Some of our neighbours are curious to know why it is important for the Spanish children to learn to speak English. It is because many Spaniards recognise that English is a universal language which will help their children in the future. Quite simply, a command of English will open doors for them that would otherwise be closed. Although many can read English and understand the written word, they have difficulty with the spoken language.
Our neighbours also want to know, “if we agree to talk to the Spanish children, what should we talk about?”
From our limited experience there are a few things to bear in mind when you are having a conversation with Spanish children.
- Most important; you must speak slowly and clearly.
- Try to avoid slang words or expressions that will confuse them.
- Keep your sentences short.
- Don’t use words that young people will not understand and be prepared to rephrase what you say in a different way. For example, you could ask “what is your name” and if that gets no response try “what are you called”.
- Ask them open questions that require more than just a “yes” or “no” reply.
- Get them to ask you questions back.
What to talk about?
Start with basic questions
- What is your name?
- How old are you?
- Where do you live?
- Do you have any brothers and sisters?
- Do you have any pets?
- What are your hobbies?
- What are our favourite subjects at school?
- Do you like playing any sports?
Form those questions, you will find many others that expand on the information they have given you.
The general consensus seems to be that most people would prefer some sort of social gathering maybe once or twice a week for a few weeks during the summer rather than having a Spanish child to stay in their houses.
On that basis, I hope to see some of you on Monday so that we can find ways to make this project work.