Time Log and Activities
DuoLingo: Lessons – 3, Practice – 5, 45 minutes
Conversation hours in Spanish 1 hour, (12 hours equivalent :P)
Vocab and practice 2 hours
Total 3.75 hours (but 14.5 if you will allow me to be dramatic )

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Today I went to London to have my first conversation with a human Spanish person.
It was terrifying, so hard. But awesome. We spoke about two topics for 30 minutes – half in Spanish and half in English. Not confidently at all I informed a room of strangers that me gusta cine intonacionel y documentales sobre viajes, y no me gusta “horror” que estas es “boring”. And that’s all I could muster!
We were provided with vocab lists for each topic, with many thanks to Gina who organises this meet up. I felt like I was probably the least experienced there but I do not know if that is because I actually am or because I have no confidence! I was made to feel very welcome and everyone in the group was lovely.
Just listening to people who speak better than I do, and native speakers was so insanely useful. Because no matter how many “native speaker” videos are included with apps – I feel like they are always slower than in real life!

I will be heading back in for the next meet ups, and arranged to meet a new friend (who might be reading this! Hola!) in London tomorrow for more practice.

I joke that sitting in on one hours’ worth of conversation is 12 hours equivalent study – but honestly I felt 10 x as confident with my speaking and absorbed so much about the flow and the sound of real Spanish in this conversation than I have in the past week!
The rest of today was spent listening and practising conversational for the next conversation because I don’t want to waste this amazing opportunity because I lack the basics to chat!

I found the conversation exchange on meet-up.com, there was a £3 charge to go – which I am totally happy to pay as the materials were provided and we were in an amazing Colombian café I would never have stumbled upon otherwise. The vocab list was interesting, because Gina chooses the topics – we spoke about movies and what things we preferred, but we also talked about responsible shopping and how we can be ethical in our consumer choices. I heard people discussing plastic waste, recycling, local focus consumerism. I prepared two sentences but we ran out of time – and lucky we did because both of my topics were talked about by other people! According to another member of the chat (who may also be reading! Hola!). Last week they talked about stereotypes about our respective backgrounds. I love that the topics are one casual general thing sand one specific interesting topic that you legitimately expands your knowledge and introduces a real back and forth between people. I feel like this is really important because

There are two more sessions before I fly to Spain, and I am hoping to have three more conversations on top of that before I leave. So, hopefully before 5 conversations time I will be able to express more than a garbled and grammatically horrific sentence!

If there is one single thing you take away from this is GO TALK TO NATIVE SPEAKERS! If you can’t find a meet up then I suggest finding an app where you can exchange. I will be trying Tandem in the next few days, so I can review my experience here. I feel like a face to face meeting is less stressful than an online one – I don’t know why. Maybe because in person your personality comes out more and you can read the other person’s body language better than over a video connection. But lets find out!

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two weeks of spanish challenge

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