Thursday, December 3, 2015

A Good Reminder

I think one of the biggest takeaways for me in this course has been recognizing just how important it is to keep up with my Spanish-speaking, listening and writing skills. As a Spanish minor, once I finished my classes, I didn't have a way to continue practicing. While my brother is fluent (he studied Spanish in school as well) and extremely gifted with language, we rarely (read: never) practice together. Sometimes, I speak to my boyfriend in Spanish when he watches my telenovela with me, but he mostly just gets upset because he doesn't really know what I'm saying. And then, he starts speaking in German...and we just lose each other.

I didn't grow up with the influences of other languages, although we've always loved to travel as a family and I've always desired to be able to speak multiple languages. I've been to Spain several times for vacation and I studied abroad in Valencia, Spain last summer, and it will always have a special place in my heart. 

Dr. A's closing remarks sparked this in me once again; she reminded me how important it is to pursue knowledge. It's amazing to be able to speak to someone else in a language that isn't native to you. It requires critical thinking unlike any other task. I'm constantly amazed by people who can quickly switch back and forth between the two. I want to be one of those people––and I think that I could be, if I just set my mind to it.

Perhaps, I just need to watch more telenovelas––sin subtítulos. I really do believe telenovelas are a practical way to practice listening skills that can translate to speaking skills with more practice. And I think they offer such a unique view into culture and society that no other medium can emulate. 

Overall, I have felt empowered and inspired by this class to not only consume media, but to dissect it, analyze it and learn from it. 

2 comments:

  1. Callie, I really relate to what you said. I've been studying Spanish in school since fifth grade, but even as a Spanish major now, I feel like I have such a long way to go in regards to my speaking ability and confidence with the language. I also desire to be fluent one day, so I think we do just have to stay committed and find small ways to stay engaged with the language on a daily basis. Today in my photojournalism class, my professor told us this quote, "Knowledge crowns those who seek her", which is apparently the motto of Syracuse University. You're right that knowledge is something we have to pursue, and the neat thing is that we have countless opportunities to do it!

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  2. Wow Callie, what you've written is so inspiring! I think most of the other students in the class are in the same boat as you - wanting to be more fluent but struggling to cross over from adequacy to excellence - and that includes me. As my Spanish courses become more advanced, I realize that the language is pulling me more and more out of my comfort zone. Thinking and trying to express oneself in another language requires a lot more brain power than I first thought. Good luck with all of your endeavors, you can do it! If all we did was watch a few telenovela episodes per week for the rest of our lives, I think that would make a huge improvement in our fluency. And, we would always be entertained!

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