Un Hablante de Español

Chris is a full-time professional who has been studying Spanish in his spare time for less than 6 months. He borrows Spanish language learning tapes from the public library, and last week when he came to Spanish conversation class for the first time he was a tad be intimidated by our “Spanish only policy,” but that did not discourage him from returning to the group this week.

Not only that, he is an OLDER man – my God, I think he may even be in his 50’s! Isn’t he too old to learn a new language? Shouldn’t someone be putting him out to pasture soon?

But miracle of miracles (or maybe it is the ginkgo biloba), he is learning Spanish … and quickly. To illustrate the point, I would like to share with you some of the things we learned about Chris last night, the things he told us speaking only in Spanish.

Chris has been married for 27 years to his lovely wife, and his wife has been a Special Education Teacher for over 30 years. They have one son and one daughter … Chris told us where the kids live, how old they are, and what they do for a living. We also know what Chris does for a living.

Chris told us about his family that lives in Australia, shared with us that his mother passed away last October, and that his father also seems to be nearing the end of a long life. We know that Chris is the oldest of 5 children, and we know the names and birth order of all Chris’ siblings.

Chris is admittedly less artistic than his immediate family, especially less than his wife who is making plans for a second career in Interior Design.

Chris likes to cook, but he is so busy that he has little time for cooking. Part of the problem (or so he claims) is that he spends so much time perfecting his squash game. But when questioned (in Spanish) about the lack of time he claims to have for cooking at home, he also admitted to having an affinity for eating out at fine restaurants.

There’s more that I could share, but in order to protect the innocent, I’ll not mention everything we learned about Chris last night during our linguistic adventure.

One hour group … busy people … novice language learners … some “older” folks … all in Spanish.

Mi nombre es Keith y yo también soy un hablante de español.