I've survived 4 whole weeks here in Guatemala. This is, I think, the longest I've ever been in Guatemala at a time, but the time has flown by. I've accomplished less than I wanted to accomplish so far, but things seem to be changing.
I've started getting materials ready for teaching formal English classes, researching some methods and drawing on my own language learning experiences (of which I have plenty). The biggest problem I anticipate is phonetics. Spanish is a very easy language to read aloud. Every consonant has just one sound (and in a rare instance, a second. The only one I can think of at the moment is "g"); every vowel has just one sound. How it all sounds is very set, very specific, and you never have to guess as to how a word sounds.
Now, English on the other hand, seems to have no rhyme or reason. I started this list when I was working on phonetics with Moises this summer, and I will try to remember it for you. Just read it aloud and enjoy.
car - bar - bare - are - air - bear - ear - tear (like crying) - tear (like ripping) - pear - pare - pair
Now, go back to the bear...bear - beer- ear
What psycho thought up our language?!? It's supposedly as difficult to learn as Chinese. The only saving grace of English is that the verbs (despite all being irregular) are easy.
Spanish - caminar English - to walk
yo camino nosotros caminamos I walk we walk
tu caminas vosotros caminais you walk y'all walk
el camina ellos caminan he walks they walk
There's just one little change in the English!
Granted, sometimes there are two which is lovely and confusing:
Spanish - estar English - to be
yo estoy nosotros estamos I am we are
tu estas vosotros estais you are y'all are
el esta ellos estan he is they are
So, yes, I expect my biggest problems to be with phonetics.
Anyway, off to go be a productive member of our society!