Learning Spanish – Day 2

Tuesday, 8 July 2014

My first full day of learning. I’ve been learning the vocab & grammar from the first day and did a bit of reading preparation for today’s class.

The sessions were interesting. I was not sleepy at all today. All the teachers were engaging, interesting and they seemed to be on top of what’s going on with our class. They must communicate well to one another.

We had four teachers today. The first teacher was Juncal. She taught us about adjectives. She used laminated photos of famous people to help us remembering the words when she teaches grammar “Ser”.

The second teacher was Rodrigo. He continued teaching verbs “ser” and question words. He used handouts for us to practice.

The third teacher was Yolanda. She taught numbers and she used bingo board games in teaching this. This works well and it was fun to have something a bit different in class.


I’m still struggling on adjusting my food intake and the break. This sound very trivial but I need my food to be able to function well. I just can’t concentrate if I am hungry. The longest break today was between Rodrigo’s class and Yolanda’s which was between 11.20 to 11.40 AM. I need to get lunch. I went to the canteen and the lines was too long. So I went to the cafe down the road. I ordered potato, beef & egg and it took them 8 min to make it. By the time I had my lunch, I came late to the class. The teacher looked a bit crossed because it was almost noon when I came in (so I missed almost half of the session). I need to find a way to eat properly efficiently.

Before leaving to Spain, I was assigned to teach Indonesian at Defence School of Languages in Canberra. We had the same hours of teaching as in Malaca Instituto. The sessions were 50 minutes long with 5-10 minutes breaks in between. There was a longer 20 minutes morning tea break then a proper lunch break for 45 minutes. I think this is a much better format for both students and teachers perspective.

The last teacher was Jose. He emphasized more with question words. I like him the most so far because he teaches efficiently. He wrote information down neatly on the board, gave us handouts to practice the same topics and put the learning points on the table so we can grasp it systematically.






Learning notes:
– I am struggling to remember all the vocab learnt from yesterday (they were 95 of them)!!
– some words somehow stick well than the others. The words that stick well are the ones that I spent more time imagining them. Such as the word “tree” is “arbol” in Spanish. I remember this because the word arbol is similar with Indonesian word “karbol” which is a toilet cleaning products brand and I imagined my nanny when I was little, tante Nis, watering the tree with “karbol”. I have a very fond memory of tante Nis & this image did well for me to remember the word.
– I got lazy to create linking images to the words and wish there is a secret way to memorise them better.
– I am using flash cards app from the apple store because unlike quizlet app, I don’t have to connect to internet to update my cards.
– I got freaked out after today’s class just thinking how can I put in the hours to put my new learnt vocab to the flash card app, learning the grammatical concept, memorizing question words, numbers and new vocab, revising for yesterday’s class and doing my homework before tomorrow’s class. There was soccer semi-final between Brazil VS Germany at 10 PM. The result was embarrassing for Brazil and heartbreaking for it’s supporter like me, it was 1 for Brazil and 7 for Germany.
– I made a list of phrases in English, looked up the words on google translate then checked with one of the teachers. All the expressions from google were wrong!! The teacher asked where did I got this from and I said from the internet and she told me to check from the Cervantes website next time. That website is acceptable and has got thorough checking.

These are the expressions that I wanted to know (the teacher checked the correctness of these expression):
– I want to order….
> quero pedir
– coffee with milk
> un cafe con leche
– decaf
> descafeinado
– Do you have…
> quiero un café con leche, por favor
– Where do you live?
> donde vives
– Do you live near here?
> ¿vives cerca de aquí?
– Can I have a glass of hot water with lemon?
> ¿Me pane una agua caliente con limón?

I still need to organise my life here. I need to get some stuff from the supermarket like shampoo and stuff as well as enroll my self to a gym.

At around 4 PM I walked to the beach from the school. It took me about 15 minutes to walk. Lots of topless females on the beach here! The beach is nice but of course Australian beaches are still better in comparison.





Then I tried to walk to the gym. It took more than 1 hour to walk but after about 50 minutes walk, I gave up and took taxi instead. I paid €5 for it.

The gym called O2 fitness & well being. It has 4 levels. It has the more classes offered compared to the gyms in Australia. It opens from 7AM until 10PM. It costs me €78.50 for two months of membership. I have to be a member minimum 3 months and this will works well for me.






I went shopping in a big shopping centre not far from the gym. I finally bought a book, highlighter & pens in different colors.







Teaching notes:
– The vocabulary with pictures worked well. Normally I did this in my Indonesian class for every set of vocabulary and I repeat this over and over so my students can remember the words. Maybe because of lack of time, the teacher here only did it for two words as an aide to teach grammar. It worked but it’ll be better if we can spend more time to use the words in sentences and practice using the words in daily conversation rather than learnt grammatical points.
– using bingo to teach numbers is a good idea.
– I think grammar can be taught in a later period. Especially, when I am living in country, I need some words to function first like ordering food, talking to bus & Taxi Driver, asking my way around the town, inquire about products availability in store, asking about prices.

Communicative interaction:
– asking the name of the wait staff during breakfast. Her name is Tere.
– asking direction to the beach from other student. She replied in English but never mind. I could ask well anyway, maybe I asked wrongly. I asked “donde esta la playa?”
– talked to a guy in a restaurant during dinner. I couldn’t understand a lot of things that he was asking. I understand he asked where I was from. The next question was something about how long will I be here for or until when I am here for. I tried to explained both anyway. He asked whether I am married, I showed him my ring. He asked where is my husband and I told him he is in Australia. He asked whether I want to find a boyfriend while I am here and I told him no, I love my husband too much. We laughed and I paid and get out before he got too friendly.
– ask a taxi driver whether he knows the way to the school in broken Spanish.
– ask the name of the beach that we passed to the taxi driver, he got carried over and explained to me about beaches in Malaga (at least I assumed that what he was talking about).
– asked the gym staff about his name, where does he live, and asked him to explain to me about the gym rules and explanation in Spanish. I didn’t quite understand but doesn’t really matter. All the gyms have almost the same rules anyway. If I do something not right, surely someone will tell me in future.


4 thoughts on “Learning Spanish – Day 2

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