IDC about Juanes

Entering my third year of Spanish at my high school, I have realized that the department as a whole does not have a very effective way of teaching the language to its students. Countless hours have been wasted while trying to learn ridiculous words such as “lawnmower” and “hammer.” I barely even say lawnmower and hammer in English.

so why would I be interested in learning words such as these in Spanish? This year alone, all the Spanish 4 classes have spent two weeks learning about Juanes, a Colombian singer known for his efforts to improve the welfare and happiness of people. While this may be meaningful to the citizens of Colombia, I am more interested in working on verb tenses learned in Spanish 3. Learning about a tour Juanes participated in, Paz Sin Fronteras (Peace Without Borders), and listening to the song “Bandera de Manos” (Flag of Hands), made me feel like I was stuck in the 70s. I don’t particularly care for the love, peace and pretend feeling that “our class is one.” I signed up for a Spanish class, not a class where we only learn about the efforts Juanes has made for a “peaceful” life.

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While peace is important in both Columbia and America, students are in Spanish classes to learn the Spanish language. Nowadays, for kids my age at least, part of really understanding a language is knowing lingo and slang that has adapted throughout the years. In my opinion, Spanish classes should be teaching how Spanish is spoken and typed, and not only what is grammatically correct. While knowing and understanding basic Spanish grammar is important, it is also important to understand slang used by native speakers today. While on Facebook chat, one phrase I frequently use is “I dunno.” While “dunno” is not a real word, anyone I talk or type to would be able to understand what I am saying without even giving it a thought. I am Facebook friends with two of my cousins that live in Mexico, both of which frequently update their “status.” I can mostly comprehend what she is saying, but then I wonder if how I interpreted her status is what she really meant to say. Of course, I would not know this because Spanish lingo is not taught in class. If I were in a situation where I could only communicate in Spanish, my grammar would not be entirely correct.

I highly doubt while in that conversation I would use the word “hammer” or mention how great of a man Juanes is, so why waste class time learning about them in the first place? Walking through the halls of Fremd, I hear abbreviations and shortened words. Isn’t that also what I should be learning in Spanish class?