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Najiya Corban, Clark College

27 March 2019

I am taking a Spanish class at Clark College, and at the end of the term in March, my instructor will require me to speak with someone on TalkAbroad for a final project. So, not wanting to be caught totally unprepared, I decided to have a conversation in February as a practice run.

For my practice conversation on TalkAbroad, I spoke with Cristian Rodriguez for 30 minutes. While I did make a few mistakes and there was one brief misunderstanding, I feel that the conversation went well. Cristian Rodriguez understood what I was saying, even with the mistakes, and the misunderstanding was cleared up quickly. He was very good at communicating through both words and body language and kept the conversation flowing and interesting. Cristian Rodriguez was patient and helped every time I did not understand something or ran out of questions to ask.

Before speaking with my conversation partner, I was extremely nervous. I am a 17-year-old introvert who just learned Spanish last year. I already make many mistakes in class, but still, I was going to talk with someone who speaks Spanish as his main language. After the conversation, I was so excited. I spoke with a native Spanish speaker and we were able to communicate and understand each other! I cannot tell you what an amazing experience it is to actually step out and talk to someone who you normally would not be able to communicate with, and have that language barrier broken.

I was a little surprised about three things: I did not expect the questions I asked to also be asked of me; I did not expect my conversation partner to have questions prepared; and I did not expect him to be so expressive. Cristian Rodriguez put his thumbs up, shook his head and made the “rock music symbol” and made roaring sounds. This made the experience pleasantly surprising and interesting. It also made things easy to understand.

The greatest part for me was actually getting to know another person and what life is like in his country, and seeing how far I’ve come in learning Spanish. I enjoyed my experience so much and I look forward to my next conversation on TalkAbroad.