Skip to content

Yo hablo español

Or at least enough to pass the Spanish language phone assessment! I just got the results today and I’m very relieved. This gives a little bump to my Oral Assessment score, which is nice. Even though I use Spanish every day in my job, I wasn’t completely confident in my abilities, so I hired a tutor to meet with me for 8 sessions. We got together to talk about current events or discuss articles and opinion pieces. I brushed up on vocab related to earthquakes, oil spills and immigration (although it turns out they didn’t ask me about those things – too obvious?).

I used Spanish Tutor DC and highly recommend them. Their group classes are obviously more affordable than one-on-one tutoring. But I was willing to pay a premium so that I could essentially set the agenda based on what I read about the phone assessment and have flexibility over when and where we would meet. My tutor met me a block from my work and was able to schedule sessions around my vacation and travel schedule. I know that’s a luxury not everyone can afford, and I’m so thankful I was able to do it.

I’m excited to continue improving my Spanish, but I’m glad to be heading to Nicaragua with a good base. Certainly I hope it will improve my chances of finding work, but also for more mundane things like getting cable/internet set up and getting cell phone service. Those things are frustrating enough in English!

And finally, here are some lovely cupcakes from Red Velvet Cupcakery I brought to work this week. Given that it was my last birthday before heading to Nica, and since I had a great half-off coupon, I decided to splurge!

7 Comments Post a comment
  1. Bfiles #

    congratulations! That’s terrific! I take mine next Fri and I’m getting very nervous. I would love any tips if you have them. I too have been preparing current events and working w a tutor.

    June 17, 2010
    • stmemory #

      My phone test took about 20 min. To prepare, I tried to brush up on my trouble spots: i.e. subjunctive and reflexive. They get me every time!

      Then, I tried to practice my “Miss America” answers to every topic in the news. I tried to keep in mind that the examiners don’t actually care what you think, they want to see if you can express an opinion in a clear way and have a good command of Spanish. In fact, after one of my answers about the Middle East, the guy said, “I completely disagree…!” So don’t let it frazzle you if they come back and press you on something – sort of like the Oral Exam, in that sense. They’re probably just trying to see if you can respond coherently.

      The thing that most surprised me was that my examiner was from Spain. I have almost zero experience with Spain Spanish, and am much more familiar with Latin American accents – even Cuban and Venezuelan, which are a bit of a hot mess. Thankfully this guy wasn’t hard to understand.

      I’m sure I made mistakes, but I kept the conversation going and corrected myself when I noticed something egregious, i.e “medio ambiente, er, no, medio oriente…”

      Good luck! I’ll be anxious to hear how it goes for you.

      June 17, 2010
      • Bfiles #

        thanks STM! I appreciate the insight. Spain would throw me, too. I am hoping for Vzla since that’s where I learned to speak! But really, that’s not the part keeping me up at night. Anyway your info was really helpful; thanks again!

        June 18, 2010
  2. It’s Friday, and that means that the Weekly State Department Blog Roundup is up – and you’re on it!

    Here is the link:
    http://bit.ly/aic8FC

    (If I quoted your text or used your photo(s) and you would rather I had not, please let me know. Please also be sure to check the link(s) that I put up to you, in order to verify that they work properly. If you would rather that I had not referenced you, and/or do not want me to reference you in the future, please also contact me.)

    Thanks!

    June 18, 2010
  3. Forgot to change the link in the disclaimer. Sorry here is the corrected version.

    It’s Friday, and that means that the Weekly State Department Blog Roundup is up – and you’re on it!



    Here is the link:
 http://cyberbones.blogspot.com/2010/06/weekly-state-department-roundup.html



    (If I quoted your text or used your photo(s) and you would rather I had not, please let me know. Please also be sure to check the link(s) that I put up to you, in order to verify that they work properly. If you would rather that I had not referenced you, and/or do not want me to reference you in the future, please also contact me.)

Thanks!

    June 18, 2010
  4. Congratulations!

    June 20, 2010

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. A-100 week #2: Yo hablo español « Short Term Memory

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: