Friday, April 11, 2008

Our Pre-Mission Spanish Training at the MTC

We met yesterday (April 10, 2008) with the woman (Maria Johnson from the Dominican Republic) in charge of language training for couple missionaries at the Provo Missionary Training Center. Wow! Was I impressed. Here's the story:
  1. The MTC has wonderful materials to help train couples before they enter the MTC for their missions: books, handouts, CDs (for listening to native Spanish speakers), and computer tutorials.
  2. The MTC also has a one-on-one tutor program. My wife's tutor is Katie and mine is Rodrigo, neither of whom we have met yet. For couples who can't go to the MTC for face-to-face tutoring, the MTC has a telephone tutoring program.
  3. Before we met with Maria, I assumed that only my wife, who doesn't speak Spanish, would take the classes with a tutor but that I wouldn't, because I speak Spanish already. Not so. I too get a tutor, who will help me review vocabulary, grammar, and pronunciation, but will also tutor me in Spanish conversation and gospel lessons.
  4. We will meet with our tutors for one hour per week, stay another hour (usually) to do computer tutorials, and have homework of about two hours per day. I figure that by the time we are done, we will have had the equivalent of a 2-semester-hour college course in Spanish conversation.

I'm really excited about all this and am eager to improve my Spanish.

By the way, while we were at the MTC, we went to the travel office to get our visa pictures taken. At the MTC travel office, we had a great chat with a woman named Sharon, who was supervisor of our daughter Melissa when Melissa worked at the MTC while attending BYU. Sharon raved on and on about how competent and hard working Melissa was. In fact, after Melissa had worked there for a while, Sharon assigned Melissa to train all the new employees. It warmed our heart to hear someone else say wonderful things about our wonderful daughter.

1 comment:

Andrea said...

I'd say it's more like a 4 credit class. I took Spanish 101, 102, 201, 202, and 219. Each was 4 credits and held 4x a week. In addition to class we had to spend 1 hour per week in the computer lab, 1 hour per week with out speaking partner, and 1 hour a week in another little converstaion class. Plus the homework. I should be prepared to go on this mission too, but it's been about 8 years since my last class and I barely remember anything now.