Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Spanish Class

Activity: Spanish Class
Date: April 6 - 10
Time: 2-4 pm (2 hours a day, 5 days)
Type:Group (friends)
Organization: Modern Spanish Language Center (

Hours:  10 hours - Creative

So my friends and I decided to spend the Easter break learning Spanish.

Since it was a quick crash course, we learned the very basics, such as numbers, colors and basic verbs.

Here are my reflections!

1) Increase my awareness of my strengths and areas for growth
This was a brand new experience for me as I have no skills or experience in Spanish (unless you count Dora the Explorer, which you really shouldn't). Thus, participating in this crash course in Spanish helped me to understand my strengths and weaknesses, as well as my areas of growth.

During the crash course, I quickly learned that while pronunciation of the words wasn't that big of a problem for me, as Spanish seems to be one of the languages that is pronounced how the word is written (unlike English and its many odd spelling rules that aren't followed half the time). Also many of the words looks similar to their English counterparts, making it easier to guess the meaning behind many of the words.

However, the challenging part came in conjugating the verbs, as unlike in English, the ending to a verb changes based on who is speaking (I'll talk about this more in the next learning outcome)

Hard at work!
2) Undertaken new challenges or an extension of an existing one  
As mentioned before, the decision to learn Spanish was a new challenge for me, as I had no experience prior to the course.

In particular, conjugating verbs was very difficult for me, as there is no equivilent in English or Manderian.
While some where easy and followed consistent rules (such as replace the "r" with an "o" for "I" verbs) , such as for the root verb "hablar" (to speak):

English              Spanish            Verb used
We nosotroshablamos
His/ Her / Itsellos/ellas/Udshablan

Others, such as for "ir" (to go or to leave) were much harder and didn't seem to follow the rules at all!

English              Spanish            Verb used

We nosotrosvamos
His/ Her / Itsellos/ellas/Udsvan

Final photo with our teacher, Oralia!

6) Engaged with issues of global importance
Spanish is the second most spoken language in the world, with about 405,000,000 people or 6.15% of the world's population. By learning the basics in this new language, I was opening myself to learn more about other cultures and how they think due to their language (language being one of the Ways of Knowing in ToK after all!)

This crash course in Spanish encouraged me to look into learning Spanish in the future.
As I am already fluent in English and spoken Mandarin Chinese ( my reading and writing in Chinese still needs a lot of work before I can be considered "fluent" and there is also the difference between simplified and traditional characters etc ) if I keep on learning Spanish, I will be able to communicate with over a quarter of the world's people in their native language!

Why is this an issue of global impotance? Well Nelson Mandela put it best:
"If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his language, that goes to his heart."


No comments:

Post a Comment