Hola Chicos! Here they are, all the answers to your questions!
I am a little confused on the rules on speaking English. For example, when are we allowed to.
There are two different answers to this. Spanish 1 will use English some English until about semester. However, I will always be encouraging students to use only Spanish or as much Spanish as possible from the get go. Spanish 2 students need to be speaking only in Spanish (of course, if you ask me in Spanish if you can ask in English I will likely say “yes” if you have at least tried in Spanish).
Would Spanish be really hard on the first few months and get better?
I think it depends on your learning style. In some ways, the first few months are easier because the expectations are slightly lower in Spanish 1 and in Spanish 2 we are doing review for the first month. However, I think it will get easier as you learn more vocabulary as you will be better able to see patterns and repeated words in the language.
What made you want to learn Spanish?
I originally started with Spanish because I thought I wanted to go to college and it was the easy language class. I remember even in college studying Spanish and not being particularly good at it. However, the more I learned and the more I was able to use Spanish authentically in travel, work, and with friends, the more I grew to love the language, the cultures associated, and the people I was meeting and wanted to learn more of it.
How much harder will this be from Spanish 1?
Spanish 2 is harder in that you are expected to speak only in Spanish and I will be speaking only in Spanish. However, this is not a new language to you anymore! A lot of things will be review and I found by the end of the year my Spanish 2 students thought the class was fairly easy.
I wonder how many years you have taught Spanish in your career.
This is my second year teaching Spanish formally in the public school system. I also tutored Spanish for individuals throughout my college and post-college years.
can u teach me how to speak Spanish
I will try! It also depends a bit on you and your dedication to trying new things.
Will speaking points/ participation points be affected if we incorrectly say something in Spanish.
Of course not! You cannot learn if you do not make mistakes! Think about a toddler who is learning to speak for the first time – they babble and say a lot of incorrect things before they are able to say anything that makes sense. The same is true for high school students learning a new language. My grading is on your honest attempt to speak Spanish. If you are trying you will get the participation points.
Do you help during after school for further help with the current lesson
Yes. Please email me if you want to be sure I will be available, otherwise I am usually in my room about 20 minutes before school and for at least 20 minutes after school. I will also try to find a day for ‘study hall’ where you can ask questions.
Is this class exactly the same as the middle school one?
For Spanish 1, more or less. Of course there will be differences between teachers, but Spanish 1 is offered both at the middle school and high school and we try to make sure all students are prepared equally for Spanish 2.
How long have you been able to speak in Spanish
I have been able to actually speak Spanish semi-fluently for 8 years. As you will find in class, I was able to roughly communicate and ask for things after my first year of Spanish, about 13 years ago.
How long were you in Chile?
Will you offer extra help after school?
yes. Just email me if you want to be sure I will be around.
Do you know any other languages? Do you want to learn any more?
Yes, kind of. I can only speak Spanish and English, but I can read French and Latin. I would love to learn more languages! I am working on German right now and then I would love to learn a non-European language like Turkish, Arabic, or Japanese.
How long do we have until you stop speaking to us in English?
Spanish 1 has until the end of the year before I’m totally in Spanish. Spanish 2 I will start speaking only Spanish on Monday 9/10.
Will we have homework every night?
Yes, but not much. I always assign VHL (online homework) but only one or two assignments a night.
Is practice the most important thing while learning a new language?
I think that the most important thing is an authentic desire to learn a new language. If you have a purpose for learning the language that is true to your life, you will WANT to learn new words and phrases and will be practicing because you ENJOY it.
we allowed to bring food to class?
Yes, until there is a mess or it is a distraction.
Why did you choose to teach spanish?
I started off my career wanting to be a history professor and never thought I would be teaching in a high school. But then halfway through my MA I realized that there were no jobs for PhD graduates and that there was a high need for teachers in Washington, where my family was. When I applied originally I was applying for both history, social studies, and Spanish and I was hired on with Spanish. Since then, I’ve grown to LOVE teaching a language because I think it is so so important that we as humans understand other cultures and appreciate people all over the globe, regardless of differences.
So, is there going to be a seating chart in class?
Yes, starting on Monday 9/10. However, we will change seats frequently so that you have different people to talk to regularly.
Will we have ample time to study and practice vocab and grammar in our class?
Yes! I will try my best to make sure most of our class time is useful to you for practicing the concepts.
Do you like Mexican food? (because I absolutely love it)
I LOVE Mexican food! If I only could have one type of food for the rest of my life hands-down it would be Mexican! There are a couple very good authentic Mexican places near us that I’ve found – Caadxi in Snoqualmie (authentic Oaxacan food) and Las Venditas in Issaquah.
Why don't you teach history at Skyline?
I love teaching history! I don’t teach it at Skyline for a couple reasons. First, I have never taught high school history, just college. Second, there is more of a need for Spanish teachers right now than history teachers. Third, now that I’ve taught a year of Spanish, I love it!
During class you mention that it was harder for you to learn Spanish and that it took you longer to grasp the information than other students, what are some tips and tricks you did in highschool/college that could help students with the same problems that you had?
The big turning point for me with learning Spanish was when it stopped being just a class in school and a skill I really wanted to learn to travel. If you can, I would spend some time really thinking about how Spanish/another language could benefit your life and find purpose for learning. Then, there are a few things I would recommend. One is watching cartoons/movies in Spanish with Spanish subtitles. Kid’s movies are especially good because the language is relatively simple. You can learn a lot by noticing what words and phrases are repeated all the time. Two is constantly practicing. Try talking to your dog/cat/pet in Spanish! They don’t care if you mess up, and they love the attention. Three is writing or drawing the vocab words, not just making flashcards. Neuroscience has proven that the more physical movement you can attach to new words the better your memory will be. I hope this helps!
I know you said it took you a long time to learn Spanish but do you have an estimate as to how long?
About 4 years with 6 months of that being in a Spanish-only environment.
How do you structure the work we have to do and the materials you provide?
Spanish 1: I will give you a packet at the beginning of each month-long unit with a calendar for dates of quizzes and tests and all our class materials. We will also have a practice quiz before each quiz that is almost identical to the quiz/test. We usually have about a topic a week with a quiz associated. You will also have a little bit of homework each day on the online textbook (but never over the weekend) that is assigned a week out at least.
Spanish 2: We will have about a topic a week, with a quiz. You will get a practice test only for the end of the unit test.
Is there any extra help you can give after class? How hard is it to learn a language from scratch?
I will be around after school every day and some days before school, just email me if you want to make sure I have time to answer your questions. It is pretty hard to learn a language from scratch, but if 2 year olds can do it, so can you! It just takes grit and perseverance. And making lots of mistakes.
What is your favorite color?
I love bright colors, but I’m especially a fan of greens and blues.
Depending on the text how long would we usually have to prepare for one on average?
I think the question here is about tests as Spanish 1 and 2 don’t do long reading or writing passages. We will usually have about a week to prepare for quizzes and about a month to prepare for tests.
What’s the best way to learn and remember Spanish over the years?
Constant use! I’ve gone through a few phases of knowing and then forgetting Spanish and then needing to re-learn it. If you keep it up though, find a conversation partner, watch TV in Spanish, and listen to Spanish music, you will be able to remember the language over the years.
is Spanish an extremely hard language to learn?
Any new language is hard, but I think Spanish tends to be a bit easier for English speakers because it has the same alphabet and similar pronunciation. The grammar is also similar to English in some ways.
why did you choose to become a Spanish teacher even though you had a really had time with it as a kid?
I decided to teach Spanish because I firmly believe that the single greatest skill we can possess as human beings is empathy. In order to be successful in the world today, I believe you need to be able to function in a global world and with diverse cultures and work environments. Learning a new language and about the cultures that intersect with that language is one of the best ways to build that skill and have respect for people across the globe.
Are you fluent in any other languages, and if you are what was the hardest one to learn?
I’m not fluent, but have some passing knowledge of French and Latin. Latin was by far the hardest! All the words change depending on the grammar. It’s like trying to figure out encryption or code.
What has been the coolest place you have traveled?
This is a hard one! I have been to Patagonia, Chile, which was pretty amazing. There were crazy glaciers down there along with striking landscape and winds so strong you could lean almost horizontal without falling over. The picture is of me in Puerto Natales with the Andes in the background.
How long should I be studying each day, how long should the homework take?
This depends on how good you feel about the material. The homework should only take 5-10 minutes online, but if you are struggling I would recommend adding 10-15 minutes a night studying. However, I think that with language, like music, 5 sessions of 10 minute studying is WAY more effective than sitting for one hour trying to bully your brain into working.
How is homework givin out in this class
One to two assignments per night.
What year did you graduate college?
2012 from my undergraduate at Willamette University, 2017 from my graduate at University of Oregon.
Are you still going to be using to "Cold calling" system in class?
Kind of. I will have popsicle sticks with everyone’s name and pull those randomly sometimes. However, I will always give you time to chat with a classmate first!
What do you expect in me to know by the end of this year?
Spanish 1 will be able to talk about family, vacations, sports and past times, classes, clothing, shopping, food, and travel in both the present and preterit tenses. Spanish 2 will be able to converse in present, past, and express hopes, dreams, desires, and doubts about a variety of topics including environmental science, navigating a city, going to the doctor, technology and cars, the fine arts, jobs, and household chores.
This is a bit off topic of Spanish but what is your favorite color?
Greens and blues J mostly green.
How long have you been teaching Spanish?
This is my second year.
Will we be doing any partner projects throughout the year?
Yes! A few. Spanish 2 will do a lot of conversation/video projects while Spanish 1 will do a few poster projects.
How much of homework will be there every night? Do you recommend and useful study tips to learn Spanish and analyze it?
I think I already answered this above J
How long does it take for a person to learn enough Spanish to be able to survive in a only Spanish-speaking community
Hmm I think that depends on the person. I find that by the end of Spanish 1 you can get by with asking for what you need and by the end of Spanish 2 you will be able to converse about a wide variety of topics. So maybe 2 years of an hour 5 days a week?
how are your dogs
They are great thanks! The little one is almost a year old! I included a picture at the bottom of this post :)
What Spanish speaking countries have you been to
I’ve been to Spain, Mexico, Costa Rica, and Chile.
What are some good ways to study for spanish tests?
I find that writing out conjugations and vocabulary is the best for studying for tests because then you are creating a bit of permanence in your muscle memory. Kind of like when your music teacher makes you practice a certain scale over and over again or when your coach has you practice a play multiple times.
Hola chicos! Bienvenidos!
Click the above button for your first homework assignment. Please finish the survey by Thursday morning (9/6/2018) so that I can answer your questions in class on Friday.
Gracias y saludos,
Welcome to Profe Williamson´s Spanish class! I'm so excited to jump in and learn with you this year. Learning a new language is a skill that takes some time to develop and grow. It can be a frustrating process, but when you start to understand more and be able to communicate, learning a new language can open doors in all areas of your life. To get us started, here are a few videos that give some suggestions for learning languages.