After a week of Level 1 Spanish instruction at Academia Buenos Aires, I couldn’t be more pleased.
The school is located just off the Plaza de Mayo (pronounced “Plaza day Masho”), in the two top floors of an old but well maintained building. Unfortunately, the traditional metal-grate elevator has been under repair during our stay, so we’ve been schlepping the 4 flights of stairs every morning. It gets the blood flowing.
There are small classrooms all around the central galleria, with an office/lounge/computer room at one end. A flight of stairs at the other end takes you to a few more classrooms on the 5th floor, and a rooftop terraza.
On the first day we met Ghulia, who had emailed me many answers to questions I sent from Canada. We filled out registration forms in the lounge, then moved to one of the classrooms with several others for a brief orientation to the school and Buenos Aires. Needless to say, we were the oldest students; the others were in their 20’s or, maybe, early 30’s. We met people from Australia, and Germany, and another Canadian.
Without further ado, we were divided into classes, with Heidi and I being the only Level 1 estudiantes. Our profesora, Paula, was super, and we were able to move quickly through the basic material, thanks to the classes we had taken at Sheridan College over the winter.
During our first week we had classes with Marcella and Mercedes for several different reasons. And they all impressed me with their patience and persistence in helping us work through new vocabulary and concepts. It can’t be fun for them to listen to us butcher their language while trying to express Grade 1 (at best) level concepts: El raton es sobre la mesa, and so on.
Working with Ghulia, Paula, Marcella and Mercedes, I was starting to think of the Academia as la escuela de mujeres (the school of women). But on Friday we spent our day with Julian (photo) who proved to be as good as las mujeres.
It is slow going, but our vocabulary is growing, and we are (I hope) moving forward to being able to have simple conversations en espanol.
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