Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Wow do I need practice!

Kristen says:

So, I had my first "I'm going to Honduras" practice Spanish conversation last night. Well, I don't know that conversation is the right word. Maybe...stumblesation. I felt so inadequate!

I was at a funeral visitation for a woman from my church and one of the Spanish teachers from my High School (not the teacher I took Spanish from, but he taught all of my brothers and sisters--but who was, incidentally, the man who performed Chris' and my marriage ceremony in 2006) was there with an Hispanic member of the church. He introduced us, told her that I was moving to Honduras, then promptly turned away to have a conversation with someone else.

So that left Rosa and me alone. At this point, I should have said something intelligent like, "¿Como se llama Usted?" or even, "Hola." But, of course, I just smiled like an idiot. She was brave and started the conversation. I kind of understood her, enough to know that I had no idea how to answer her questions. I limped through, saying random things like, "Yo soy una Maestra" and, forgetting how to say months, lamely told her I had been practicing Rosetta Stone for "dos semanas". I felt a small thrill of victory when I was able to tell her I would have "estudiantes de Los Estados Unidos y Honduras y todos el mundo" ... OK at least it was something! Most of our "conversation" ended up in me murmuring "Lo ciento, mi Español esta horrible" and blushing horribly.

She told me she had been practicing her English with another woman from our church in a conversation pair--she speaking English, the other woman speaking Spanish. She invited me to come and practice with her, and I really wanted to--but I had to say, "Yo vivo en Des Moines."

That, I think, is what I need! I need to find someone that I can meet with once a week and just, talk. I want someone who will correct my flaws and help me feel confident. I don't want to have to feel like I felt last night when I get down to Honduras. I want to honor the people and culture I am moving into by choosing to learn their language, rather than expecting them to speak mine.

So that is my goal. I want to dedicate some amount of time, even 10 minutes, EVERY day from now until July to my Spanish. I'll hole up in the bathroom while Chris is asleep if I have to to get it done. Either RS, Spanish podcasts, verb worksheets, or whatever, just spend some time, every day practicing. And, I'm going to find a conversation partner. I mentioned to my teacher that Rosa had suggested it, and he offered to talk to someone he knows here in Des Moines, to see if they could find someone for me to talk to. Hopefully this pans out soon, and in 6 months I can confidently (and honestly) say "¡Si, hablo español!"


1 comment:

  1. Where there's a will, there's a way. How about DMACC or Drake? I bet there's someone there who needs the same thing for their English. I seem to remember a language learning lab at Drake. Do you know any Drake alumni?!
    Love you!


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