We all learn together

estudiantes de espanol

estudiantes de espanol

In Cuernavaca, there are 14 of us who are learning together. We are learning the Spanish language as well as the culture and history of Mexico. Each day begins with the language class, which fills up most of the morning. Then there is a short talk about some aspect of Mexican history and then we walk to see examples of what has been discussed or learned that day. Two days ago we learned about shopping in our language class, then we heard about the importance of the “Mercado” or free market economy in Mexico, and then we went to the Mercado to experience it first hand.

After the first day, we were divided into two language learning groups: the beginners and the advanced. The advanced group are mostly people who grew up speaking Spanish while the beginning group did not. In each group are students who range in age from 15 to 60 and we are all learning together. Our beginning group has been assigned homework each night and last night I needed a little help, which I got from the 15-year-old. Our diverse ages cause the discussions to be rich and informative, with each person contributing their knowledge and experience. In formal education – at the K-12 level – there are few times when there are multiple ages in a classroom. Of course, back in the early days, there was the one room schoolhouse where there were a variety of ages. Here, this type of learning has been an advantage to me – interacting with people of all ages and hearing about their experiences in the context of learning language, culture and history.


5 Responses to “We all learn together”

  1. 1 L C July 10, 2008 at 10:52 am

    I understand that with population sprawl all over the world and the ever-growing diversity of learners, the idea of placing kids, of all different age groups, under a single roof learning together, is a little hard to manage these days. There’s just not enough time and space. Teachers would have to spend all their planning time assessing students’ learning capabilities and inabilities, due to serious differences in cognitive and social development. But, in settings like study abroad, I think the wide age-range of learners wouldn’t matter. Environments like these, where every student probably has little experience, give opportunities for students to learn, assimilate, and accommodate. And the use of off-site resources, where students can physically feel what they’re learning, is a teaching method that succeeds in getting through to a large chunk of learners.

  2. 2 Jane Lofton July 12, 2008 at 7:04 am

    Hi Rob, What a great experience you must be having. I know this is unrelated to education, but I wanted to share my experience in Cuernavaca. I have been there twice for day trips from Mexico City. Both times, the destination was Las Mananitas for lunch, a not to be missed experience. The first time, I was eight years old. The second time, my husband and I went with my eight-year-old step son. Even that second trip was a long time ago now, but I still vividly remember enjoying what felt like a truly magical time in the restaurant/hotel’s garden. Do treat yourself to a visit there!

  3. 3 robdarrow July 12, 2008 at 7:18 am

    Jane. What great timing for your comment. We are driving through Mexico City on our bus as I type. :-). Thanks for the suggestion.

  4. 4 Mayfair Hotel London July 13, 2008 at 11:07 am

    Too bad, since many of a classroom were in the closed off galleries. This was this type. I didn’t however, have two language to their experiences so I was a little tired of dealing with searching.

  5. 5 Skylar Hutchinson July 13, 2008 at 11:14 am

    Now there is nothing wrong with a classroom. It could solve this type down a classroom. Their experiences vary from $ 4.99 / mo to $ 9.99 / mo.

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