by Ann Abbott
It's also so nice to stay in touch with former students, especially when they are doing great things and still using their Spanish. I think current students are well-served when we can show them models of what a "Spanish major" can look like after graduation.
Last fall I posted about Lindsey Meyers' work in Ecuador. After just about four months there, here is an update from Lindsey herself:
"I am learning so, so much here in Quito. Por fin, after years of studying it, I feel like I am gaining a confident grasp of speaking Spanish. I have finally learned to relax when I'm speaking, and not "THINK" so much, and I've realized that all the correct tenses are in my mind, and eventually are working their way into my speech. I've tried my best to stop translating in my head, and accepted Spanish as it's own language, and that's helped a lot.
"With my variety of classes: 2nd grade english, Phys Ed, cooking in the kitchen with my girls program, etc I am learning a multitude of new vocabulary. The kids have taught me so much! Another class I do, which is one of my favorites, is adult education. There are many indigenous people that are illiterate in Spanish due to their native language of Quechua, or just that never received an education, therefore we have classes at night for the adults learning basic math and reading. We're actually teaching the Spanish language to them, and it's so cool to see them progress. I have a young couple, Maria and Angel, who are just so eager to learn and have improved so much since we started with learning the alphabet and basic syllables. We're reading a geography book now, and they're so interested in it! Plus actually teaching Spanish, not just teaching in Spanish, further helps to ingrain the language into my mind. It has truly been an incredible experience so far, and I'm so happy to be here.
"And in the midst of my lesson planning, Center activities, and exploration of Quito, I think I've decided to wait on applying to graduate school for occupational therapy. I actually think I may consider teaching, especially in a bi-lingual school. I really would like to pursue a career in which I could use Spanish....I'm still figuring things out."