Goal written by one of PBO’s Students:
“Hablar más afuera de clase – hay muchos hispanohablantes en mi oficina pero soy tímida.” (Speak more outside of class – there are a lot of Spanish speakers at my office but I’m shy).
1 – Speaking with native Spanish speakers that have an accent when they speak English – or –
2 – Speaking with Spanish speakers that don’t speak English perfectly – or –
3 – Speaking with Spanish speakers who speak English as a second language.
Remembering that you’re in the same boat as they once were can make the experience much less intimidating . Just keeping in mind that they have been through the same exact experience and that they put themselves out there every day by speaking to you and everyone else in English, should make it much easier for you to do it too. When they speak English I bet you can hear their accent and/or mistakes – but guess what? You don’t care! You’re not counting! All you care about is being able to communicate with them! And that’s all they will care about when they hear you speak Spanish 🙂
Once you feel comfortable with them, advance to Spanish speakers that were born in the US (that speak English perfectly)…and remember that many of them don’t speak Spanish perfectly either (many US born Spanish speakers are quite shy about speaking Spanish because many learned it by speaking at home and never studied formally).
Once you start doing it on a regular basis, you will be amazed at how quickly the shyness dissipates. ¡Buena suerte!
The optional homework is to bring a joke to class next week (in Spanish of course).
The easiest way to find them is by searching for “chistes” online.
I would recommend finding one that is appropriate for your level. A two-liner is perfect for a lower level class, but the advanced level students should definitely find something more complicated 🙂
One more thing: Humor is hard to understand in another language. It may take you 3-4 jokes until you find one that makes sense and that you find amusing.