Every Monday evening I tutor a wonderful 49 year old woman. She moved to the US from Mexico four years ago and has since then gained fluency in speaking English. I'm helping her with her reading skills so she can continue to accomplish new goals. I studied Spanish for about six years, but until we started meeting I hadn't used it at all for well over a decade. My basic skills have been helpful as we work together, though, and I know it's all "in there" somewhere. I absolutely love meeting with her. I think we both enjoy it- our meetings end with a hug.
She's learned English primarily from crime and mystery shows like 48 Hours and Law & Order, which she loves, and, who doesn't love Law & Order? My favorite question she's asked so far: "Megan, what does this phrase mean, 'airtight'? As in, 'this case is 'airtight'?"
Last Monday night, after about 60 minutes of work (mostly reading to me from a children's Bible) she turned to me and said, "You know, every Monday night we can work on English for an hour and then you need to work on Spanish. I will teach you." Frankly, she is old enough to be my mother and made it more of a statement than a question; I agreed.
She immediately put down her work, took me out to the Spanish language children's section, and we chose some books for me to start with. It was an offer I couldn't refuse.
After all these years, my reading skills flowed wonderfully. I'm a natural at reading and pronouncing Spanish and she was really impressed (and so was I.) Phew! I would then translate each page I'd read aloud. Lest you think I'm bragging on myself, my weakness is conversational Spanish. I just haven't had the practice and am much more visual. I am so lost without words to read and absolutely stink at it. She's got her work cut out for her.
Either way, I'm getting schooled.