We spend Thursday afternoon chatting with Spanish college students. It was an enlightening and fun cultural exchange and a great opportunity to meet jóvenes españoles. Thank you Miguel (subdirector of Tufts and Skidmore in Alcalá) for hosting us. We are already looking forward to the next meeting.
Among other topics, we talked about cultural differences/similarities, how to improve our language and communicative skills in a multicultural environment, and how what we say is interpreted and/or understood by a person who has other cultural practices.
While in Spain, you arrive to a place and people are eating. They will offer you something to eat: ¿Quieres?/Do you want some? What is the culturally appropriate answer?? What if this scene happens in the United States?
What is the culturally appropriate answer to: ¡Hola! ¿Cómo estás? (min 4:21-7:22)
And… in the United States (seen by a Spanish person who recently arrived there)
The importance of pronunciation! and learning to roll your ¨r¨ (while in Spain) ¡Erre con erre guitarra!
Some comments from our students:
“It was a lot of fun to meet a group of people who wanted to learn about our culture as much as we wanted to learn about theirs. The thing that surprised me was that they believed that their culture was individualistic.” (Keyerra Anderson)
“I really enjoyed the activity. It was interesting to hear about the culture of Spain from people my age. The thing that surprised me the most was when they told us that it is courteous to greet and say goodbye to everyone when you enter or exit a place, even if you do not know them.”(Caitlyn Nicole Duffy)