La Herradura Escuela

Mayo 2016

First and later impressions:

My first impression was that this trip would be an adventure in a country not as advanced as the United States or some European countries. Our shuttle driver was very nice and we enjoyed trying to converse with him; us knowing little Spanish and he knowing little English. I was surprised by the graffiti, but very impressed with the RAMBLA on the drive from the airport. I became concerned when Rebeca provided us with 2 front door keys, an inside key and a room key. Also, I was surprised by all of the fencing around buildings and window bars and metal shutters over openings.

My impression after 3 weeks was that people were very friendly; the food quite good with different seasonings and preparation. I enjoyed walking the city and country side and felt very comfortable during the day. I felt un poco less safe in the evenings, but never had any issues when out at night. I never got used to the late dinner hour, but greatly enjoyed the relaxed dining experiences.

City of Montevideo:

Montevideo is a large city, in my opinion, but it did not feel large since it is spread out and buildings are generally of modest sizes. Bus transportation and taxis provided great mobility and for 3 weeks provided all that I needed. The city offers many supermarkets, bakeries, fruit and vegetable stores and prepared food stores. I got to know many of the local providers even though my Spanish was not good.  I already miss not walking to a local store for food items every day. The nearby laundry provided great service and clean clothes. I greatly enjoyed my stay, but was ready to return home.

Opinion on the following:

Metodo—Buena.

Materiales—Muy Buena.

Clases de conversacion—Buena.

Clases de gramatica—Muy Buena.

Deberes—Muy Buena.

Profesores—Muy Buena.

What I liked most about school:

Gaby, Rebeca and family members, other students and the teachers were just great. Maribel, Juan and Ignacio had a lot of patience for my low learning speed. They tried to make class not too stressful for me, but it was.  I liked having homework to keep focused on the immersion.  I enjoyed the few outings that we did from the tango lesson; the horseback riding was super, and a fun evening at Baar Fun Fun. The afternoon walk with Maribel to Plaza Independencia provided an opportunity to view the city and landmarks with the aid of a resident.  Todo muy buena.

What I liked least:

I would have liked to have more pronunciation practice during the course. It was difficult for me to understand the teacher’s questions directed to me or the other students. It was challenging to remember all the new vocabulary.  I did not get comfortable with speaking Spanish because my vocabulary was limited.

While I enjoyed the experience greatly, I underestimated the complexity of learning a new language. It would have been better for me to have more Spanish knowledge prior to attending. Another student was surprised I had come with no experience.  With more knowledge, the 3 weeks of classes would have shown better results. One suggestion would be to provide new language students with recommended self-study books or guides to work on prior to attending. I spent about 20 hours on an online program and this was very helpful for learning some vocabulary and pronunciation, but not nearly enough time to get the most out of the program.

Free time:

I traveled to Minas, Punta del Este and Colonia del Sacramento while here. The bus and car rides provided an opportunity to see the countryside and experience smaller locales.  Pat and I were very fortunate to have a longtime family friend nearby to take us many places we would not have seen on our own.  Locally, we visited Lavender Tea House for an afternoon tea, many museums and several movies; one in Spanish and the other in English with subtitles.  Our friend introduced us to culture, food and traditions.  Todo muy buena.

While we were able to spend time enjoying the area, I spent several hours a day studying and working on homework and vocabulary.  I know I became overwhelmed with the verbs and conjugation.

Activity programs:

We did a few activities including one tango lesson, horseback riding and tour of the Plaza Independencia.  We visited a number of museums on our own and explored Ciudad Vieja.

 

Did I accomplish all that I had set out to achieve:

I thought I would return able to speak more Spanish, but the language proved more difficult than I expected.  I remind myself that the last language class in college was 45 years ago and it was German.

Would I recommend the school to my friends:

I would, but I cannot think of any friends that would be this adventuresome to travel to Montevideo to take a language course.  The reason Pat and I came was not only to learn Spanish, but to spend time with a family friend.

Me experiencias en la escuela en espanol:

Hola! La Herradura escuela proporciona un muy Bueno docente experiencia en Espanol.  La clase es en Espanol.  La clase es dificil para me proque un poco Espanol vocabulario y los profesors’ pronunciacion.  Tres semanas de Espanol es beneficioso para mi.  Yo soy muy feliz ese yo asisto.

Que tengas un buen dia!  Muchas gracias.

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