Written by one of our adult group Spanish students, Steve aka Esteban
Why study Spanish?
Doesn’t everybody speak English?
Isn’t it really hard?
Just a few questions some of my friends have asked me. I start by saying its fun. Not something my friends can understand when they remember the tedious lessons at school. At Todo el Mundo its not like school (at least not how it used to be for me). We are in small classes and we learn together.
When I say something in Spanish and someone understands me I get a real thrill. When I look at young children as they play with words I can understand their joy I can now argue in Spanish which gives me the chance to add hand movements to my expressions. My inner Latino is developing nicely. Of course I dont always get it right but in a supportive group and an encouraging teacher there can be fun in that too.
At Todo el Mundo we have a lot of native (Spanish and Latin American) teachers. Its really interesting to learn from them things you cant find in a book. What was it like to live in Spain under Franco, what strange sounding expressions are used, What are the different forms of Latin rhythms, what makes a great carnival - just a few things we have explored When you enter a language you learn so much more:
Your stereotypes are challenged
Your appreciation of others grows
Art, culture sport, all look a little different and a lot more interesting
So is it hard? Well sometimes it is. I find some of the pronunciation difficult and have to work at improving it. I had a private lesson and that really helped. Without studying in a group I doubt if I would have had the confidence to speak out loud. My wife tells me that now I even speak Spanish in my sleep!
This summer on holiday in Devon we stayed somewhere with a Colombian member of staff. I have found some really good Colombian bands that I like to listen to so I was keen to speak to this man. Now I could have thought everybody speaks English and conversed in my own language but instead I spoke for twenty minutes in Spanish. I understood most of what he said and he gave me some great advice on what I should do if(or when) I visit Bogota. As I spoke his face lit up. We both enjoyed ourselves – in Devon, in Spanish. Doesn’t it feel good to make someone happy?
So why study Spanish – Answer- for me - Its a real joy
Doesn’t everybody speak English – Answer – no and not always with the same freedom and expression as we do
Isn’t it hard? – sometimes but anything worth doing is worth a little effort.
Video clip from the enrichment week programme June 2022: Spanish language film set in Patagonia, Argentina (watched with subtitles in Spanish)