Before we moved to Mexico I took several Spanish classes. Actually, the first class I took was an immersion class in Guatemala before we even thought of moving to Mexico. I took a couple conversational classes in Waco, too. We have books and CDs to help us learn.
I try to use my Spanish as much as possible but it is still woefully inadequate. Harold has always resisted signing up for a class until a couple months ago. Several members of the Amigos de Bucerias group were forming a class in Bucerias so he signed up, too. His class is one hour a day, 3 days a week. I can tell he is learning a lot!
I looked around at the options and decided to sign up for a class taught by Melchor Cortes. He uses the Warren Hardy method of teaching. http://spanishschoolvallarta.com. The curriculum is 4 levels. At first I wondered if I should sign up for Level 1, since I didn’t consider myself a rank beginner. Let me tell you right now, Level 1 was an excellent choice for me. There are several other folks in the class who had the same thoughts and have reached the same conclusion. Everyone says that the have gaps in their knowledge which would prove to be a problem if they didn’t follow the curriculum from the start.
The class is 3 hours a day, 3 days a week, for 3 weeks. And there is a fair amount of homework, too. Summer seemed to be a good time for the class since there isn’t so much going on. And the school offers a discount for local folks in the summer. There are 13 people in the class. Most are Puerto Vallarta residents, some run their own businesses, some are retired, and a few are here on vacation.
The class is very structured which is actually a big help. We don’t get off the topic with questions and stories like some classes do. Each class is a combination of review, some new material, reading, listening and vocabulary. As opposed to some other classes, there is a lot of instruction in English. The curriculum was developed to teach Spanish to English speaking people. Our teacher, Melchor, is Mexican but speaks English very well.
I asked one of the other students who is here on vacation if he would recommend the class. He said yes he would. He felt like there is adequate classtime and homework to make real progress and still plenty of time to enjoy his vacation.
I can tell that my comprehension and ability to converse have improved. I have been speaking Spanish as much as possible. I tell people that I am learning, and have told people I know to be sure to correct my errors.
The beginning course really helps in knowing how to structure sentances. I know how little children must feel when they are first able to do something. I am still amazed when I can have a conversation and both parties know what’s going on!
Having a telephone conversation in another language can be difficult. This week, I managed to place a call andleave a message for someone. It worked, as the person called me back. And today a friend called and even when I spoke English, he was only speaking Spanish. We arranged that Harold would help him buy a load of gravel tomorrow. Or maybe I agreed to give him Harold’s truck. Ha ha.
I am pleased with the progress I am making. I know there will be setbacks and frustrations in the learning process, too. Heck, little children learn to speak Spanish, I should be able to, too.