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Spanglish
Posted November 12th, 2012 - 9:27 pm by from Quetzaltenango, Guatemala (Permalink)
If I ever do graduate study in linguistics, I will write my thesis on how people talk in the Rio Grande Valley. I find it endlessly fascinating. This morning, I was entertained by the following conversation between a friend who owns a hardware store in La Feria, Texas and one of her regular customers:

He: Eres católica, cómo you voted for Obama?
She: Sí, soy católica, pero también I am a woman y the Republicans hate women.
He: Pero what about cosas como gay marriage y abortion?
She: Que me importa gay marriage? Que me importa where a guy puts his pene? Es su pene. Puede meterlo donde quiere.
He: Y abortion?
She: Tampoco. Lo que no me gusta es cuando el gobierno paga eso. Pero, it is her body. I can't tell someone what to do with her body.
He: Eres business owner. Vas a ver, en un año, no vas a ver nada de ventas.
She: Soy business owner, pero no soy pinche rich Republican like Romney. No tengo ventas ahora.
He: You didn't see what happened to the stock market on Wednesday? Eso afecta a todos. Investors will not be investing.
She: Los pinche investors never cared about me. Por qué voy a preocuparme con ellos?
He: You listen to that National Public Radio, don't you?
She: Mejor que FOX News. That just makes you stupid.
He: Yo soy stupid?
She: Not just you, todos que miran esa basura.

Posted November 12th, 2012 - 10:01 pm by from Charlotte, United States (Permalink)
Great conversation in *any* language.

I have heard that there are Hallmark cards in Spanglish, which to me is a real sign that it is moving from a pidgin to a creole. (In terms of a linguistic definition, a language becomes a "creole" when there are people who speak it as a first language.)

Do you think, from your experience, that there are people speaking Spanglish as their first language?

Karen

Posted November 12th, 2012 - 10:59 pm from Invercargill, New Zealand
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Posted November 13th, 2012 - 5:48 am by from Quetzaltenango, Guatemala (Permalink)
Karen, I am not sure about the pidgin/creole distinction. You seem to know more about this than I do. What interests me most is why, in a given situation, we who speak more than one language choose to say something in one language or another. It doesn't make sense to translate something like National Public Radio or Fox News or gay marriage or stock market into Spanish. They hear these words in English, so they repeat them that way.

I spend most of my time in Guatemala. There, even with English speakers, I say saldo, fletero, taxista, mercado, parque, tienda, agua pura, tortilla, por favor, gracias, feliz tarde. I could probably think of many more examples. All of these words have equivalents in English, but it does not make sense to use the English word when all of my gringo friends clearly understand all these words in Spanish.

Posted November 14th, 2012 - 7:24 pm by from Charlotte, United States (Permalink)
Of course, this is one of the areas that sociolinguists and psycholinguists research. If you are interested, a key term is "code switching." If you google some variety of that, such as "why do people code switch", you will find a variety of articles (not all of which present theories I agree with, but which represent at least a sampling of ideas on the topic).

Posted November 14th, 2012 - 9:41 pm from Portland, United States
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Posted November 15th, 2012 - 12:24 am from Camden, United States
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Posted November 15th, 2012 - 12:51 am by from Daylesford, Australia (Permalink)
this is an interesting topic.

i came to australia from germany aged 30, with reasonable (american)english.

first i could not understand much of what the aussies said, their english is different and spoken with a mouth nearly closed (the flies, my husband explained). i could not understand phone conversations or radio programs, as the visual factor, lip reading and facial/body expression, was missing.

also, most of my english was polite school and business english, lacking much of the the personal genre.
i could, for example, not have arguments in english, so automatically switched to german, which had my naughty husband rolling on the floor with laughter. i suspect he often started disputes because of their entertainment value.

i also often forgot which language i was using, so got amused phone calls from my man, who was stuck with a shopping list, written in german (hey schatzi, what the f... is blumenkohl, salatkartoffeln and himbeersaft?)

my kids say that when i started yelling in german, it was time to clear the decks in a hurry, as it meant things were about to get serious. they also claim that our german shep dog used to try and hide under the kitchen table on such occasions, but i don't quite remember that

:>) roo

Posted November 13th, 2012 - 6:33 am from Tulle, France
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Posted November 13th, 2012 - 6:34 am from Tulle, France
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Posted November 13th, 2012 - 7:37 am by from Tashkent, Uzbekistan (Permalink)
Philip,
Spanglish...
I have a sad experience with it,I tried to describe it at:
Why are Westerners so Different?!
http://www.couchsurfing.org/group_read.html?gid=2164&post=8011714
there were replies ,but I still cannot say something definitely :What is Spanglish?
Halima

Posted November 13th, 2012 - 8:46 am from Invercargill, New Zealand
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Posted November 14th, 2012 - 5:42 pm by from Temple City, United States (Permalink)
No, I don't think so. I have never heard a young child speak Spanglish. I believe it becomes a mental convention for adults which makes them comfortable. I will observe with more care. This is very interesting.

Posted November 13th, 2012 - 8:55 am by from Venice, Italy (Permalink)
This kind of speaking is called "codeswitching" . I attended to a conference three years ago where I could hear about some studies about it. It is very common in second-generation immigrants in a country or in a country where parents speak dialects but want that children speak the national language.

I use a lot of codeswitching when I speak with my daughters. I use Venician dialect mixed with Italian within the same sentence. I use only Venician with my mum.

What is interesting is to notice the "content" of what is said "when" a person switch from a language to another.

Foe example, in the sentence "Lo que no me gusta es cuando el gobierno paga eso. Pero, it is her body. I can't tell someone what to do with her body" , in the first sentence the person is taking about a personal view of the use of money (in Spanish) in the second (when English is used) , she's speaking about her vison of human rights.
Well, of course this can be only one of the possible keys to analize such kind of language, but I just wanted to show how complex is the matter

E' tutto for the moment
;-)
Ciao!
Daniela

Posted November 13th, 2012 - 10:08 am by from Tashkent, Uzbekistan (Permalink)
J Carl,
As a multilingual linguist I know that: Spanglish is @"a type of English spoken by people whose first language is Spanish"
But I am wondering in what scale the language and culture are blended here?!Bcs been taught by Spanglish specialists I've felt the Spanish lingual and cultural pressing even demanding to be like they are.But speak English like they,teach like they in Central Asia?! That makes no sense..
Halima

Posted November 13th, 2012 - 10:11 am from Saint-Brieuc, France
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Posted November 13th, 2012 - 2:13 pm from Invercargill, New Zealand
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Posted November 13th, 2012 - 2:22 pm from Invercargill, New Zealand
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Posted November 13th, 2012 - 4:27 pm from Ottawa, Canada
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Posted November 15th, 2012 - 10:21 pm by from Charlotte, United States (Permalink)
George,

Toronto is a GREAT city. I remember back in 1983 there was already a hospital there that had realized that salt-free diets or diabetic diets (etc) with only WASP recipes was NOT going to help any ethnic group member. They then started creating special-diet recipes for the whole spectrum of ethnic groups in Toronto. Amazing!

Karen

Posted November 13th, 2012 - 4:37 pm by from Tashkent, Uzbekistan (Permalink)
J Carl,
hmmm,sorry,but seems that you did not guess...because I would like to get an answer to a question:
why the USA are teaching American English via Spanglish specialists again and again?!
as you know TESOL organise 5 week evo training every year before its conventions at early spring.
http://evosessions.pbworks.com
http://tesolarabia.org
http://www.tesolarabia.net/ta/
http://evosessions.pbworks.com/w/page/10708567/FrontPage
http://goodbyegutenberg.pbworks.com/w/page/10972799/FrontPage
I've participated 3 times in the TESOL evo trainings,the next spring my colleagues would like to participate too,but I do have my doubts on/about the quality of those trainings ,because the majority of teachers are Spanglish specialists.I think that Spanglish speakers much quicker than others in the world have understood the profits of teaching from the USA as the teaching staff in different global educational projects.
Halima

Posted November 13th, 2012 - 6:26 pm from Saint-Brieuc, France
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Posted November 13th, 2012 - 9:54 pm by from Venice, Italy (Permalink)
Halima,
I find your sentence "why the USA are teaching American English via Spanglish specialists again and again?!" very confusing.
First af all, I don't think that The USA government is directly involved with TESOL , as this is an association of professional teachers of English with members from all over the world.

Second, there is a huge debate within Tesol about what variety of English ( for teaching ESL and EFL) should be taught around the world. I think that nobody in TESOL can seriously think that there is only one model of English that we can refer to. Indeed, the debate around "English as lingua franca" is very alive.

Lastly, I have to congratulate with you for inventing a new professional profile : the Spanglish specialist....(oh my!)
I didn't know that Spanglish has reached the status of a new language, not even that there are people with a degree in it.

