Back to school in Spanish

Back to schoolIt’s our daughter Curly Girl’s second week at big school and she’s been remarkably resilient to the huge change in her life after seven weeks of do-whatever-we-feel-like Summer holidays. To go from ‘get up at some point in the morning’ to a relatively strict 6.45am and from ‘what do you fancy for lunch?’ to ‘eat what’s in front of you’ is a big ask for a four year old and while not much is getting eaten yet in terms of school lunches she is still fairly chipper about the experience on the whole. 

Clearly I can learn something from this attitude because she isn’t the only one who is back to school this month. After a Summer hiatus I’m starting my Spanish lessons again and while part of me is rearing to go, yet another is just that bit nervous. Will I have forgotten everything I learned so far and have to go back to the beginning? Will I have the embarrassment of a scheduled conversation where I have nothing to say? 
 
*Gulp* 
 
Following Curly Girl’s example there’s no sense in putting this off – so coffee in hand I’m sitting down to open up my TOTALe Online Spanish course and get stuck in to a lesson. I’ll let you know how I get on….
 
(Pause)
 
There now, all done.
 
Luckily I was straight back in with a colours game and thankfully the in-built pronunciation checker corrected any bad habits I’d picked up over the holidays. A few las manzanas son verdes and las bicicletas son rojas and I felt like I was right back in the thick of it again, rrrrr-ing and thhhh-ing all over the place. It was amazingly easy to pick up the ropes again as the system is so intuitive. 
 
The colours lesson incorporated learning how to talk about objects in their singular and plural forms – believe me it sounds more complicated than it was as the ‘match the pictures’ game made it fun and easy. For example I realised very quickly that in Spanish colours (like other adjectives) have to agree with the object they are describing – el huevo es azul but los huevos son azules. This type of grammatical rule is just the sort of learning that puts me off learning, if you get my drift. But when it’s taught in an immersive fashion through games and by process of elimination, I find that I’m picking up the rules as part of the game and as such they seem to be sticking more in my mind. Perhaps I have a mental block for real ‘rules’ *ahem*. So despite some problems with the Spanish tongue-twisternosotros somos unos ninos, I’ve learnt how to say I am Yo Soy, I have Yo tengo’ and What do you have? Que tiene usted?’ and completed the lesson with 97% accuracy. Phew! There are some parts of the lesson that I’m not sure about – why certain words are used when others aren’t but I’m hoping all this will become clear as we go along. So there you have it, I’m back to school – soy una estudiante – and thus endeth the lesson for today. 
 
I wonder how Curly Girl is getting on?


Michelle Reeves is a forty-something, stay-at-home Mum of two. In 2008 she and her husband left behind everything they knew and loved in the UK and packed up their life into a few boxes for a three-year adventure in China. They arrived back in the summer of 2011 with a beautiful toddling daughter, and now the adventure continues with their miracle baby boy, born in November 2012. Michelle blogs her random musings on life and all things family at Bod for tea. She's a self-confessed control freak, and alongside writing endless lists, you'll probably find her muttering about life with two kids under five, trying to get fit, cooking a bit, reviewing stuff and generally spouting forth. She adores Spanish and has been trying to learn to speak it since University.

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