Because Practice is What You Need!

Tara Mattie

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Tara Mattie

I began Online Spanish Conversation 1 hour sessions with Inés in late February 2020. My husband has been recommending her sessions to me since he began at least 9 months ago and now I understand why. With Inés, she asks me questions and I get to talk in Spanish during the entire hour. We usually talk about what I did this past week or Spanish Videos she sends to me or Spanish exercises she recommends. I thought it would be hard to keep talking for an hour but it goes very quickly.

I hesitated to start my sessions when my husband began in the fall because I didn’t think I knew enough Spanish to have much of a conversation. I’m a beginning intermediate level Spanish student and continue to take Adult Spanish classes and work online with Rocket Spanish. In my classes with Inés, we are working on the past tense, starting with Preterit and Imperfect tenses. I do written exercises on my own from several books she recommends and then we talk about the past.

Inés is extremely patient and non-judgmental. I always feel that we had a good session and I’m improving, thanks to her quiet positive feedback. If I cannot think of the Spanish word or don’t know it, Inés encourages me to try a different way to communicate the thought or to describe the word. She waits patiently while I struggle to come up with a way to say it – like “blueberries” – azul, la fruta, pequeño, redondo. After I provide the description, she helps with the word, “arándano”. Today in our session, Inés noted that I used the Spanish word “enseñar”, “to teach” instead of the word for “to learn”. The correct word, “apprender” eluded me, but I came up with “estudiar” Español to get my message across. This is great practical preparation for communicating your message in Spanish in alternate ways with a limited vocabulary.

During our Skype sessions, she offers unobtrusive corrections when I make a speaking error, and will often type the correction so I can see it on the screen, or show an alternative way to say it. I review this typed info on the screen after my Skype session and before my next session, since most of these notes are very relevant & help me to improve and retain the feedback.

I also struggle with “understanding” the questions Inés asks me and “hearing” Spanish on videos. Often I ask her to repeat the question so I can process it, but this skill is slowly improving.

With Inés, I get so much practice thinking and speaking Spanish. She provides very valuable interaction and relevant “real world” talking experience that is greatly improving my ability and comfort communicating in Spanish. I highly recommend Inés’ Online Spanish Conversation classes and her learning materials on ConvoSpanish.com website.

Tara Mattie Systems Engineer involved in Process Improvement, Project Management, Production Management in the Aerospace Industry; Currently Retired and now a full-time Ocean Surfer & Spanish Learner