Well Tuesday I had a new client named Marisol and she is having her two children named Lucia and Mario learn English. So far in Spain I have been able to teach adults which is very different from children. One of my current clients who is an engineer reminds me of David Wallace from The Office. He even looks like him, ha! Anyways I was looking forward to teaching kids as well. Funny thing here in Spain is that addresses are sometimes difficult if not impossible to find. For example Marisol lives on a very small street called Carril Don Vicente. Even though I had the street name, the house number the zip code and the city I could not find the address on google maps, mapquest, bing or yahoo maps or my phones gps! This isn’t the first time this has happened to me, ha! So I call Marisol trying to get some clarification and she explains it to me in lightening fast Spanish and I am able to catch the main ideas but that’s it. After getting off at the bus stop which I think will lead to her house I call her again and she explains it to me again super rapido and with a Murciana accent on top of that. It’s also harder to understand someone when they are on the phone because you can’t see their face. So after the conversation I start heading in the direction of where I think she lives. After about 10 minutes I see a lady outside waving at me and I realize that it is the house that I’m looking for! When I arrive I see why the gps systems don’t bother mapping the street. The house is located off of a main avenue and it is just a little, tiny dusty road with literally only her house on the street! In this country things are not always so much about exact addresses but instead are about what the address is near and giving directions from there. I’m slowly learning that!
Well on to the class. Lucia is 11 years old and has been studying English for 6 years in summer camps and in academies. Her English is not too bad but sometimes she has trouble forming thoughts. We studied how to talk about the weather in English. Such as today is: sunny, cold, hot, rainy, snowy, windy etc. She practiced creating sentences with each of those words and then we talked about them afterwards. Her lesson lasted about 45 minutes and then I taught Mario who is 8 years old. Mario knows no English! I did not realize this until I asked him, “Mario, do you speak a little English?” It was met by a blank stare. Then I whispered to his mother sitting nearby, “Hablas ingles Mario?” She said “No, nada.” It was at that moment that I realized I would be teaching this boy English in Spanish, ha. Well everything worked out find because he is actually taking English in his school and we went over some of his homework that talked about family members such as: father, mother, brother, sister, grandfather and grandmother. I really enjoyed teaching these two children and meeting their family. They are very nice and hospitable. I’m also happy now that I know where they actually live!