I’ve written quite a bit during the past four months about my ongoing efforts to master the speaking, reading and writing of the Spanish language for my job at Hoy.
During the past three weeks I’ve been taking my first Spanish online course.
The language is the medium of instruction, but not the course’s subject. Taught by former Menudo member Xavier Serbia, this six-week offering from the International Committee for Journalists is about personal finances.
It’s challenging, and I’m starting to find my groove.
I don’t know if you’ve taken online courses before, and my experience has been that the tone is generally quite conversational. In the long run, this is beneficial to me, but at the beginning it was a bit hard for me to orient myself to this more informal style of writing, especially when people are weighing in with dozens of comments on three different topics weekly, with Xavier firing in detailed responses on a regular basis.
It’s a stimulating mix, and, with ‘classmates’ from all over the Spanish-speaking world and at various stages of their lives and careers, there is a ton to learn.
Which, of course, is why I’m there.
I’m also thinking of the space as a lower stakes place to develop my Spanish thinking and writing than Hoy (This is fortunate on a number of levels, not the least of which is that I have not yet looked up/figured out how to type accents in Spanish on the Mac.).
Beyond that, the topic is an important one for any community, and there is particular resonance for Latinos, many of whom are vulnerable to various types of exploitation and abuse. The general consensus among the group is that there also seems to be a hole in high-quality coverage in this area by Spanish-language publications.
All in all, though, it’s a worthwhile challenge in what has at times felt like a dizzying array of them since I started in March.
I’ll keep you posted as the course continues and pass along any particularly valuable insights I learn. In the meantime, voy a dormir.
Hasta manana, gente.