Sunday, 21 December 2008

School Days

For the last two weeks we have been taking Spanish classes with the International Spanish School of Costa Rica. Unlike many schools, the lessons here are completely conversational with grammar points covered as and when necessary. This posed somewhat of a challenge for both Zoë, who knows quite a lot of Spanish but isn’t particularly talkative, and Colin, who can be particularly talkative but didn’t know that much Spanish!

Although the classes took place in the spacious but homely and welcoming garage of Doña Ligia’s house, and not a dedicated school building, this certainly does not indicate a lack of dedication or professionalism on the part of the tutors (and directors), Rafa & Wes, who undertook a 2 hour commute by bus every morning to come to Heredia to teach us (and then another 2 hours home again). And it also enabled us to chat with Doña Ligia and meet members of her family.

Listening and talking only in Spanish for 4 hours a day (or more!), Monday to Friday , for two weeks was at times difficult, however it was an enjoyable and largely stress free experience, and we don’t think we would have learned as much in this short space of time in another school with a different methodology. The tutoring was mostly one-to-one with Colin paired with Rafa and Zoë with Wes (pairings which both seemed to work very well and felt comfortable), joining together for a coffee break mid lesson where we had delicious treats to eat (sometimes baked by Wes – yum yum).

We must have talked about EVERYTHING … from our childhoods and family history through to topics such as Costa Rican and Scottish culture, political issues and the current economic crisis, along with our own personal interests such as computers and Tai Chi. And, of course, what we would do if we were fish or had been living in England during the bubonic plague outbreak of the 1300’s …. (all hail to the subjunctive!)

After spending so long each day with Rafa & Wes it will seem a little odd not to see them every day. Now we just need to practice what we have learned in the real world.

Zoë's Spanish Phrase of the Day

Si tuviéramos más dinero, estudiaríamos más con Rafa y Wes.

No comments: