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So with my latest posts, I was talking about how I enrolled in a Spanish course in a university here. My second time going was a bad experience, you can read about it here: No, It Didn’t Go Well

We decided to go and meet the teacher and explain to her that the level is too high. So, it turns out that the other two students that were in the class have been studying a year at the university, so they use Spanish every day because their course is in Spanish. So that is why their level is so good! I’m guessing on their free mornings they come to have class just to strengthen their Spanish. So I was worrying and wondering how I was stuck in with them when they were supposed to be ‘basic’ like me. Unfortunately the teacher never told me this, so I couldn’t understand why they were in my class. Apparently theres only two levels available to take, so they just came to the lower class. Maybe they have class before or after so 10am was the only time to go.

The teacher said that I can continue going and just observe the class, so I can improve my listening at least.

So the day after I had class and I just couldn’t go in. I just sort of had an anxiety panic attack. I just didn’t want to go in and have to sit there while the the others are blabbering away and me not being able to understand anything. I just hate that feeling.

On Wednesday I arrived to class and chat chat chat was all I heard. Again I couldn’t understand much. She asked me some questions and I ‘tried’ to answer, but when the others are talking I just can’t understand. Yesterday I went in again and there were 4 male students, and I’m pretty sure I didn’t understand about 80% of the class. Honestly. It was very difficult for me. They were laughing and joking about something and I just sat at the side just doing nothing. I couldn’t participate or anything.

So I came out of class a little down again, thinking ‘Is this what I have to deal with 5 days a week? I have to worry every morning about going in to class which I shouldn’t have to worry about. Every class I’m anxious that she’ll ask me something and I don’t understand. Maybe they’ll be chatting about a topic and the teacher will ask me “So Aisling, what do you think about climate change? and I’ll be sitting there like an eejit because I didn’t have a clue what they were talking about, never mind giving my opinion on something more advanced than talking about myself’.

These are the things I think about. And I know it’s stupid. I know I should just go in there and try. But I can’t try because I can’t participate. I don’t understand anything they say, so I can’t even try to say something.

So for this week I went in 2 days, today (Friday) I woke up and just said to myself “Nope….not going in today”. And I didn’t. And do you know what? I feel absolutely great today! I’m not worried or anxious about the class. I’m not annoyed at what I didn’t understand. I’m not sad after it and thinking “Oh I said that wrong, I should have said this…” I feel wonderful today.

Anyway, that’s my dilema! Either go to class and struggle, but know that I’m getting something out of it (god knows what because at the moment I feel like the only thing I’m getting out of it is stress). Or I could just not go and be happier, but then feel annoyed that I’m not going and at least trying. It’s a tricky one!

I don’t want to feel like I’m giving up. I really don’t. But the class is just so difficult for me. If it was the level that I’m at and I just didn’t go, then yeah I would be giving up. But this situation is different, so it’s harder.

I’ve also started seeing a therapist for my anxiety. I’ve wanted to go while in China but it was expensive. So I talked about how the class went to him and why I worry a lot. So we’ll see how that goes!

But anyway, today I feel happy and worry-free. So that’s good.


5 thoughts on “Worrying

  1. I have similar experiences with Spanish courses so I can relate. Except for my absolute beginner course, all other courses were super fast and advanced. And there are ALWAYS people in them who can already speak really well and make you feel bad. I did A2 twice because it was too fast for me. The first time I tried B1 I gave up immediately because everyone could speak well and I didn’t understand anything. This also caused me not to study Spanish for several years. The second time I tried B1 I went to all sessions but it was very painful. I understood most of what the teacher said, but I couldn’t really speak. At the end of the course I had learned some new grammar, but I couldn’t speak any better because I could never specifically train it there. This might be a general problem with Spanish courses, maybe because people might assume that “Spanish is so easy, so we can advance fast”. No, Spanish is not so easy. In the beginner stage it might be easy but once you go to intermediate, it starts getting harder and you need lots of practice with all the verb forms.

    Don’t feel bad for dropping out of this class. It’s just frustrating to go to such a class and might ruin you wanting to learn the language. I think there are better alternatives, which I also want to try out when I have a bit more time: finding slower classes, getting a private tutor (on iTalki you can book them for little money), finding a language exchange partner in your city and practice a lot of talking with them. Good luck!

    • It’s not a proper class anyway, I don’t get a degree or anything from it. Yes I know I feel that people here expect you to be able to speak Spanish, so it’s more stressful. In China it was the opposite; they were shocked if you could even just say ‘hello’ in Chinese to them. But here in Mexico it’s different. I feel happier not going to the class though. Yes I must look up iTalki, I heard good things!

  2. I can relate to not understanding. Learning a foriegn language can feel like listen to “noise” for some time until we get familiar with more vocab and what it sounds like? Have you tried some of the great language ) free) apps like duolingo? After practising on Duollingo and Future learn every waking moment, I did start to “hear” words instead of garble! Something that you can slow down and hear audio repeated over and over will definitely help. All the beat.

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