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Becoming Bilingual

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Becoming Bilingual

Carl Slack-lining  in Viña Del Mar Chile!

Carl Slack-lining in Viña Del Mar Chile!

Carl Slack-lining in Viña Del Mar Chile!

Carl Slack-lining in Viña Del Mar Chile!

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This past summer I participated in Indiana University Honors Program Foreign Language, IUHPFL, a full immersion language program. With five languages IUHPFL is a great opportunity for students

not just enrolled in Spanish classes. IUHPFL, experience of a lifetime; had me based in Viña del Mar, Chile, for six weeks this summer.  With classes, excursions, and family life fun, I had a roster of fun activities for me to participate with other students.

I had several mandatory classes while I was abroad this summer.A placement test was used to put students in class with similar students. My particular test scores were lacking in the 

beginning of the program placing me in the lowest tear of students Equipo ROJO. To some this might have been distressing; to me I just thought that all students were there to learn and so it did not matter which class I was attending. We participated in four mandatory graded classes – Literature, Grammer, Culture, Linguistics along with four mandatory ungraded classes – Dance, Theater, Choir, and Sports. Most students enjoyed every class with the exception of Theater; we all were agreed that this particular class was the worst… but that’s a story for another time. At the end of the program we had the same tests as the beginning and I nearly doubled all of my scores. 

 

We had several interesting excursions; lasting just out ten minutes our back door, Valparaiso, and others as far as six hours north to La Serena. Our excursions took us to many very beautiful areas of Chile. In La Serena we visited the Valle del Elqui a Semi-mountainous desert with an interes

ting restaurant, Delicias del Sol. Delicias del Sol was very interesting because it uses ovens that take in the sun to act as a natural source of energy. These ovens could get to high temperatures in fahrenheit. In these ovens Pan (bread) and Carne (beef, chicken, pork) are cooked all day for customers. We went to Isla Negra one of Pablo Neruda’s houses; this was very interesting looking into the life of a world famous poet and Nobel Prize winner.

My family in Chile was the best! We hit it off like a duck in water. My host mom, Sandra, is especially awesome; she was always willing to help me with homework or tell me when I was not making sense.  I, of course, enjoyed the rest of my family as well. I had two brothers, Jorge (13) and Tomás (17); we would play volleyball, video games, and watch TV together. My family and I would go to Santiago, the capital of Chile, almost every weekend for my brothers’ volleyball tournaments. I met some amazing people while at these tournaments. My little brother Jorge is a giant goofball who was always up for a laugh… most of the time at the expense off my Spanish. My older brother Tomí would always yell from across the house “ HEYYYYYYYYY CARRRRRRRRl” with a soft “L” making my name sound very interesting. On the last day of the program my host mom struggled to say in English how much she was delighted to have an exchange student in her house; at which point we 

 

started to laugh when shereferred to me as a “she” because she forgot the word “he.” I love my Familia Chilena and I cannot wait to return to see them.

 

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5 Comments

5 Responses to “Becoming Bilingual”

  1. McKayla Thompson on August 7th, 2018 11:29 am

    I loved to read about your experiences in Chile. It sounds like such a great opportunity, and I’m glad you enjoyed every second of it. The description of your family was great! Good article Carl!

  2. Dixon on August 7th, 2018 2:42 pm

    It sounds like you had a great experience in Chile. I’m glad you went out of your comfort zone to experience the life outside of the U.S. I like how you explained how your host family was fun to be around! Great article!

  3. Levi Dyer on August 8th, 2018 11:25 am

    I never would have thought that anyone was going to go to school for summer break. It sounds like you had a great time and learned a lot. You did a great job of explaining everything with a positive attitude. If I went on a trip like this I probably would have had a lot of difficulties. This is the best article I’ve read so far.

  4. Lauren Hileman on August 9th, 2018 9:40 pm

    I really liked your article and I am glad you had such a great time. You definitely had a lot of stories to pick from. I thought that the attention to detail was perfect. You definitely had to step into a new situation that flipped almost everything. I am glad you got to have a part of the family that was close in age. This is something not many people get to do. Great article!

  5. Annie Daily on August 14th, 2018 9:11 pm

    I really liked your article. I liked how positive and upbeat it was. It sounds like your trip was a lot of fun. I’m honestly pretty jealous, but i’m glad you had fun.

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Lewis Cass High School, Walton, Indiana,
Becoming Bilingual