One month down

Whew!  I’ve survived the first month of Spanish training. I’ll have my first progress test in about two weeks so I will have a better idea then of how well I’m doing. I have noticed a difference in my speaking and reading ability already. It is amazing how quickly you progress when you spend 8+ hours a day working in a language. Though, I’m sort of expecting to reach a learning plateau soon.

We had our first instructor rotation this week. They try to change teachers every four weeks so that we hear different accents and are exposed to different teaching styles. Both of the instructors I’ve had so far have been excellent. If I have one complaint it is that I am starting to think that all the Spanish teachers in the world are from Colombia. I had one teacher all four years in high school and one instructor for the year of Spanish I took in college; both were from Colombia. Thus far both of my regular instructors at FSI and the two subs I’ve had have been from Colombia. Perhaps the universe is telling me I need to bid posts in Bogota high next time around because Colombian Spanish is definitely the accent I understand the best.

In addition to language training, we also have regional studies on Tuesday mornings. Those are mercifully conducted in English. This week we had a “field trip” to the Mexican Cultural Institute for a tour and to look at the murals in the building. Next week I’ve signed up for a cooking demonstration with some friends at the Cultural Institute so it was nice to get a preview of the place. I’m looking forward to going back and checking out tasty Yucantan cooking.

2 Responses to “One month down”

  • I’ve heard that the Colombian accent is one of the “cleanest.” If you speak like a Colombian, you should be well-understood anywhere. I’m not sure if it’s more equivalent to BBC English or the generic American accent[1], but Colombians are clearer to a lot more people than Spaniards, for instance.

    [1] I’m not sure what’s a good name for the accent shared by wide swaths of America where people from a bunch of places all ended up together. I can’t tell much of a difference between the speech of folks from the Pacific coast, the mountains, and parts of the Midwest. Maybe “The American mutt accent.”

  • I’m not sure I really speak like a Colombian. I would love to considering all the years I have spent listening to the Colombian accent and because it sounds very clear to me. I think I probably sound like an American Mutt (sounds like as good of a name as any to me)! The great test of course will be to see if anyone actually understands me when I get my visa window…. :::crosses fingers:::

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