Although I’m sad that this semester of Spanish is close to completion, I’m so excited for next semester! Looking back at these past few months, my Spanish-speaking and comprehension abilities have grown much.
1. Have you learned more than you had expected in this course?
I definitely learned more than I expected to throughout this course, and my skills improved greatly. Coming into Princeton, I was not optimistic about learning in Spanish, as my past experiences with Spanish were not as serious as I would have liked. However, everyday we learned a new topic and reinforced older ideas. I enjoyed learning about the cultural aspect of Spanish as well, a topic that was never enforced in my previous Spanish courses. What most surprised me, however, was my increased comprehension and speaking abilities. When I first entered class, I was extremely nervous about answering questions and disliked speaking for fear of making mistakes. Still, I’ve since become more confident in speaking and have noticed a definite improvement.
2. Did you prepare effectively for class (completed the Connect assignments, read the lesson contents before class, go to office hours)?
I feel as though on most dates I did effectively prepare for class. I made an effort to always read or at least skim over the lesson contents for each day just so that I had some idea of what was being discussed in class. If I had issues, I would make sure to ask questions in order to understand the topic. I did try to perform Connect assignments before each class and did so successfully for most of the semester. However, towards the end of the semester, it became more difficult to perform the Connect assignments before their corresponding class. Instead, I endeavored to complete the Connect assignments before tests, which provided a review of the material before exams. If I felt that I needed a bit of extra help, such as with clarifying assignment instructions, I e-mailed my professor in order to effectively prepare myself.
3. How did you find the exams? (e.g. challenging, interesting, fair etc.)?
Overall, I thought the exams were challenging but not unmanageable and fair for the most part in grading. I found the written sections especially difficult, but again the grading was fair.
4. How did you find the compositions (e.g. challenging, useful, relevant, etc.)?
The compositions were one of the most challenging components of this course in my opinion. Again, I thought they were fairly graded and I liked that our professors would give us corrections and ask us to fix them before the final revision because I learned a lot from this. I wish that this course integrated more practice writing assignments, however.
5. Did the “connect” assignments really help you?
The “connect” assignments did help me, although some sections were more helpful than others. I found the vocabulary sections especially useful in my learning each chapter’s vocabulary and I enjoyed the listening sections because they improved my comprehension quite a bit.
6. Based on your performance throughout the semester and on everything that you have experienced in this course (e.g. in-class activities, homework, etc.), how much has your Spanish improved? How could you have improved more (think about what you could have done to do better?
As previously mentioned, I think my Spanish has improved greatly. My speaking shows the most noticeable difference, but I am now also more aware of the certain grammatical errors or stylistic flaws that have improved my writing. I think I could have improved more had I performed the Connect assignments before class and repeated them before exams again as that strategy worked very well for me at the start of the semester, but that was mostly an issue of managing time and availability in my schedule to perform them on a daily basis. This is especially true in terms of the writing homework assignments, as I still want to improve my writing more.
All in all, I had a fantastic semester. I can’t wait until Spanish next semester, and I want to thank all of the professors (especially Profesora Olander) for their dedication to this course and its students!