Noticias de noviembre
We love all of the feedback we've gotten so far on the new logo, Â¡muchas gracias! Enjoy the rest of 2014 as it is going to go by very quickly. We hope everyone has a great DÃa de AcciÃ³n de Gracias!
Here is what you'll find in this month's newsletter:
- 2014 Fall & Winter Group Classes Starting
- 3 Tips to Stay Motivated â€“ Article by Emily Daniel
- El Juramento de Lealtad
- Feliz CumpleaÃ±os
- Teacher Spotlight â€“ Pedro GarcÃa
3 Tips to Stay Motivated
By Emily Daniel
Everyone reading this is likely in a different stage of the language-learning journey. Some of you may have been learning Spanish for years, others for a few months, some just starting in Level 1 or perhaps you havenâ€™t started yet but you hope to this year.
For most people after the exciting few weeks of just starting the journey is over, they start to realize that learning a second language is wellâ€¦.. itâ€™s hard!
How can we stay motivated and have the desire to continue when some days we feel like we have backtracked or plateaued? What can we do when it doesnâ€™t feel like very much fun to make a LOT of mistakes and we are majorly struggling to express ourselves or communicate?
Here are some tips to keep up your motivation when you are feeling discouraged:
1.Keep it fun
Instead of forcing yourself to focus on your weak areas (especially when morale is low), do the things that you like to do. If you enjoy listening to Spanish music, watch some music videos or go for a jog listening to a Spanish Pandora radio station. Watch some funny YouTube videos in Spanish like Â¡QuÃ© difÃcil es hablar el espaÃ±ol (canciÃ³n)! or Destinos. Watch a soccer game or the news in Spanish. If you donâ€™t like sports or the news even in English, watch something that you like! Working on harder and more challenging areas is much more doable when you are feeling motivated.
2.Think about how far you have come
Can you get up and give an impromptu motivational speech in Spanish in front of 1,000 people? Probably not. Can you communicate with a Spanish-speaker? If you have had even 1 lesson with us, then the answer to that is yes! Of course the depth of that communication varies from student to student. Get out and introduce yourself to a new Spanish-speaking friend. You will probably be surprised and delighted as you communicate without pressure. Or when you are feeling low, go back and look at your first recap emails to see how far you have come. Give yourself a break. You've come a long way!
3.Know that you are not alone
Every single one of us feels or has felt unmotivated or discouraged. Hang in there.
Read and process the advice below compiled with quotes from past newsletters from our student spotlights and their answers to the question: â€œWhat advice would you give to someone who is just starting to learn Spanish?â€
Their wise answers apply to beginners, intermediate and advanced students!
--â€œKnowing this language opens so many doors. Additionally, it is never easy. I used to think that there would be a day where everything clicked and I would be fluent overnight, but it is a journey, and you are always learning. But going little by little is the key.â€
--If you want to learn a new language you have to have patience and be persistent. It is fascinating when you feel that you can communicate with someone from a culture and country different from your own.â€
--"Start on the easy parts. Learn the colors first and then move on to the harder parts.â€ (wise words from a 5 year old student)
--â€œWhen I began I only knew how to say â€˜holaâ€™ and â€˜graciasâ€™, but now little by little I am learning.â€
--â€œBe patient with the process and donâ€™t get too frustrated by the conjugations of verbs!â€
--â€œDo your homework and study a lot! Studying Spanish is very fun with SLWED!â€
--â€œBelieve in yourself. Just keep on learning even if you donâ€™t know it that well.â€ â€“7 year old student
--â€œStudy frequently and donâ€™t give up when it gets difficult!â€
--â€œStudy, Study, Study! Do as much as you can to keep yourself involved in the language as far as reading, watching movies or even watching cartoons. Be patient and speak as much as you can even if you don't think itâ€™s correct, someone will understand.â€
--â€œDon't give up, it's a process and you will get better over time. Try to have some contact with the language every day, even if for just 10 minutes.â€
--â€œIt gets easier as you learn it.â€ â€“ 11-year-old student
--â€œTo anyone thinking about using SLWED to learn Spanish, the hardest part is being brave enough to begin. Everything comes in bite sizes. And because everyone is a beginner, you will develop quite the camaraderie with those in your class as you stumble along. And I am counting on the fact that it will be really worthwhile in the end!â€
--"You should practice. It is a very good thing to do. If you practice with some books on Spanish you will start to learn how to read Spanish.â€ â€“ 7 year old student
--â€œLearning Spanish OUTSIDE of the standard clas room setting is a lot more exciting and efficient. I took many years of Spanish in school and essentially learned nothing. It's been a really nice experience to learn something because I wanted to do it, not because I was working towards getting a passing grade.â€
--â€œDonâ€™t get frustrated. There will be ups and downs and like anything else in life, the more you put into it the more you will get out of it. Also, donâ€™t be afraid to just start talking to other Spanish-speakers. It is a really important part of the learning process. Also, download the app QUIZLET!! It is a great way to learn if you only have a couple of free minutes.â€
El Juramento de Lealtad
Do you know the Pledge of Allegiance in Spanish? It is a great thing to learn and practice! You can see the words here and check out a video with the words and audio here: El Juramento de Lealtad - Video
"Yo prometo lealtad a la bandera
de los Estados Unidos de America,
y a la Republica que representa,
una NaciÃ³n bajo Dios,
con libertad y justicia para todos."
