UK students learn Spanish in Salamanca

by Stacey on Tuesday, February 17, 2009

In March of 2008, 4 students of England's Lincoln Minster School had a week-long Spanish immersion experience in don Quijote Salamanca.

Frederick Bowen, Harriet Briggs, Ben Rainthorpe and Chloe Miller began their Salamanca adventure accompanied by their Lincoln Spanish teacher, Estrella Corral-Hardy. Mrs. Hardy informed us that the students were delighted with their stay and plan to return. The following essay was written by Frederick and it details their adventure. Read on!

SALAMANCA '08

At 3:30am on Sunday 30th March, a group of four AS Spanish Students along with our teacher, Mrs Estrella Corral-Hardy and her daughter, embarked on a week long excursion to the Spanish city of Salamanca. The long journey and very early morning start proved to be entirely worth it.

On arrival, we were welcomed by our host families, with whom we stayed in pairs for the duration of our stay. But we did not stay put for long! We were soon out and about the town lapping up the Spanish culture. We all found Salamanca itself to be a stunning city with beautiful architecture. The ancient university, intricately ornate cathedrals and of course the famous Plaza Mayor were simply breathtaking. We were made to feel very comfortable exploring the city because of the safe atmosphere and the high proportion of students to talk to – in Spanish, of course! Every night we went out for dinner, tasting all the local delicacies including black paella, many different types of chorizo, piglet meat (!) as well as the inevitable mountain of authentic Spanish tapas. One phrase we learned very quickly was “Estoy lleno” – I’m full! Experiencing the Spanish nightlife was perhaps where we had the most fun, especially the parties at the school and the Plaza Mayor. We really got an insight into the culture of young people in Spain, with fiestas where all the students dress up in old Mexican costumes and sing to the crowds while playing their guitars to celebrate the end of their degrees.

After we had settled in, though, it was time to work! Every morning, we attended four hours of Spanish lessons at the Don Quijote language school in Salamanca. We all found these hours to be extremely beneficial. By being put in different sets according to our individual abilities, we were able to progress at a level that suited each of us. We all feel our skills in understanding and speaking the Spanish language have improved greatly because of these lessons – many thanks to Don Quijote and the brilliant teachers!

As for the afternoons, we spent 2 hours every day undertaking a work experience office orientation in the don Quijote Central Promotions Office. We were able to benefit from this thanks to the team of staff who explained how the offices and the school function, not just in the Spanish centres, but also how they link up with the schools in Latin America. We had to have our wits about us, as not a word of English was spoken, again helping us a lot to improve our comprehension of Spanish native speakers.

All in all, we each found the experience wholly enriching and would certainly recommend it to next year’s AS students. Many thanks to Mrs Hardy for putting so much time and effort into making it such a success!

Freddy Bowen

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Comments

1 » Anonymous (on Thursday, March 05, 2009) said:

Sounds like a fun time.  I bet you got very good at Spanish during your stay!

2 » Anonymous (on Tuesday, March 17, 2009) said:

well.. i live in the u.s .. im now learning spanish.. its very different from the english language. im an 8th grader and im learning how to make sentences in spanish and paragraphs..  i bet it was nice.. im doing an english language arts project rite now on the country of argentina. its really neat.. im learnin that our lifestyles are not really similar in any ways..

3 » Anonymous (on Monday, November 22, 2010) said:

Good for you "ileenah". Learning Spanish will help you become a better English speaker. As you learn Spanish, you will notice quite a few similarities to the English language. Understanding the structure and syntax of Spanish will challenge your English speaking skills, helping you improve your ability to speak both languages correctly. What's important about reading is that you can do it at your own pace. In spoken language a lot is missed until you are already fairly fluent.