Views #836 | Low-Intermediate 4

Language Worries

Kara talks with Lupe about the conditions she prefers when speaking Spanish.
This is a continuation of Kara and Lupe talking about her trip to Mexico to study Spanish. Lupe is giving advice on learning another language.

Lupe: So, I've noticed you tend to be a little afraid to speak the language, especially around other people who speak both languages and maybe you're afraid that somebody is gonna correct you, which is actually a good thing, so you have to be able to let yourself speak it in front of other people who can make those corrections for you so the next time you say those things you'll say them correctly or maybe a little better.

Kara: And that's exactly what it is. I am much more comfortable to speak Spanish to an only Spanish speaker than I am so somebody who speaks both languages, maybe because I am afraid of that person correcting me or teasing me about the mistakes that I make, so.

Lupe: It's also great that you're going down there not only for vacation but you are actually gonna be enrolled in school because it's always good to practice a language but it's great to be able to also sit in a class room studying and learn all the grammar and make sure that you are also reading and writing it and you understand it that way also. It's really important.

Kara: And I'll be living with a family so I get lot of practice at the house also.

Lupe: Yeah, that will definitely help you out and I am sure that, you know, after you come back, maybe you'll feel a little more comfortable since you were in a different country where that is basically all that you are speaking.

Kara: That's very true. But I've always noticed my favorite people to practice with are little kids. Their Spanish, or in any language, is so simple that it's fun to talk to them, just like with English. When you're learning English, a two-year old or a three-year old, you can talk to them, and they don't notice your mistakes but they'll understand exactly what you're saying, so...

Lupe: Well, you can always come over and practice with my little cousins or my little nephew and nieces.

Kara: Thanks.

Learn vocabulary from the lesson!

tend to


You tend to be a little afraid to speak.

We use the term 'tend to' to describe what usually happens in a certain situation.  Notice the following:

  1. I tend to sleep late on weekends.
  2. People tend to eat more at buffets.

actually a good thing


That's actually a good thing.

Something that is 'actually a good thing' may at first seem negative, but it is positive.  Notice the following:

  1. My parents always ask to see my homework, which is actually a good thing.
  2. It's been raining everyday, which is actually a good thing.



That's exactly what it is.

Here, we use the word 'exactly' when we strongly agree with someone.  Notice the following:

  1. That's exactly what I mean.
  2. Exactly, I agree.



I am afraid of that person teasing me.

When we 'tease' someone, that means we laugh at or make jokes about them in a funny and usually friendly way, but teasing can also be mean.  Notice the following:

  1. They teased me about my new haircut.
  2. Stop teasing me!

going down there


It's great that you're going down there.

The term ' go down there' formally means to go somewhere in a southern direction. In everyday speaking, however, 'down there' can mean anywhere.  Notice the following:

  1. He's going down there tomorrow.
  2. Lets go down there after class.

Vocabulary Quiz

tend to • a good thing • exactly
teasing • down there
  1. I believe everything that people tell me.
  2. They go to see her parents once a month.
  3. That is what I would do.
  4. It turned out to be that he was sent away to military school.
  5. She grew up with her older brothers her about everything.
Answer the following questions about the interview.

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