Looong time, no post
Yes, I’m alive. Life has been busy, both professionally and personally, but right now I have a few minutes to rest in Paris so here’s an update.
Since I’ve last updated, I’ve visited Morocco with my sister, her best friend from college, and a friend of her friend.
Morocco was nice. We visited Tetuan, Tangier, and Chefchaouen. It tickled me how often I spoke Spanish there, I was originally thinking that I’d barely use it.
I’m currently in Paris for Thanksgiving with my sister visiting said friend from college. Paris is lovely. My sister and I visited the Eiffel Tower when we got here last night. We managed to see the tower sparkle during the 5 minutes it does so an hour, and took pictures during the entire time.
In Seville, my classes are going well. I’m in the advanced class, C1, and my goal is to reach the superior class, C2. At the moment there’s only one other student in my class, a Swedish guy with Chilean parents, so I thought to myself, “Naturally I’d have a real Spanish-speaker in my class” lol. But things are good, I love my classes. My conversation class teacher said, “I’d love to speak English like you two speak Spanish,” which was nice to hear. She wants to assign us some more papers, which is great for me, as an aspiring translator, but not so much for my classmate. For our last paper, he said it took him hours, whereas it took me like 20 minutes and we both did more-or-less equally well on the assignment.
Like I mentioned, my goal with my level of Spanish is C2 of the CEFR. Personally and professionally I’d like to reach this level of Spanish. Since I want to attend grad school in Spain, in English-Spanish-French translation and interpretation, my Spanish needs to be a C2 and my French a C1. C2 is not going to happen by January, so I’d like to extend my classes at least one more month.
Since I want to extend my classes, and I’d like to stay in Seville longer in general, I’m job searching. Job searching as a foreigner in a country with a 20%+ unemployment rate is very stressful. The thing I’m most qualified to do is teach English, given my experience teaching, my TEFL certification and specializations, my additional education in Phonetics, and my knowledge of business, marketing, advertising, medical, and psychological/psychiatric English. I think were I to find a job teaching, it would have to be specialized English for a business of some sort, there’s no way I’d get a professional job teaching general English at a language school or somewhere, not as an American in [Western] Europe/the EU.
That being said, in the meantime I’m tutoring English. Up until a couple days ago, I had one student, a high school teacher. He’s preparing for a B2 level exam. Initially we were preparing for a B1 exam in May or so, but now B2 in June. He’s doing this because he currently works in Huelva, and he’d like to work in Seville, and if he passes this test he can apply for jobs at all the schools instead of just the Spanish-only ones. He’s a good student, I think this is possible. I just need to alter my teaching approach. I’m going to add one more grammar lesson a class, as well as gradually introduce more complicated texts and such.
Last weekend, my landlord suggested that I look for jobs/students in La Cartuja, the business district of Seville. I heeded her advice. On Wednesday, I took 60 EFL lesson flyers and posted them throughout the area. To put this in perspective, normally when I post flyers I aim for 20 or so, but this area is my best bet to find work and students. Work obviously because businesses are there, but if I post flyers here, near businesses, that means that their employees (i.e. people who have money and can afford to pay for classes) will see them. Also, if they have a job, they may need English to help them at work, get promoted at work, or get a better job. Since I posted my flyers Wednesday night, I have received 3 emails asking for lessons, one for a 2-person class twice a week, one for classes for 10 businessmen and women at one company, and one for a 1-person class.
Next Saturday I’ll be moving to another apartment. In part because it’s nicer, and in part because of my finances, it costs about half as much as my current place. I’m largely moving for financial reasons, but also because since I do plan on extending my stay, it’s easier to move for a longer period of time than a shorter one. Also, given the time of year it is, I might not find another apartment.
~ by Revé on November 25, 2011.