Going back to school to learn Spanish was a shock to the system. I think we had some idea what we would be in for. In reality it has been amazing, challenging, fun and overwhelmingly-brain melting.
That was just the first week.
To catch you up, Steve and I committed and paid for two-weeks of intensive Spanish language classes as well as a daily conversation class with Camino Barcelona.
The teaching technique used by the school is that of emersion, complete emersion. This means the teachers do not speak anything else but Spanish or Espanol. It’s insane and it’s great.
Week 1 Spanish classes
It’s amazing that simply by listening to week 1/uno Spanish teachers Maria-Jose, Xavi and our conversation teacher Pedro, speak and explain things using different words, actions and repetition we are understanding more than we thought we would.
Yes, we are tired and mentally exhausted but after five days we are recognising more and more words although we are not quite at the stage of being able to smoothly put together sentences.
As well as classes we joined in the social activities of the school i.e. tapas tour, welcome drinks, a boat trip (no diving I’m afraid), salsa dancing and sangria drinking plus a trip to the Gaudi designed Park Guell – photos on right.
We did heaps of walking, talking and photographing.
Then on the weekend we took a guided bus tour to Girona and the Dali Museum and Montserrat – check out the blog here.
Week 2 learning a language
Unfortunately, we are not as youthful as we think we are so the combination of full-on days and late nights caught up with us. We were brain fried going in to our second week and decided to forgo any more of the social activities for the sake of our sanity.
Week two Spanish learning didn’t let up in fact it increased. Our week 2/dos teachers David(2) and Carmen(2) were really good, but the different verbs, adjectives and conjugations really stumped us. We decided to skip Spanish conversation classes in the second week to focus on class work and travel planning for the coming weeks.
I think it was Wednesday of the second week, I walked out of class feeling like I wanted to cry. I was so overwhelmed and it just didn’t feel like it was sticking. Steve didn’t know what to do with me – his tried to ‘fix it’ by saying let’s stop going then but it wasn’t about that. I was simply at my tipping point. An early night and some TLC and I was ready for the downhill dash to the line called Friday.
Of course we made it and loved it and hated it. What our two weeks of intensive learning did provide was a grounding for continuing our travels around Spain and our plans to continue learning another language when we get back to Oz.
Gracias Camino Barcelona!