Today I will not write as a teacher advising her students on how they have to learn Spanish. I have decided to share with you my relationship with languages and my experiences in learning them. I speak four languages on different levels: Spanish, English, Catalan and German.
I love being able to communicate in different languages and feel that the connection with whoever hears me is improved by trying to communicate in their language. My mother tongue is Spanish, I speak, think, feel and perform my mental calculations and logical reasoning in Spanish. I’m in love with it. That led me to teach Spanish to those who have the desire or need to learn it, because I knew I could convey my passion for it and any work done with passion ends in success.
My main goal is to make students feel motivated. Because learning a second language, sometimes, can become boring and invite us, in silence, to quit. That is why I am of the opinion that motivation is not only important, but basic. I think I can say that I get that degree of motivation with my students. How? Perhaps, on one hand, my open, smiling and encouraging attitude is a great help (you should ask them) but what I am convinced of is the effectiveness of the communicative method we use in ChitChat Spanish.
The idea is simple: what is really the goal of a language? Answer: to communicate in real day-to-day situations. What does the student need for this? Answer: understanding and oral and written expressions. From there we are asked the following question: how do we acquire them? Answer: with authentic materials and documents of everyday life.
Teaching a language goes beyond vocabulary and grammar, which, of course, is necessary. The student needs to learn by learning to apply communication strategies and socio-cultural skills. Spanish is taught to socialize by creating a communicative and motivating environment at the same time. That is the magic of the communicative method, preparing the student to defend themselves in their “staging”.
The first foreign language I learned was German. In total I have been receiving classes for almost thirteen years or so. I have not practically studied English. Some loose classes in academies and courses on my own. I think I’m not wrong when I say that I speak a much better English than German. The reason is very simple to understand: German was taught following mainly the grammar translation method. This was perfect to learn the German grammar and vocabulary but not enough to communicate in a real situation. However, English was given to me in the same way a child learns its own language.
Now, I would like to ask those who learned Spanish at school: do you feel confident enough to maintain a fluent conversation in this language? Share with us your experience learning Spanish.
Next week, we will tell you why learning a foreign language via Skype is a great option. Meanwhile, enjoy your week communicating with people!!! Have a great week!