Now that I’ve been in Mexico for seven weeks, it’s more than past time to answer the question: So, what am I doing here in southern Mexico? Since the beginning of September, I have been attending Roca Blanca Spanish Language School in the state of Oaxaca. The goal by the end of my time here at the school is (obviously) to become fluent in Spanish. I want to give you a little glimpse into how I’m trying to accomplish that goal.
Spanish School is in session every day Monday through Friday from 8 AM to 1:00 PM with an hour break for almuerzo (breakfast/brunch/first lunch). On “A” days, I have gramatica (grammar), fonetica (phonetics), vocabulario (vocabulary), and laboratorio (laboratory—basically practicing speaking Spanish). On “B” days, I have gramatica, verbos (verbs), patrones (patterns), and traducción (translation). After a couple of alternating ABABAB days, we have “C”days, which just means it’s time for a test. This goes on for 7 weeks, then there is a week break before the next session starts.
Currently, I am finishing Level 2 out of 4. I was able to begin in this level because I knew enough Spanish to skip Level 1. Most of Level 2, though, has been review for me. Nearly all my grammar lessons have had concepts I’ve learned before, but had forgotten. It’s been a great way to ease back in to learning Spanish.
Next session, I will complete Level 3, then when I return to Mexico in January I will complete Level 4. I plan to stay an extra month past Level 4 to keep practicing my Spanish in this “immersion” setting. If I’m putting this much time into learning the language, I want to make sure I know it and can use it!
The hardest part, of course, of language learning, is understanding what people say and then being able to speak back. You know, having conversations? For Level 3, I will be the only student in my level, because my current classmates are moving on to other adventures and no one new is entering into Level 3. Being the only student in my class will challenge me in my language learning because I will be the only one responsible for knowing the answers. I will miss my current classmates, but I’m excited for this new part of my adventure.