Dan and I have started working towards one of the goals we had for this trip – improving our Spanish! After searching online, we found a Spanish school quite close to where we live called Into Words. (Dan was a bit biased towards this school because it had a nice website, and I was biased because of the price.) We took the short subway ride there and met Juan, a young, gregarious guy with a big grin on his face. He administered our “Placement Test” which would determine our level. Turns out that my strengths lie in grammar and Dan’s, in conversation. This is the result of me learning the language in a classroom setting and having to memorize verb upon verb, and Dan learning in real-life situations when he lived and worked in Costa Rica for 8 months.  Juan told us to come back the next day and join a group class at the intermediate-advanced level.

The next day, we met our teacher, Yamila, pronouned Shameela because of the castillano dialect used by Argentinians. She is a 25 year old Argentinian who is also incredibly friendly and very good at what she does. I get frustrated when language teachers can’t explain the ‘why’ behind a language – why is it this way and that way in this or that case? But Yamila definitely knows her stuff.

We have signed up for a week of 2-hour classes every day. The first half of class we work on conversation and in the second half we usually do grammar. The only other person in our class is Carol, an older American lady from New York who runs a human rights foundation. She is farther along in her Spanish than either Dan or I but is very patient as the two of us struggle along.

Having class every day is brilliant; after only 2 classes, I already feel more comfortable to go up to Argentinians on the street and ask questions in Spanish. I usually have no idea what they respond, but that’s okay! The castillano pronounciations are really hard to decipher but hopefully I’ll have it mastered in a month.