Necesito practicar Español. I need to practice Spanish.
Living in Texas, Spanish is a huge deal, especially towards the Mexican border. Not only is Spanish a language that is beneficial to know in the Southern part of the United States, it is also is a widespread language of Latin America, South America, Spain, etc. The people of Chajul mainly speak Ixil, the language of the Chajulense, but they are quickly learning Spanish as a means of communicating with others outside of their department.
Due to the incorporation of Spanish into the children’s’ classrooms, Spanish has become widespread. It has basically been the only way to communicate with the people here, of course with the help of a translator. I am very proud of my classmates and my self for our continued learning of Spanish each day. It is amazing how much Spanish one can pick up within a week and a half.
Today was probably the most Spanish-intensive day that we have had so far. We worked on the Lombriculture compost bins with the Limited Horizon scholarship students. We found out quickly that the only way we were going to work together, fully integrated, was by speaking Spanish. I was relieved that the students were so welcoming and willing to help us learn Spanish. They even knew some English words and phrases!
The nonjudgmental environment that the LHI students helped to create was unlike any Spanish classroom environment in the United States. The classrooms back home were a great way to learn the basics of Spanish and I learned many words and ways to form phrases yet never was able to put them into use. Today, we were eager to continue learning a new language and were completely comfortable with trying it out. As a team, the LHI students and TAMU students, we helped each other find the correct words and pronunciation in order for us to communicate to get the job done. And we had fun doing it!
Most importantly, the actual use of Spanish and hearing it spoken was the most helpful thing in learning the language. It made me feel great to know that I was learning as I was working and creating relationships with people who spoke a completely different language than myself. Not to mention that they probably thought it was cool to learn some English along the way. These kids will be trilingual some day!
I am so glad that I am finally doing what the three years of high school Spanish prepared me for: actually speaking Spanish.