Today I worked on my homework for Spanish. Our assignment was to read a news story on BBC news in Spanish, write a summary, and include a sentence or two in response to the article. It’s not long, maybe half a page or slightly more. The funny thing is any time I do any work for Spanish or have Spanish class, English feels foreign. What makes it funny to me is that I never experienced that in my last two Spanish classes.
In high school, I took Spanish through level 3. I also went on a language immersion trip to Costa Rica for a week and a half in both my sophomore and senior years. In Costa Rica, it was easy to speak Spanish automatically. When it is all around you, you stop thinking in English and translating every word sentence by sentence. After high school, I didn’t use Spanish so it seemed to slip away. Because of UVA’s requirements, I am taking Spanish in college. I earned A’s in both Spanish 101 and 102, probably due in part to my previous experience with Spanish. After a year and a half break, I assumed I would struggle to succeed in Spanish 201, but I haven’t. Our instructor speaks in Spanish almost the entire time and it is making a huge difference. Not only is my Spanish coming back, but it is coming more easily as well. Even in something as superficial as reading headlines in Spanish and summarizing. Clearly my instructor is doing something right.