One of the more obvious changes I have noticed in myself is my ability to speak Spanish. It is by far one of my favorite skills. And one of my favorite parts about living in Peru and traveling to other Spanish-speaking countries.
After living for almost 2 years in Peru, it makes sense that I would speak the language. I have become fluent. But it’s the little things within my new fluency that I would like to comment on. One of them is when I internally correct myself. It like I have all the Spanish professors I studied with in my life wrapped into one. I see myself correcting myself when I say something incorrect and even when I begin to form a sentence that has an incorrect element to it.
I find myself thinking in Spanish a lot more also. Sometimes my self talk is in Spanish (dreams also will sometimes come to me in Spanish). I think for more advanced, emotional or heavier conversations I still use English. But in the basic day to day, I find myself thinking completely in Spanish.
Ever since I have been learning Spanish I have always had a long list of grammatical techniques or skills that I wanted to improve. I listen for them when I hear others speaking, or I trying to tutor myself on how to use them properly and in what type of situations they become necessary. The fact of the matter is that when someone learns a new language, it is possible to reach a confident level of fluency without having perfect grammar, or without mastering all of the various grammatical conventions of the language. Your language usage sort of revolves around the vocabulary, sentence structure and grammatical skills you dominate with ease. That’s where I think I am at. However, I have noticed that my original to-do list of linguistic skills has shrunken. And that I have improved on many of the skills I set out for myself at the beginning of my service.