Andy Homa, University of Illinois Part 1
I am a student at the University of Illinois taking Spanish class that is using TalkAbroad for practice with conversational Spanish. I recently had my first ever TalkAbroad conversation. I spoke with Marelin Herrera Mayorga, who is from Costa Rica. I really enjoyed the conversation that I had with her. Honestly, I was disappointed that the time went by so quickly. I had a great time speaking with someone in another language. This experience seemed much more authentic than the simple student-to-student conversations within the classroom.
Before the conversation, I was a bit nervous that everything would seem awkward. I was also worried that I would have too many long pauses where I didn’t know what to say because I am not yet fluent in Spanish. The conversation did have pauses every now and then, but they were only because of the flow of the conversation. In other words, even if she and I had been talking in English, the pauses still would have been there. I was pleasantly surprised by how normal and enjoyable the conversation was.
Marelin was really nice, and we had a really fun and interesting conversation. She asked me a lot about my family and what I like to do in my free time. I almost wish she didn’t ask so many questions, because then I could have learned a bit more about her. I did learn, though, that even though we are both from two different cultures, when it comes to entertainment, we had a lot of common interests. I thought it was funny to hear that Katy Perry and Maroon 5 are both extremely popular in Costa Rica like they are here in the United Sates. She also said that she loved Disney movies, especially Frozen and Mulan.
Now that the conversation is over, I can feel a certain confidence developing within me for communication in Spanish. I know I have a long way to go, but this has been a very motivating step in the process that is learning a foreign language.