September 11, 2013
I have been studying Spanish for over 10 years, and because of my job, I use it frequently with families and bilingual students. I passed a Spanish test which certifies me to teach a bilingual Spanish class in the state of Illinois and have translated many important meetings including IEPs. Despite this, I still feel that my conversational skills are not at the high level that one would think given my experience and credentials. I feel very uncomfortable in conversational situations with native speakers and often don't understand what is being said. I never studied abroad, and all my experience has been from textbooks, classes, and work related interactions. I don't have many opportunities to converse with adults who are fluent and/ or native speakers outside of the work setting, where only a small range of topics are discussed. I would like to seek more opportunities in Chicago to connect with other people who are also trying to strengthen their skills.
I was born and raised in Wheeling, IL. I now live in Lakeview, Chicago.
I am 28 years old.
My name is Hillary Carlson, and I am en ESL teacher at an elementary school in Des Plaines. I got married almost exactly one year ago, and I am living in Chicago with my husband.