Tim Spricht is back! And I bear some big news

Soon after writing my last blogpost, I went all-in to finish my honours thesis. I stopped exercising, socialising, and language learning. When I wasn’t sleeping, I was at the library. Unsurprisingly, after handing in Hu’s Harmonious Society on October 8, I was completely burned out. I didn’t want anything more to do with eating muesli for breakfast every morning or going to bed early. I became unfit, unhealthy and unmotivated – even for the things I love to do. I felt lost and without a purpose. After more than a month of shuffling around, though, I can finally feel the juices flowing again!

instituto_cervantes_sydney
Source: Instituto Cervantes

My next moves with language learning are dictated by two big pieces of news. First, the saga is finally over. I have successfully completed the Diploma of Spanish as a Second Language (DELE): Level B2! For more information about the DELE and Instituto Cervantes, click here. My results were as follows (marks out of 25, pass mark is 30 for reading & writing + 30 for listening & speaking):

  • Reading 21.53 & Writing 20.52 (total 42.05)
  • Listening 15.83 & Speaking 17.17 (total 33.00)

I’m very content with my marks for reading and writing, but was surprised by my low score in the listening component. This suggests I need to improve my ability to recognise and recall key pieces of information. In the future I ought to practice listening in a more interactive way, for example, by taking notes of specific details and reproducing it in my own words. As far as speaking is concerned, I think it just comes with immersion in Spanish-speaking situations. Since the exam, I’ve gained a number of EXP points at SUSLAS’s conversation groups but I know that more exposure is still needed – which brings me to news item number two… I’m going to California, Mexico and Guatemala in January-March 2015!

mexico-map
Source: Geology.com

Besides the Spanish language immersion, I’m extremely excited to experience first-hand what I’ve learned about the civilisations of pre-Columbus America. I’m also looking forward to trying all the tacos, tortas, pozoles, gorditas, and atoles and plan on sampling as many moles as I can!

OllasChalmaEdoMex
Source: Wikipedia

Obviously, my primary language objective is now to improve my Spanish for my trip. If I continue working at it, there’s no reason why I can’t come back a much more confident, fluent speaker. As I mentioned before, I need to improve on my listening comprehension and my ability to respond. Accuracy and fluency. I plan on pursuing more active exercises by, for example, writing and talking about the content of the podcasts I listen to, articles and books I read or TV I watch. And, of course, I would like to have more conversations be it on Sharedtalk, at a Meetup or with Spanish-speaking friends.

I’ve been following this smooth Salsa & Bachata playlist on Spotify. If you’ve got more music to recommend me leave a comment below, tweet to me at @TimSpricht or contact me at timspricht@gmail.com. Click “Follow” at the top right of the page to get me delivered to your inbox.

I leave you with Arsène Wenger on life and languages:

3 Comments on “Tim Spricht is back! And I bear some big news”

  1. Welcome back Tim, and have a great trip in January! Nothing quite beats going to places where the langauge is being spoken.

    It’s also pretty awesome you took a test that tests all 4 areas, so you can see what should be worked on a bit harder in the future. I recently took a german test, and it was a very quick, generic test that just said I was B1. Ehm, okay. That’s useful.

    Keep up the good work!

    1. Hey Chris, thanks for your comment. I checked out your blog… It’s always nice to meet like-minded people!

      The exam was for the official Cervantes Institute Diploma and it’s internationally recognised so that’s why it tested all 4 areas. I’ve done a few tests like the one you did in the past and I agree, it’s difficult to feel any sense of certainty from them. I’d recommend you to do a proper test for your B2 though so you get that certified! I regret not doing a German certification after my semester exchange there as I could probably have qualified for C1 or C2.

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