Monday, September 08, 2008

In at the deep end

Tired of not having as much Spanish as I should have after almost a year here, I signed up to a free course that the university offers to Erasmus students. Last Friday I took an exam (the first exam in many years) to see which class was appropriate for my level. Most of the test was multiple choice, and, using logic rather than knowledge I seemed to do much better than I should have done and ended up in the top class.

Today I turned up to my first lesson, with 20 other students many of whom are here for six months, only to discover that most of my other class mates are Brazilians or Italians who have been learning Spanish for several years. They seem, to me at least, to be virtually fluent and it seems that this class is going to be hard going, but I hope very useful.

Today, amongst other things we were given three novelas to read by the end of the course (the course is less than three weeks) and answer questions on them. I started tonight and am a good way through the first one, though it's pretty hard going for me and I spend as much time with my nose in the dictionary, as reading the text.

Anyway, for the next three weeks I'll be taking these lessons for a couple of hours every day and I'm really hoping that it's going to give me some more confidence, which I believe is the main thing holding me back at the moment. This is clear to me because at times I can converse with people quite happily in Spanish, while at others I close up completely and look like I know nothing.

Anyway, will try and keep you up to date with progress.

Depending on how work and study goes tomorrow I'll be giving some information on the LHC startup which I'll certainly be watching on Wednesday morning.

See here for a very good summary of the coverage which you can keep up to date with.


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Unknown said...

I'm planning to practice with Dave and also I did with Benedict (check CS friends) during last week. Looking for ways to speed up learning in both directions :)

On the other hand, I have a german girl staying at my place who seems amazingly fluent in Spanish. She also speaks perfect English and German... She is going to come back for a 3 year stay teaching German (same as Lisa...) at USC. Might be a possibility, right?