I’m no stranger to the Spanish language, and not that I have any proficiency what so ever, but being born in California the school curriculum included Spanish, not sure if it still does as I’m talking some 45 years ago. My breath got caught just there.
I had it in junior high grades 7, 8 and as an elective in my junior year grade 9 at Huntington High, then my family moved to Canada where French was the dominant second language and was mandatory up to grade 10. I rather regret not taking advantage of that new language, but rather than jump in I stayed with what was familiar and was allowed to take Spanish by correspondence instead, which didn’t come to much since I had no one to practice with. When I got to grade 11 I took it as an elective. A side note about my Spanish teacher for that class, Mr. Gallagher, the first day of class he burst into the room holding a guitar, threw himself onto an empty desk and belted out La Cucaracha. He was an engaging teacher far and few between.
Later in life my husband and I traveled to Mexico a few times, one trip lasting three months backpacking and I took some Spanish tutoring, until our rented bikes were stolen one night and had to re pay the bike shop thus blowing my tutoring budget.
I took more classes in my town upon returning from that trip to keep the language alive. And again years later when I was employed at the University I recently retired from; one of our perks was exemption from tuition, so I had enrolled in a class that was compatible with my work schedule. One year.
One whole year, and I did o.k. but I struggled with exams and the finals. So obviously not quit getting it and I’m dismayed by this since this language and I go way (way) back.
So now a neighbor on my little island, who is originally from Colombia, has decided to hold Spanish classes at our community hall each Wednesday morning. It is beginner level and I am attending, along with 20 of my neighbors, and although I know a bit more to take her intermediate class she plans on following up with, rather than wait for that class I think I really need to begin the very basics again. I have 3 people in close proximity that I can practice with too, I want to get this, I want to speak another language and by gum I plan to master it!
Anyone else out there having second language learning issue and successes? Did you have to persevere for years to break ground? How did you finally break through the barrier?