Sunday, June 12, 2011

Cádiz, Please

This is part 1 of a ¿_?-part series on my experience earning my CertTESOL [Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages] in Cádiz, Spain in the summer of 2011.

Part 1

When I began documenting my sooth-seeking in March 2010, I was planning a trip to Spain. I hoped this blog would be a good way to remember my experiences and to share them with others.

Unfortunately, I didn't end up going to Spain that summer. I have since traveled to many other places, though, so I've grown accustomed to documenting my adventures.

Now, at long last, I will embark on my Spanish journey: six weeks in sunny, historic Cadiz. I won't be vacationing, though; I'll be taking courses to complete a TESOL [Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages] certificate through Trinity College, London. The certificate is recognized internationally, so I'll be able to teach wherever I want. Spain is an obvious first choice, but France and Russia are also on my wish list.

Words fail me to describe my excitement. I have studied Spanish for over ten years, but have had little opportunity to use it. Sure, I'll read an occasional article from El País ('The Country', a Spanish newspaper) or watch an episode of Redes para la Ciencia ('Science Networks', a Spanish TV program akin to the Discover Channel), but I have limited experience actually speaking the language.

When I have had a chance to speak, it's usually been with bilingual Spanish-English speakers. Never have I needed to speak Spanish to get by.

Nonetheless, I feel confident in my ability to speak. All the necessary tools (vocabulary, grammar, pronunciation) are in place, and I simply need an arena in which to combine them all together and make the jump to fluency. It has been so intellectually frustrating to know that I have this ability, but to have limited opportunity to exercise it.

I've been planning this trip since March, and I leave in a little over a week. I have lots of emotions about leaving Albany, my comfortable home for the last six months. But that's outside the scope of this post.

Seek The Sooth goes global in just nine days. Stay tuned!
GQueues is a free online task manager (or $25/year for extra features). The interface is simple and intuitive, and you can log in with your Google account. Definitely helps me stay organized.

Wordreference is an invaluable online language dictionary and forum. It includes translations to and from fifteen different languages, and verb conjugators for Spanish, French, and Italian. The forums contain a wealth of information about idiomatic expressions and word usage.

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