Personally, I think that Tesol teachers of English coming from a Hispanic linguistic background perhaps can sometimes understand better the needs of a student of English as a foreign or second language because himself or herself for first had to learn it as a second or foreign language.

Daniela

Posted November 14th, 2012 - 2:46 am by from Tashkent, Uzbekistan (Permalink)
Daniela,
I would agree with yours:"I find your sentence "why the USA are teaching American English via Spanglish specialists again and again?!" very confusing" if I could not see the misery existence,the literary surviving struggle of thousands jobless Uzbek English Teachers here even after been trained at those aimless trainings.
Why is this happening? Very simple: No one asks: What are real demands here.Our country as an emerging economy needs ESP teachers with RELEVANT ESP KNOWLEDGE in/to the related industrial area.
Halima

Posted November 15th, 2012 - 12:42 am by from Charlotte, United States (Permalink)
Halima,

There are multiple Electronic Village Online (EVO) sessions each year that are organized by members of TESOL, IA (Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages, International Association, for those who are not familiar with it). This effort is headed up by the CALL (computer assisted language learning) Interest Section. The EVO sessions can be participated in, for free, by anyone.

These sessions are not to teach English, they are to investigate different areas of interest to people who already teach English. The people (volunteers) who organize them are expected to provide a basis and structure for discussion, but often it is the participants who are actually discussing the topics. Those participants can be from *anywhere.*

So, if you see a lot of people who speak Spanish as a first language, it is just that more people from Spanish-speaking countries are taking advantage of the opportunity to participate in a free experience of benefit to ESL/EFL instructors.

Below is a link to a Yahoogroup on Teaching ESL/EFL through drama from the 2010 TESOL Conference. The moderators for this particular EVO were Shin-Mei Kao, Gary Carkin, Susan Hillyard, Fernanda Molla, Jessica Davis, George Plautz, and Holly Dilatush.
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/EVO_Drama_2010/

Karen



Posted November 15th, 2012 - 12:51 am from Camden, United States
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Posted November 15th, 2012 - 1:16 am by from Charlotte, United States (Permalink)
TESOL-IA, Inc., EVOs are free. No one should ever ask for payment. If they do, they should certainly be reported to TESOL-IA, Inc.

There are MANY other on-line sites dealing with EFL/ESL - too many to count - that I am not familiar with, and don't really feel any desire to know about.

I'm glad to answer questions when I can. I've been teaching ESL for about 35 years (depending on what you determine to be my official "start" date), primarily in the US.

Karen

Posted November 15th, 2012 - 5:42 am by from Tashkent, Uzbekistan (Permalink)
Hi Karen,
As a 2 times Tesol evo trainee,I like your style of informing,debating and arguing.I only can suggest the following marketing strategy to promote today's ICT enabled educational products/services.The best marketing option to promote globally would be in BANA (preferably in BE or AA)English,Spanglish,Chinglish,Hinglish and one local English variety,in our case it could be English spoken in Central Asia.
@"So, if you see a lot of people who speak Spanish as a first language, it is just that more people from Spanish-speaking countries are taking advantage of the opportunity to participate in a free experience of benefit to ESL/EFL instructors"..
hmmm,
hi Karen,
why not to connect the evidence of overwhelming Spanglish promoters of today's ICT enabled educational products/services in Tesol evo trainings with the a historic fact that almost all of them were invented in Silicon Valley?!
But today's global village is so unpredictable and more wider than American English speaking Silicon Valley, American Ivy League Universities,Stanford,Spanglish and etc...
Halima

Posted November 15th, 2012 - 10:06 am from Invercargill, New Zealand
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Posted November 15th, 2012 - 3:22 pm by from Ottawa, Canada (Permalink)
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Posted November 15th, 2012 - 9:22 pm from Charlotte, United States
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Posted November 13th, 2012 - 8:22 pm by from Temple City, United States (Permalink)
Fascinating stuff. I am an American with all Mexican ancestors on both sides. i was taught to speak English only. I heard 99.9% English only as I was raised in a Los Angeles suburb where I only heard English. I was part of a large nuclear family which was isolated from family members who may have spoken Spanglish, but as I said never heard it. until I met my wifes' family. They speak much more Spanglish and just Spanish, but they also speak English. My wife speaks English with a small capacity to speak Spanish. She never speaks Spanglish but is very familiar with it. This subject did not interest me when Iwas young but now that I am older and reflect on how life went I am fascinated by it. I have always guessed Spanglish and language usage was power playing itself out in my community during a few generations. Very complex stuff.

