make me repeat the sentence again. It was very frustrating for me and I think made me really afraid to make mistakes.

I was trying to find opportunities here to speak Spanish, but there were other opportunities that I had that I didn't take advantage of. I have a friend here, Hernan, who is from Buenos Aires. He speaks English pretty well, so we mostly spoke English with each other. Once he told me that if I want to speak Spanish with him I need to remember how difficult it is for him to listen to me! He was criticizing my Spanish. He has said many things like that to me over the time I've known him. I finally decided to only speak English with him.

Then one day I met his friend who didn't speak English. We spoke Spanish and I think Hernan saw that my Spanish was not that bad. After that, he started speaking Spanish with me, but I felt shy and didn't want to speak.

This week I started taking lessons with a new teacher. I told my teacher that I really need practice just speaking, because I don't speak enough. So, for two hours we sat and had our lesson and I did most of the talking. It was really good for me. I felt more confident after and I also felt like something in my brain had changed!

Later that night, my friend Hernan came over for dinner and started speaking Spanish to me. I responded to him and noticed that I felt really comfortable. We had a nice conversation and I only made a few mistakes.

I think my Spanish is improving. I know I have learned many new words since I came here 3 months ago. But also, my willingness to speak Spanish more is also improving. I'm less afraid and more willing to take chances. I think that things like my conversation partners and my lessons are helping, but more than anything, letting go of my fear of making mistakes seems to be helping me the most.

Today I want to post a video of an electronic tango group that I like. They are called Gotan Project, and they play a new style of tango. This song is called Mi Confesion (My Confesion) and is a mixture of tango, electronic tango and hip hop. I like it alot.


Chanh said...

Hi Rick,

I'm in Diane's class, my name is Chanh. We spoke on the day that Diane skyped to you. I've read your blog since Diane gave us your website. When I have free time I read your blog and that is the way to practice my English. I also use my dictionary to understand the new words.

I think my English is improving because I keep practicing. When I feel bored I find another way to practice. For example, when I'm bored in doing grammar, I'll use the computer or watch TV or listen to the radio.

I think my writing is not bad but my speaking is not so good because I spent a lot of time in writing. I remember when I first studied at Alemany, I was in level 2, I took three classes, every new word and new grammar I wrote down many time to remember. I also took the pronunciation class, this class helped me a lot in speaking, I try to speak slowly but correctly. I practice my writing and speaking everyday. Diane helps me a lot in speaking, she knows my problem. I am so happy that I have a very nice and kind teacher. I hope my English will be better.

Thank you for writing the blog, and thank you for reading my comment!


Rick Kappra said...

Hi Chanh,
Thanks for writing! I'm glad you are enjoying the blog.

I think your English must be improving because your writing is very good. It's great that you have so many ways to practice. I should study more Spanish. Lately, I have been watching too much TV in English.

I understand what you mean about having problems speaking. I'm very shy about speaking Spanish. I think practice is important, and it is also important to have someone who supports you and can help you. On Thursday after my Spanish lesson I feel very excited to speak Spanish, but other days I'm afraid.

You're lucky to have Diane as a teacher. She is very nice!

See you soon!