For my Spanish course, my class and I were to do an assignment where we had to meet up with people who lived in Barcelona. We were to talk with different residents, and we would practice our Spanish language skills through constant conversations. In exchange, they would speak English to us and we would help them get better as well.
At first, I was really nervous because I was not very comfortable with speaking. I didn’t think that I was very good at Spanish and I was embarrassed to make mistakes. However, I was also excited, because I knew practice made perfect. I needed more experience with talking, and conversing with someone whose native tongue was Spanish was the perfect opportunity to embrace. Therefore, I turned my anxieties and negativity into positive energy and I welcomed the experience with open arms and a huge smile.
I spoke with two very nice men who greatly helped me with Spanish. They spoke slowly and clearly, and I therefore could understand what they were said. In turn, I helped them exercise their English knowledge, and when they needed my counseling, I was quick to assist.
The experience really was amazing, because I was connecting so much with people I had just met. It was a very easygoing environment, and I was completely myself. We laughed, we joked, we learned. I discovered new phrases and slang, and I learned about new restaurants and Barcelona areas to visit.
I think that I was able to improve my language skills just by conversing for an hour with several men. I felt so lucky that I had this opportunity, and I realized that all of my anxieties were so silly. When the time was up, we all exchanged numbers and names for future communication. My partner told me he would show me around town, and I was thrilled to have such an invitation.
Through this experience, I realized how important the Spanish and Catalan culture was to me. It made me want to learn more about the way of life in Barcelona, and I wanted to assimilate with the citizens. I love speaking a different language, and I hope that one day, I will be fluent. This experience has made me want to work very hard toward that goal, which I think could be reached in the future.