San Francisco, CAUSA
Hometown: San Francisco
September 13, 2011
Very much as a second language. I thought Spanish speakers said HOW-LA until I was in my thirties!
Close to twenty years now, but that suggests that I'm much more expert than I actually am. I think I qualify as an intermediate speaker, but just barely, and with a generous judge!
Practice. Practicing. I used to get to use my Spanish just about every day. I'm afraid I'll forget, if I don't find some understanding folks to chat with.
I began with several excellent introductory classes offered for teachers in my school district, then spent two summers at a couple of schools in beautiful Cuernavaca, Mexico. After that, I took a few more courses at UCLA.
I studied Spanish to communicate with the parents of elementary school students I taught in Los Angeles. I'm not in L.A. anymore, or in the classroom, and fear that what knowledge I have will drift away if I don't practice.