Mescal Moments: Practice Makes Perfect
If you think you can become fluent in Spanish just by taking a class, I’m sorry to be the one to tell you that won’t happen..
First- and second-year classes in high school, in a community college or a university will teach you the fundamentals of the language. But just remember that all the classes in the world won’t help you if you don’t USE the Spanish you learned in the classroom once you’re outside the classroom.
Speak Spanish any chance you get. The good news is that if you live in the Yuma area — in most places in Arizona, as a matter of fact — you don’t have to go far to find someone with whom to speak Spanish. Strike up a conversation with a Spanish-speaker. I’m not ashamed to say some of my best practice sessions have come while sitting on a stool in a bar in Algodones.
Read Spanish publications, such as Bajo El Sol, which hits the news racks ever Friday or can be found on line at www.bajoelsol.com.
Watch the Spanish television channels included on cable or satellite. I find the soap operas — the telenovelas — and news broadcasts most helpful.
Take it from someone who has been studying and practicing Spanish since the early 1970s and still has plenty to learn about the language.
By all means, take all the Spanish classes you can, whether you’re a student in high school, at Arizona Western College or at the university.
Just remember that your education doesn’t end when you walk out of the classroom.