Over the last few years my Father in law has moved in with us and he speaks Spanglish all the time especially to his friends and family. He is 88 and was born in the USA.

I find the story of languages fascinating and like to see other parts of the world have similar experiences with language as we do in the southwest USA.

JIm

Posted November 13th, 2012 - 9:24 pm from Invercargill, New Zealand
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Posted November 14th, 2012 - 3:30 am by from Tashkent, Uzbekistan (Permalink)
@J Carl,
@"If it was me,I would be interested in the quality of the teacher and his/her qualifications and teaching experience. The nationality or ethnic background of the teacher would not be important"...
http://evosessions.pbworks.com/w/page/27022909/Coordination%20Team
yes, you are right,NNES English Teachers in/of our global village differ due their mother tongue,culture of teaching,the created/developed English environment.evo Trainers and Trainees are in very different Time Zones.Only a perfect management can help here! But TESOL...
Halima

Posted November 14th, 2012 - 6:27 am from Invercargill, New Zealand
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Posted November 14th, 2012 - 9:08 am by from Tashkent, Uzbekistan (Permalink)
J Carl ,yes,you are right;that is very sad.I AM SEARCHING FOR A JOB TOO, .am searching for a job too,because would like to pay for my traveling ,but...
George,
meine,ich konnte die beste Arbeit fuer mich nicht in deutschsprachigen Laendern aber in zweisprachigen Familien finden,wo es beide Sprachen egal gesprochen werden ..
Aber hier bin ich arbeitlos...
Halima

Posted November 14th, 2012 - 9:34 am from Invercargill, New Zealand
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Posted November 15th, 2012 - 1:26 am by from Charlotte, United States (Permalink)
I would be very hesitant to say, "the same teaching methods as in TESOL - the Communicative Language Teaching Method."

For me, while "Communicative Language Teaching" was very much in vogue for a while, and still may remain so in a number of places, like many language teaching methodologies, it is probably best used as one component of a more eclectic approach.

However, I don't want to overwhelm this discussion with a burst of professionally-oriented arguments...

Karen

Posted November 15th, 2012 - 3:26 pm from Ottawa, Canada
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Posted November 15th, 2012 - 1:06 am by from Charlotte, United States (Permalink)
I would say that the ESL/EFL teaching situation in China has evolved to a certain degree. In places where it is desirable to live, more professional training is often required. Wages have definitely gone up in the last ten years; they may seem low to us, but you need to see them relative to the cost of living. Most schools also provide housing along with the salary.

People over 60 have a difficult time now finding jobs due to changes in national policy. The group that has the most difficult time getting work are trained, experienced ESL/EFL teachers with native level proficiency who look Asian.

I run three Yahoogroups for EFL teachers in China (although people teaching in other countries - like me - also belong):
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/TEFLChina (classroom focus)
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/TEFLChinaLife (daily life)
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/TEFLChinaJob (employment)

This doesn't make me an expert by any means, but I do probably get more input than average.

Karen

Posted November 16th, 2012 - 8:29 am by from Tashkent, Uzbekistan (Permalink)
Yaxshimisiz Carl aka,
i am a student of Halima - Shahnoza. you know i have a question to you. two friends of mine are studying at Singapore university in Tashkent. i am gonna apply there too, and obviously i asked them a lot about studying there. they said that everything is great, but there is a problem for students: some of teachers here are Hindies,teaching core subjects ,but many Uzbek learners can not understand/comprehend them.Exams are to be very hard for my friends: if one fails at first time he/she will be re examined without any payment but if you fail again you must pay $60. the average earning of Uzbek family is $500 at most, an annual payment in Singapore is $5000, students have no stipend. what do you thing of it?
Shahnoza

Posted November 16th, 2012 - 9:38 pm from Sydney, Australia
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Posted November 15th, 2012 - 9:30 pm by from Charlotte, United States (Permalink)
Jim, the information you mentioned, "Father in law has moved in with us and he speaks Spanglish all the time especially to his friends and family. He is 88 and was born in the USA." is very interesting.

If you were just taking a guess (and of course, you could only judge by his production when you are around, which could play a role), what percentage of the time does he talk (a) *just* Spanish, (b) *just* English, and (c) Spanglish?

