By Whitney Browneller, Staff Reporter
There is a conversational Spanish group open to all students, staff, and community members every Wednesday from 4:30 p.m. to 5:45 p.m. and is held in the SRC 203T, said Laura Dulin ALMA supervisor.
The meetings are held by Dulin to help those who are interested in learning some Spanish and also for those who want to practice speaking the language, she said.
Dulin said that all skill levels are welcome to attend the meetings but that it is usually most beneficial for students who have at least a basic knowledge of Spanish.
Those that are really serious about learning Spanish but have no knowledge at all are also welcome to attend as well, she said.
Dulin wants to remind everyone that these are just meetings to help students practice Spanish, they are not CNM courses or classes.
The meetings start off with an hour of dialogue and the last fifteen minutes are used to watch short videos, she said.
She said she usually starts the meeting off with a list of phrases for the group to practice with but that the group is the one who is in control of the meeting and she is just there as a facilitator to help guide the students and allow them to get the most out of the meetings.
Students should feel free to throw in their own questions or practice certain phrases or words that they are having a hard time with, she said.
Dulin said that it takes a lot of practice, perseverance, and self-motivation to learn a new language.
“It’s really rewarding, fun and amazing to learn a new language,” Dulin said.
If students get the chance to go abroad that is the best way to learn a new language, there is nothing like immersing yourself in the language, she said.
Dulin spent five years in Costa Rica teaching English as a second language and working on her master’s degree.
“I was a horrible Spanish student, I was terrible at learning Spanish,” Dulin said.
It was not until she immersed herself in the language that she really began to pick it up, she said.
It took her three years of living in Costa Rica before she became fluent in the language, she said.
Being fluent in another language looks really good on a resume and it can be very beneficial when it comes to working in the medical field, in a school, and in the business profession, she said.
“No matter what, there are people everywhere that you can carry on a conversation with who don’t speak English as their native tongue,” she said.
It’s crucial to speak it in order to learn it, she said.
Practicing the language and working with each other is one of the best ways to learn the language, she said.
It takes a lot of effort and practice to learn a new language, she said.
For students who are interested in conversation Spanish groups but cannot make the Wednesday meetings Dulin suggests looking up a Meetup group online, as she says there are a few to choose from.
Currently there are about four people attending the meetings but she said that she would like to see that number raise to eight or ten people.
Dulin started the conversational Spanish group about a year ago because she said that there was not a lot of groups focusing on that.
She said that there is also an ESL conversation group for students to practice English with one another.
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