I resigned. Now what?//Renuncié. ¿Y ahora?

Welcome! You’re officially a part of my “Read Read Read and I promise you’ll learn Spanish” experiment (whether you like it or not). I’ll be writing a post to explain this in more detail with all sorts of academic references to support my methods, but for now, just trust me.

Before we get started: Promise me you will stop beating yourself up about what you can’t do and celebrate what you CAN FIGURE DO! I spent years doing that and getting nowhere except getting good at conjugating verbs 🤦‍♀️ .

Trust the process.
Case in point: I had no clue how to say literally the first word I needed to write this blog post and that didn’t bother me one bit.

What you need to do: Just read the Spanish. Really. Read the Spanish first–don’t spoil the experiment for yourself! Don’t get distracted by what you don’t know. Let the pictures, cognates, and words you already know help you figure out what is going on in the text. This is not the time for word-for-word translating.

Now, back to my post of the day. (I’m still trying to figure out how to line things up better, so please bear with me!)

El marzo pasado, oficialmente resigné de mi trabajo como profesora de español.

Yo no estudié la educación en la universidad. Estudié la literatura, la historia, y la cultura latinoamericano. Durante mi último semestre (por suerte gradué en diciembre del año 2018), apliqué a muchos anuncios de trabajo pero no recibí ni una respuesta. Diciembre se acercaba y yo estaba todavía sin propósito de trabajo. Después de un tiempo, mis orientadores me aconsejaron a enviar solicitudes a escuelas graduadas en estudios latinoamericanos. Pasé mi ultimas semanas en la universidad estudiando para el GRE y preparando solicitudes, solicitando cartas de apoyo, y escribiendo mi “Personal Statement.”

Después de graduarme, me mudé a la casa de mi abuela en Florida (por suerte su casa estaba a 5 minutos caminando de la playa) para esperar las respuestas a mis solicitudes. Trabajé como mesera en un restaurante irlandés de día y de noche bailé en los antros, bares, y discotecas. Y claro, pasé mucho tiempo con mi querida abuela.

Finalmente, recibí respuestas de todas mis solicitudes y ¡todas fueron positivas! Decidí asistir a Vanderbilt University para un mestrado en estudios lationamericanos. Fue una experiencia increíble. Después de graduarme, fui a Brasil y comencé a trabajar oficialmente como profesora de inglés en una ciudad con caballos en las calles. Pasé unos de mis años más difíciles en Rondônia, pero al mismo tiempo la experiencia abrió casi todas las puertas al resto de mi vida–la cual me encanta mucho. (Más sobre esto en blogs futuros.)

Me encantó ser profesora y todavía me encanta ser profesora. Entonces, ¿porqué yo resigné? ¡Porque ahora soy madre!

Decidí comenzar trabajar por cuenta propia y ahora doy clases de español para grupos y individuos. También espero que tú vayas a ver la importancia de la lectura en la adquisición de un idioma nueva.

Last March, I officially resigned from my job as a Spanish teacher.

I did not study education at university. I studied literature, history, and Latin American culture. During my last semester (thankfully I graduated in December 2018), I applied to many job postings but did not receive a single response. December was approaching and I was still without any job prospects. After a while, my counselors advised me to apply to graduate schools in Latin American studies. I spent my last few weeks in college studying for the GRE and preparing applications, requesting letters of support, and writing my “Personal Statement.”

After graduating, I moved to my grandmother’s house in Florida (luckily her house was a 5-minute walk from the beach) to wait for answers to my applications. I worked as a waitress in an Irish restaurant by day and by night I danced in the clubs, bars, and discos. And of course, I spent a lot of time with my dear grandmother.

Finally, I received responses to all my requests and they were all positive! I decided to attend Vanderbilt University for a master’s degree in Latin American studies. It was an incredible experience. After graduating, I went to Brazil and officially started working as an English teacher in a city with horses on the streets. I spent one of my most difficult years in Rondônia, but at the same time the experience opened almost all the doors to the rest of my life–which I love very much. (More on this in future blogs.)

I loved being a teacher and I still love being a teacher. So why did I resign? Because now I am a mother!

I decided to start working on my own and now I teach Spanish for groups and individuals. I also hope that you will see the importance of reading in acquiring a new language.

Now that you’re done reading it through, think about these questions and jot down your responses in your notebook:

  1. What were some words or phrases you were surprised you understood?
  2. What were some specific details you were able to understand?
  3. What do you think my post was about (GENERALLY)?

Now, go back and re-read it in Spanish and yes, now you can pop over to the English column when needed to check your comprehension!

How did you do? Again, don’t beat yourself up!

Proficiency Levels

  • Novice: You can recognize some high frequency words (examples: es, profesora, educación). You may be able to understand parts of the writing, but mostly feel lost.
  • Intermediate Low: You can understand some information in individual paragraphs but are overwhelmed by the length of the text.
  • Intermediate Mid: You can understand most of what the text was about.
  • Intermediate High: You can understand the text (you do not know all of the words) but are able to fill in the gaps using context clues.
  • Advanced Low: You can understand the text even though it was still slightly challenging here and there.
  • Advanced Mid: You understood this text without any issues.

(Here’s how ACTFL, the big organization language teachers use to guide our assessment and so much more, describes the different proficiency levels.)

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