Sunday, September 20, 2009

Tailor Made

If there was a class tailor made for me, it was Class 11. It mainly focused on the ridiculous amount of verb tenses there are in Spanish (18-54 different tenses compared to only 8 in English!). David complained about how hard they are to remember and use (I hear ya' brother), but Jimena reassured him that you only need to remember a few to have a normal conversation; the rest will come with time and practice. This is what I am finally coming to understand --> I am getting quite comfortable with the present and past tenses (still working on the future) and I can usually get my point across. The problem is that I want to speak like a native and I will be self-conscious until I'm able to do so (call it my tragic flaw). Today's class helped remind me that this is an unrealistic expectation at this point and I should feel better about what I do know than what I don't know. If the tables were turned and I was talking to a non-native English speaker in English I would not hold it against him, and would probably be somewhat impressed, that he could speak a second language at the level I speak Spanish.

In Class 11, we also learned how to give directions. This involves using the imperative tense (great, more tenses), however, Bueno, entonces... Learn Spanish did a nice job in digressing to explain exactly how this verb is conjugated. I would have spent (and did spend) much longer trying to figure it out myself with Rosetta Stone. Again, Rosetta Stone leaves it up to the learner to decipher rules through repetition and pattern recognition. While these are good teaching methods, I did find myself getting frustrated at times because I just wanted somebody to teach me the rule. I even would consult the Internet or a Spanish textbook at times for more instruction - Bueno, entonces... Learn Spanish puts this right within the program.

I am now starting to understand better how to use reflexive verbs. Class 11 really solidified "irse" for me. We also review the present tense conjugations of some important and common Spanish verbs, which was nice. Tomorrow is another review day - we'll see how that goes.

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