My Webmix of useful Spanish websites.
la sagrada familia de Gaudi

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  1. educating
  2. english
  3. exploring
  4. facilitating
  5. french
  6. learning
  7. spanish
  8. te reo
  9. teaching


Why a Spanish page? What could I use it for? Probably not a lot but in the interests of trying things out in my role as IT Teacher Coach, it is another way of exploring what you can do in a Wikispaces Wiki.

I was encouraged to learn Spanish after visiting Spain in the mid 1980s and not being able to communicate. I found that remarkably frustrating after having spent years travelling around Europe - France, Switzerland, Germany, Belgium, Denmark, Holland and being able to communicate using my French or German wherever I went. I hated not being able to make myself understood and felt really pathetic having to speak English, so I came home and signed up for a Beginners' Spanish Evening Class. Already speaking fluent French helped considerably and despite not having much time as I was working full time as well I quickly worked my way up to earning my A level Spanish. A good friend of mine learned with me; she had bought a house in the village we had first visited in Spain and so had a really good reason for wanting to learn Spanish. She has since gone on to become almost fluent as over the years she has spent just about every school holiday there, renovating the house she and her partner bought, becoming part of village life and she has brought her son up to be bi-lingual.
What happened to my Spanish? Well, it has sat there in the back of my brain. I was asked by the Adult education college where I learned my Spanish to teach some night school classes in French and German and I also taught Beginners Spanish. At a school where I worked to cover a maternity leave position I found myself teaching a beginner's level Spanish class and then accompanied them on an exchange to Malaga which was very exciting and just a little daunting! But then I stagnated for a while - work and children took over and I didn't have the time to keep up with developing my Spanish. I really needed to spend some more time in Spain or a Spansih speaking country to improve and to gain some fluency but I had neither the time nor the money at that point in my life.
Now, however, I am re-inventing myself - life is a pathway of change and adaptation, exploration and new discoveries. I am not someone who likes to stand still although I think sometimes that a little bit of calm in my life might be good for me! My husband and I decided, for a host of reasons too numerous to go into here, to make the move to New Zealand. So Christmas of 2007 saw us surrounded by boxes and paper, not wrapping Christmas presents but packing up our house to put into a container and send it over to NZ. We and our two boys lived in a caravan for a few weeks - in the depths of an English winter before boarding a plane and landing 30 hours later in the sweltering temperatures of a NZ heatwave!
To cut a long story short, three and a half years later, I am almost at the end of a first year of teaching Spanish in an all girls school in New Zealand. It has been an interesting journey which I am enjoying immensely, not without a little trepidation as I am the only Spanish teacher, it is the first time it has been taught here - I am at the helm of my own little ship and looking forward to the future!