Karen

Posted November 15th, 2012 - 9:54 pm by from Temple City, United States (Permalink)
Hi Karen,

My Father in law speaks English to me and my wife in our home. He will speak to gardeners and construction workers in the neighborhood in Spanish. He speaks to some friends on the phone 99% Spanish. I would say he speaks 80% English, 10% Spanish only, and 10% Spanglish.

I believe he is more comfortable in Spanish and will probe in the language when he believes someone speaks Spanish.

By the way, I do remember a child in a shopping cart in Target speak to his mother in Spanglish.I don't remember the exact phrase but he used both languages as if one. He was about 3 years old. So maybe , it is on its' way to becoming an independent language.

I to this day regret not being taught Spanish. I would like to have that cultural insight. Jim

Posted November 15th, 2012 - 10:17 pm by from Charlotte, United States (Permalink)
There's a graduate student somewhere who would LOVE to study your father-in-law's language patterns!

I really understand your regret about not having learned Spanish. I have worked on French and Spanish since high school (to varying degrees at different times). My French is good, and my Spanish is good when I put myself in an environment where I *have* to use it for an extended period (eg, two weeks in Cuernavaca, Mexico at Universidad Internacional). Oh, my road to hell is well paved with language study intentions.

I also studied modern Greek for a year and then went to Greece for about 5 months - over 30 years ago; I was able to get along fairly well in conversations about daily life, but that language ability is almost completely gone. I can say just enough to impress Greeks in the US with my accent, but after about sentence 3, the VOID.

Languages and language learning are amazing and frustrating all at the same time.

Karen

Posted November 15th, 2012 - 9:55 pm from Invercargill, New Zealand
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Posted November 15th, 2012 - 10:06 pm from Invercargill, New Zealand
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Posted November 15th, 2012 - 10:44 pm from Charlotte, United States
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Posted November 15th, 2012 - 11:02 pm from Camden, United States
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Posted November 15th, 2012 - 11:06 pm from Invercargill, New Zealand
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Posted November 15th, 2012 - 10:36 pm by from Charlotte, United States (Permalink)
J Carl (and others),

In the US, ESL is usually used for higher ed environments. There is a growing use of ELL (English Language Learning/Learners) in elementary and secondary environments, and to some extent in basic skills (versus academic skills) for adult learners.

TESOL in the US is mainly used to specify MAs (master's degrees) or the professional organization TESOL International Association, Inc.

You also hear TESL or TEFL for the field, or ESOL (English for speakers of other languages).

Then there's ESP (English for Specific/Special Purposes). A subset of that is EAP, English for Academic Purposes.

TESOL-IA, Inc., has an annual conference. Before the conference their CALL (computer assisted language learning) Interest Section sponsors Electronic Village Online (EVO) sessions for free. These are run by volunteers who get a certain amount of training in how to run an EVO prior to actually doing it.

At least as they are used in the US, EFL (English as a foreign language) and TEFL (Teaching English as a foreign language) are to specify that the language is being taught in a country where English is not a primary spoken language.

ICT and BANA are mysteries to me.

Posted November 16th, 2012 - 5:28 am by from Tashkent, Uzbekistan (Permalink)
Karen,
assume that now ICT and BANA are no more mysteries to you?!
And that is 2 thank my friend DARELL for his replica:
@"I think know about BANA-
British/Australian/North America..
hmmm, if we add New Zealand then we get an acronym BANANZ... Oh, like bananas, which are sold in other countries where these products were so exotic earlier but today seem to be durable ones thank to globalisation...
the same with English, but in this case thank to ICT, Information Communication Technologies in education.
How would we know and inform our English learners about our misery positioning if we could not use ICT enabled educational products/services properly?!
http://www.scoop.it/t/ict-lingua-franca-soft-skills-developing
I believe that Tesol evo trainings must teach/train us only in using the most needed today's ICT tools and the language of instruction must be English as an International language of communication,also today's lingua franca.
Halima

Posted November 16th, 2012 - 2:13 pm by from Charlotte, United States (Permalink)
Remember, the people who run the EVO sessions are volunteers, and they are likely to run any particular session according to the goals of the session and their own particular situation.

I'm not sure what you mean by "the most needed" technology. This perception can vary widely from one person to another. Up until recently, the primary technologies I had used in teaching were (a) email, (b) my own webpages for classes using MS FrontPage, (c) Yahoogroups, (d) Audacity and WinLame for creating audiofiles, and (e) occasionally Skype, for private teaching.

