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German class in Vienna, Sprachtandems, maintaining Spanish

November 9, 2009

Hey readers! Sorry I have been away from this blog for awhile, I just got back on Friday from visiting my parents for a week in Canada! I had a really great time at home seeing friends and family (I had a selfish guilty pleasure and totally enjoyed showing off my language skillz to my parents: calling to cancel my internet at my old apartment in Madrid with my mom listening to the conversation over Skype and being very impressed that I can actually speak and understand Spanish, reading random German things that I found in my purse [like a voucher for a free drink from McDonalds] to them), but I am glad to be back in Austria and ready to give my German and Spanish 110%, and of course, to keep working on this blog!🙂

I started an intermediate German class today in Vienna at DeutschAkademie, a language school I had been to and enjoyed two summers ago. The class actually started last week but since I was away, today was my first day. I was kinda off of my game today and unable to focus due to lack of sleep last night because of a three or four hour siesta that I had yesterday to combat jetlag (but it really just made it so that I was maintaining my Canadian sleeping rhythm and not switching back to Austria time). My head was definitely bobbing in class and I may have even used my hair as a curtain to “rest my eyes” for a few seconds! I’m planning to review what we did today and what the class did last week to bring myself up to speed, and of course getting a proper night’s sleep!

I think I have an addiction to language courses, this is my fourth or fifth. I really enjoy them. I have been lucky enough to have a lot of opportunities to try out different schools in Madrid and here in Austria, and I have had great teachers so far and have met a lot of interesting people from around the world. I have also learned how to use language classes. A lot of people go into these language classes expecting to be taught the language in that one room, but noooo, that is not how it works! I’ve learned to use the classes resources and jumping-off points to my own studying. They are great resources because you have access to a native speaker who will help you with your questions and correct your mistakes, you follow a specific framework and courseplan with a workbook (not everyone may like this, but I do!), and it might be a little embarassing to admit, but it gets me off of my lazy butt and into language-learning mode! I like to start my language learning in a classroom earlier in the day and then continue it on my own in the evening. (I’m extremely lucky to have nothing but time for language learning right now!)

One thing that I wish I had done more of in Madrid were intercambios, or language exchanges with native speakers of your target language who are interested in learning your native language. I met up a few times with a girl in Madrid and I could tell it would’ve been really helpful if we had met up more often or if I had had multiple language exchange partners. So I have already been arranging meet-ups with German (and Spanish, yay!) speakers in Vienna for language exchanges, or as they are called here Sprachtandems.
I will let you know how they go!

I also need to make sure I maintain my Spanish. I will be thinking of the best ways to do this and then posting about them, right now I’m thinking something along the lines of working with my Hugo Complete Spanish course, finding Spanish podcasts, and watching Spanish episodes of Friends that I have access to here on DVD.

Alright, I hope this post in somewhat coherent and maybe even interesting. I wanted to write something just to get back into my blog and to get my creative blog juices flowing again. There has GOT to be a better way to put that!

Happy language learning!

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