I'm a little bit afraid about the lack of Spanish speaking that will most likely occur over my Thanksgiving break. I am often jealous of students who have the opportunity to speak to their families in another language, but I realize that there are other opportunities to speak Spanish outside of school, and I also know that I will not "lose" my knowledge of the language over a short break. Here are some strategies I may use over break to keep speaking Spanish in a predominantly English-speaking environment:
- Visit friends I know from my Spanish-immersion camp, or talk to them on the phone
- Force my friends who took Spanish in high school to speak a few sentences with me each day
- Walk around having a fake conversation on my cell phone in Spanish (suggestion from Brandon Lanners, one of our study abroad advisors)
- Listen to plenty of music! (my favorites are Reik, Julieta Venegas, Fonseca, and Jesse & Joy)
- Order food at a Mexican restaurant in Spanish (I've done it at Chipotle a few times)
- Keep in touch with friends in Mexico and Argentina through facebook
I am also keeping these things in mind for winter break, as I will be going to Ecuador on January 3rd and will need to keep speaking up until my departure. I'm getting very anxious-excited about leaving to study abroad, and I can't wait to meet my host family and start classes in a new country. Winter break for me will only be slightly longer than Thanksgiving break, and I will want to spend as much time as possible with my family and close friends before leaving.