Thursday, November 03, 2011

First impressions

Last night we attended the first Spanish lesson with our new teacher, Antonio. It turns out that he is a retired teacher and so has years of experience in handling classes. Last night though he was very much at a disadvantage because he had no idea at what level we had already studied the language and of course, most of us have known each other for some time. 

Sensibly,  Antonio started by getting us to write our names on a piece of paper in front of us; that way, he could get to know us. Of course there are some names that do not lend themselves easily to Spanish translation for example the “ei” in my name comes out as a short “e” rather than the longer “ee” sound which is correct.  So I am to be known as Keth - no pasa nada – over the last seven years I have got used to that.

Antonio then moved on to find out what we knew of the basics and just how good was our pronunciation of certain letters, in particular he seems keen that we should stress the “s” at the end of words like “dos” and the “r” at the start of words like “reloj”. It is hard for us to roll the letter r - particularly at the start of words – somehow our tongues get in knots when we try it. We should persevere though because then we will start to sound more Spanish.

Originally, we were going to have three one hour sessions per week on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays. That has now changed to two, two hour sessions on Tuesdays and Thursdays starting at 6pm. Antonio did say that we may want to change the starting time to 5:30pm – we shall see.

A great deal of credit must go to Antonio for volunteering. Taking over a mostly established class to teach them your language is no mean task. It will require patience on both Antonio’s part and on ours to find the right level and the most appropriate approach to enable us to progress. I am sure we will get there and in no time we will all become great friends embarking on the journey of learning together.

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