Celebrity Status

I started my English teaching adventure on Tuesday at an English language institute in Valparaiso. The institute teaches English to adults, so no little kids. I get thrown into different English classes every day and am honestly treated like a celebrity. Everyone wants to have me in their class and whenever I’m in a class there is almost always a little interview because they are so curious about the life of a girl from the States. You’d think I was cool or something…weird.

My first class was with a younger looking teacher. This was a lower level english class, so I spoke a lot of Spanish to explain things, which is great practice for me. At the beginning of class, he had all of his students ask me one question about myself. They knew basic questions in English, so it was a perfect time for them to practice them. I tried to speak slowly in English for them because I know my English is fast and full of slang.

All the questions were pretty basic, like where are you from, do you have a job, do you have siblings, and blah blah blah. One girl asked me if I was married. For this level of English that was a good use of vocab, so my teacher said, “That’s a very good question.” The class took that statement as my teacher trying to make a move me, so they started laughing and whistling. I laughed just as hard because Chileans have no shame, I swear.

During the 15 minute break we have in the class, I was talking to some of the students. They asked me my thoughts on the temblors and then they asked about tornados in Ohio. They were petrified at the thought of a tornado, but don’t even blink when the earth starts shaking like crazy.  Chilenos locos. 

After morning classes, I have a huge gap in my schedule from 1-6pm. So, I walked around Valparaiso.

*Background info*

I will be running a half marathon in October, so I really should be running every day, but that just hasn’t happened.

*Back to reality*

So, instead of running, I decided I was just going to go for a lot of walks. Valpo is almost all hills and stairs, so it’ll still be a workout.

I went back to Cerro alegre during the gap in my schedule because it’s super close to the school. I feel like you can really never see everything on Cerro alegre. Every time I’m there I find something new. Check out these views:

Yup, I walked up ALL of these stairs.

In the next one, I like how they painted on the pole that’s in front of the flowers, so it blends in a little bit.

Also, at the top of Cerro alegre I stopped to put some things in my backpack. When I looked up, I was met with this face:

We’re told not to pet the stray dogs here because they can get wild, but this little guy was clearly someone’s pet. Of course, I pet him through the fence. How could you say no to those sad eyes?

Then I headed back to the institute for round two of classes. I got put in an advanced English class, so I just talked with the students the whole time. Their English was great. Honestly, I think the book activities are pretty lame, but they must be working because these students can speak English really well. Whatever those books are trying to do, it’s working.

The teacher for this class was a substitute, his name was Diego. His English was very good, but his accent was a little strange. He studied English in some British islands that I hadn’t heard of before. He said there was a mixture of Irish, Scottish, and British English speakers on those islands. His accent sounded like a mixture of Spanish and Irish. His vowel sounds were very Irish sounding, which caught me off guard initially.

Classes ended at 9:30pm, so I had to make my way to the metro in the dark. I was told by multiple people that I should avoid walking alone in Valpo at night, so I ended up catching up with some of my students to walk with them. They were going to the bus stop, but it was the same direction and I got to see where the bus stop was in case I ever miss the metro. I’m actually really glad I did that, because, sure enough, the next day I missed the frickin metro. More on that in the next post. Stay tuned.

-Robyn

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