However, change in the structure of our courses has now made creating self-correcting exercises/quizzes in Moodle important (at least from my perspective), so I have added that to my "necessary" technology.

What do you think is "the most necessary" technology?






Posted November 16th, 2012 - 3:15 pm by from Tashkent, Uzbekistan (Permalink)
Karen,
@"the people who run the EVO sessions are volunteers, and they are likely to run any particular session according to the goals of the session and their own particular situation"...
Today I read 2 interesting quotations:
@1."Your personal reputation is based on quality of your service: what do people think when they hear your name?"
2."We need to get learners to take responsibility for the effort they put into learning, it's not only down to us."
Karen,you are asking:
@"What do you think is "the most necessary" technology"?
we've already discussed these issues at:
managed any class,but Class2.0?
http://www.couchsurfing.org/group_read.html?gid=2164&post=10938064

So many tools and so diverse!!!
I prefer to be taught/trained on using tools as google+,twitter,LinkedIn,YouTube,vimeo.
Halima

Posted November 16th, 2012 - 6:03 pm from Charlotte, United States
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Posted November 16th, 2012 - 6:56 pm from Camden, United States
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Posted November 16th, 2012 - 7:04 pm from Camden, United States
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Posted November 16th, 2012 - 8:30 pm from Invercargill, New Zealand
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Posted November 16th, 2012 - 8:55 pm from Charlotte, United States
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Posted November 16th, 2012 - 9:41 pm from Invercargill, New Zealand
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Posted November 17th, 2012 - 2:20 pm from Charlotte, United States
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Posted November 19th, 2012 - 10:26 pm from Invercargill, New Zealand
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Posted November 21st, 2012 - 1:52 am from Sydney, Australia
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Posted November 21st, 2012 - 7:40 pm by from Quetzaltenango, Guatemala (Permalink)
Stopped by the the hardware store today goodbye to Francisca, the owner.
Me: Pues ya me voy a Guatemala. Sale el bus mañana al mediodía.
Her: Have a safe trip. Call me when you get there. I hope you find what you are looking for.
Me: Por qué dices eso?
Her: Porque ... I don't know ... Phil, a veces it seems like you have no idea what you are looking for.
Me: Sí ... pero ... who knows what they are looking for?
Her: I know. I know that I want to sell this pinche building and get out of the fucking hardware business. This shit is killing me.

Posted November 21st, 2012 - 4:09 pm by from Temple City, United States (Permalink)
Hi Phil,

i have to jump in here. It seems she prefers speaking to you in English because you are not a native Spanish speaker. It has been my observation that Spanglish speakers use Spanglish when they see the person they are speaking to is one of their own. So, if someone doesn't know me they are inclined to speak Spanish or Spanglish to me as I am one of their own, but after they get to know me they revert to English only. It is really quite clumsy for me. Jim

Posted November 21st, 2012 - 11:29 pm by from Charlotte, United States (Permalink)
Jim - I just continue to answer in whichever language I am working on (Spanish or French). Lots of times that will pull them back into that language.

I got very annoyed at a teacher at a private immersion ESL school for adults the other day. A student (Spanish-speaker) was trying very hard to use her English to communicate, however limited it was. The ESL instructor continued to answer her in Spanish (although from her accent it was clearly not her L1). Since I was there for another reason, and I didn't know the teacher, I didn't say anything. But I *thought* a lot of things.

Posted November 14th, 2012 - 2:47 am from Ottawa, Canada
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Posted November 16th, 2012 - 10:26 am by from Tashkent, Uzbekistan (Permalink)
At the Forum “Students Who love to Learn and Travel!!!” there is a thread called ”Skype friends wanted”.
http://www.couchsurfing.org/group_read.html?gid=660&post=13647737
I like this communication format because it is possible here to hear Hosts and Surfers!
Shahnoza

Posted November 22nd, 2012 - 6:13 pm from Brooklyn, United States
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Posted November 22nd, 2012 - 6:36 pm from Seattle, United States
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Posted November 23rd, 2012 - 2:24 pm by from Charlotte, United States (Permalink)
Ronit,

Are you in Oaxaca long term? If so, I strongly recommend a Spanish language school. The quality of such schools is always variable, but you need to start somewhere. The ex-pat community can usually recommend some.

If you are only there short-term, well, lesson learned (albeit in a more stressful way than one would hope for)!

Karen