New plan in the works…
I have a new plan with regards to my Spanish learning, but first a little bit of background info.
I’m in my last week of classes. As I am officially the most advanced learner in school, these past couple weeks have been private classes as I have no more classmates who are the same level as me. These classes have been very helpful, as my classes in this level overall have been.
That being said, I have a ways to go until I feel that I am fully fluent in the language. People seem to have different ideas as to what they consider to be “fluent,” so my definition is I want to pass the DELE C2 exam within the next couple of years. C2 is the highest level that a foreigner can reach in a foreign language and this test will be my way of proving to myself that 1) I accomplished what I set out to accomplish, and 2) that I’m ready to pursue graduate work in translation and interpretation.
I am C1 now, which is this:
Can understand a wide range of demanding, longer texts, and recognise implicit meaning. Can express him/herself fluently and spontaneously without much obvious searching for expressions. Can use language flexibly and effectively for social, academic and professional purposes. Can produce clear, well-structured, detailed text on complex subjects, showing controlled use of organisational patterns, connectors and cohesive devices.
And this is C2:
Can understand with ease virtually everything heard or read. Can summarise information from different spoken and written sources, reconstructing arguments and accounts in a coherent presentation. Can express him/herself spontaneously, very fluently and precisely, differentiating finer shades of meaning even in the most complex situations.
According to my teacher, there is the greatest amount of difference between C1 and C2, compared to, say, A1 and A2. This is the second more frustrating part of learning Spanish for me, first being my problems with stuttering but I’ll save that for another post. I’ve yet to determine what I want my level of French to be, but probably C2 as well as I plan on going to grad school in France so I’ll have ample time to live in a Francophone country.
Anyway, on to my plan. Like I mentioned, I have a ways to go before I feel like I have reached my definition of fluency. Initially, I had thought about trying to do this program in Madrid this fall to teach English. It’d buy me 9 – 10 more months in Spain before I go off to France. I want to do France next year because there is an age limit for the program I want to do, and if I want to do this French program for 2 years I need to start next year.
However, my mom and teacher brought up the point that although I’d be living in Spain, I’d be speaking English while I work. I already knew this, but at the time I figured I had no other choice. My biggest asset to a foreign employer is being an educated native speaker of English. If someone abroad is paying me, a school, a business, what have you, they’re going to want me to speak it.
Then I thought (while watching flamenco…always thinking lol), What if they’re not paying me? This hypothetically opens up some more doors, in a way. If I search for internships or volunteer opportunities that require an advanced level of Spanish, or at least require that Spanish be used and not English, I’d be using the language all the time.
There’s a company called Volunteer Latin America that I’ve contacted before. This company essentially takes out the middleman so volunteering is fairly inexpensive. If you look at an average volunteer placement company, especially if you want to volunteer long-term, it costs thousands of dollars. With this company, it tends to be hundreds at best, and depending on the project room/board may be provided. They sell you a .pdf with information on the various projects and you do the work to contact them and set up your assignment. I contacted them to discuss my goals with volunteering/an internship and they said that I do have options regarding my language goals.
That being said, since I plan to do this, and I need money to do so if I’ll be volunteering and obviously not being paid for my work (and even were I going to be paid, like if I did the program in Madrid, I would still need money for my flight and living expenses until I get paid), I plan on leaving Spain soon to hopefully get a job in Chicago to fund this and further living abroad opportunities. As I’ve discussed with people here, not only is it hard to find a job in Spain, for foreigners and Spaniards alike, but even if I found a decent job in Spain, it’s not going to pay what I could potentially make in Chicago doing pretty much any full-time job.
So yeah. We’ll see what happens as I end this chapter of international living and start the next one.
~ by Revé on February 27, 2012.