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If your major requires you to take a language, you may find yourself forced to enroll in a difficult and stressful course. Though this may be the case, it helps to get a feel for the class beforehand such as talking to someone who has already passed the course, however, you can also just pay close attention during the first class and get your own impression of what is to be expected of you when taking a new language. Here are five first impressions of Intermediate Spanish 202!

1. Professor Rivera seems genuinely helpful and kind.

When learning a foreign language, it helps if your professor actually cares about how well you are learning the material and if she thinks you are on the right track. Professor Rivera appeared to be exactly that kind of instructor during the first class, as she told her students that this is a team effort where she helps you succeed only if you let her. She also made clear her office hours and said she will always be happy to offer guidance to any students who needs it throughout the semester. Also, she takes pride in the Spanish language as she is from Bolivia, so you can bet that she will make sure your Spanish is supreme!

2. The course seems like a lot of work.

You must read the syllabus carefully and follow along as Professor Rivera explains it because there are many little assignments that you could easily forget to submit when the time comes. The syllabus is also entirely in Spanish so make sure you understand every assignment and due date; ask for any clarifications immediately if necessary. If writing things down helps you remember them, then it might be helpful to outline every graded task you must complete and when just to get an idea of how you can manage your time.

3. English will probably be rarely used in class.

If the syllabus being completely in Spanish isn’t enough to clue you in, then perhaps it is Professor Rivera rarely speaking English during the first class that will hint at how you are expected to speak during class. She only used English to stress the major assignments and additional requirements in order to make sure everyone understood what was going on, but other than that she will talk to you, and expect you to do the same, in Spanish for the rest of the semester.

4. There are many mandatory events to attend outside of class.

Some of the important information that Professor Rivera discussed in English were the mandatory events that you must attend outside of class. Through the course of the semester you are expected to attend two discussion sessions and one cultural event, then write a reflection paper that must be submitted to the professor. You also have to present in front of the class at least two times about certain topics of interest that require a lot of outside research, so keep that in mind when budgeting your time.

5. Professor Rivera has high expectations of the class.

Hefty workload, outside assignments, and Spanish only? Seems like a lot of work, right? One can only gather that from all of these tasks Professor Rivera gives her students, she must have high expectations of them. By taking this course, you have to be dedicated to the language, learning process, and whatever the professor is asking of you. That is the only way to succeed!

Yes, foreign languages are tough, and a lot of work is to be done in order to achieve fluency. Clearly, you will have your hands full when taking Intermediate Spanish 202, but don’t let it discourage you from the fact that you are learning a beautiful new language. If you just understand what is expected of you and come to class with an open mind, then you will be fluent in no time!


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Natalia Senanayake


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