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I moved schools multiple times; I started in Keene, moved to Hinsdale during second grade, to Turners Falls in Massachusetts for fifth grade, then back to Keene for eighth grade. Up to eighth grade when I moved back to Keene, none of my schools offered any language classes. This, along with the fact that my Spanish class wasn’t actually taught any Spanish at all last year, made it difficult for me in my Spanish class in high school. My Spanish teacher from eighth grade thought I was ready for Spanish 2, so he recommended that for my class, which I enrolled in. 

So I went from basically no knowledge of Spanish to taking Spanish 2 in ninth grade. It made it hard at first; I didn’t know much, and I felt like I would fail the class. I instantly regretted choosing Spanish 2 instead of Spanish 1 for ninth grade. On top of that, I would have Spanish 3 next semester because I needed a class to replace French 1, because I didn’t want to end up taking two separate languages. So already feeling like I was behind and knowing next semester I would have Spanish 3 made me feel like I was unprepared and was going to fail. 

Near the beginning of the semester, I found out that almost everyone else had also learned almost nothing from the middle school Spanish class. The Spanish 2 class ended up being much easier than I thought it would. My teacher was really helpful and would act out words so we could understand what she was saying in Spanish. Along with that, me feeling like I would do poorly in the class encouraged me to take notes on my own, which I would rarely do, and having online Spanish-English dictionaries helped me do well in the class. 

At first I didn’t do well, which is understandable since I just started Spanish. But throughout the semester I learned more and more and was able to perform better in the class. Now, I feel ready for our last summatives for the semester, Spanish 3 next semester, and Spanish four next year. I think having Spanish 3 next semester will even help me more because I wouldn’t have to relearn everything from Spanish 2, since I just finished successfully.

© Cail Brown. All rights reserved. If you are interested in quoting this story, contact the national team through this website and we can put you in touch with the young person’s teacher.