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Crossing the river before summiting 17,500 Pico Austria. Photo by Ella Williams (2016 Fall Semester Photo Contest, 2nd Place), South America Semester.

Clases de Español

Hola families and those who read Yaks,

As I’m sure you have been reading, we have been in our Urubamba homestays for a few days now and we are loving it! The town is very mellow and the surrounding mountains are breathtaking and ruins of Incan monuments (Tawantinsuyu or the land of four corners in Quechua).

Part of the Dragon’s course is learning Spanish and despite there being many levels of Spanish ability in our group, we all have a desire to improve our Spanish skills.  To improve, the group started Spanish lessons, our first one having been just yesterday (Saturday). We first had placement interviews, very mellow and fun chats with our future instructors who then assigned us a level from either beginner, intermediate or advanced levels. The next day, we had our first lessons in groups.

My experience in the first class was awesome, partly because of the relaxed atmosphere and partly because it was structured in a fairly similar manner to my high school Spanish classes. My high school classes were exceedingly fun and energetic with the teacher usually including fun exercises to get us students involved and interested in the material.  Thankfully, our first Peruvian Spanish class was much the same. We played games to test our knowledge of vocabulary and made maps of the areas where we lived which we then presented to the rest of the class. I love it when teachers enjoy teaching and our teacher seems to enjoy it very much which makes things more fun and consequently easier to learn. It seems backwards that on a year off from traditional school we would be taking a very traditional class (for American schools), but there couldn’t be a better way to learn Spanish.

-Jackson