If you want to see an adorable four year old saying the Pledge in English and in Spanish you can click on the link below. Note the word differences in both languages between both languages. In America we have â€œliberty and Justins for allâ€. Â¡QuÃ© precioso!
Â¡FIESTA con Conexion Americas!
We had a great time at the Conexion Americas fiesta at the Cannery Ballroom and enjoyed eating with, talking to and dancing with teachers and students! We hope to see you there next year to celebrate Hispanic Heritage month 2015!
Profesores y amigos en la fiesta con Conexion Americas.
They had a photo booth!
1. How long have you been teaching with SLWED?
I have been teaching with SLWED for a year and a half now.
2. How many students do you currently teach? What percentage adult and what percentage children?
I only teach one kid now. The rest of my students are all adults. I have around 45 students in various groups and individual lessons.
3. How did you learn English and what do you do to keep it up?
I started learning English at school and I felt comfortable with it, but I didnÂ´t take it very serious back then. It was in 2011 when I felt the need to learn because I saw the chance of playing concerts all around Europe. From that point on, I received lessons from a teacher that was living in Cordoba from Capetown (South-Africa). Her name was Olivia Downing. Now I read books, play videogames, listen to the radio, watch tv shows and immerse myself in every single situation that could trigger new words or gramatical content. Since I would like to become a professional translator in the future, I need to be "hard on myself" in a positive way in order to not leave anything unsaid. Learning a language is a process with highs and lows, in which the result will depend 100% on the outset: First you set the goal, and then you fight for it.
4. What is it like teaching your native language?
It is fun! I love grammar and I like to feel empathy for my students in order to let them know that it is ok to make mistakes (considering that I make them all the time in English).
5. Who is your role model and why?
The last thing I want everyone to think about me is that I am a narcissist or I am using this platform for bragging by showing off when answering this question. Having said that, my role model is myself. A person that tries to break his limits by loving his family more, studying more, serving others more, sharing more...A person that sees an error as an opportunity to learn and be better...If I were to be born again, I would like to be Pedro again, and make the same mistakes I made in the past in order to be who I am nowadays. No one teaches us how to break our boundaries, you learn that concept by making mistakes and observing the result of working through them. People are out there waiting to be surprised by YOU.
6. What is a fun fact about you that your students may be surprised to know?
I could not live without God and video games. (Now try to reconcile that in your mind! hehehe)
7. Where do you want to travel to next?
Jerusalem and Egypt.
8. How is teaching with SLWED different than a job in the classroom?
SLWED is able to adapt itself to the needs of the students. LITERALLY. What comes out of it? Everyone can be themselves all the time. Subsequently, everyone is happy by doing what they want the way they want to do it. THAT is the future for companies all over the world from my point of view.
9. What are 3 of the most common Spanish errors that you have heard along the way as your students learn Spanish?
LA PROBLEMA! (el problema)
QUIERO QUE TU VIENES! (Quiero que tÃº vengas)
SOY CANSADO! (estoy cansado)
The one that I hear the most:
Â¿Como fue la semana? and they say: FUE OCUPADO!!!! [Fue ocupada / Estuvo ocupada / Estuve ocupado(a).]
10. Tell us about your studentsâ€¦
My students? My students are my friends and, by accepting me as their teacher, they accept my philosophy of life: learning is everywhere! Also, I would like to thank them for being very patient with me when I first came to Nashville. My English was not as good as it is today, and they were really supportive and encouraging all the time. We all need to keep improving ourselves!
THANKS SLWED FOR LETTING ME BE MYSELF!