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  • Happily and energetically teaching the same class for 5 hours a day, 5 days a week on the very, very basic components of your native language is an incredible feat. I am endlessly impressed by my professor here in Buenos Aires.

    To make the time pass a little more quickly and to keep us engaged, she has us complete a lot of group activities that make us practice what we are learning. These can be pretty enjoyable, both in the many small successes and equally in the mistakes realized together along the way.

    Here is an example of what happens when directed to imagine and compose, in a group, a short description of 2 separate moments in any space that demonstrate the development of a dilemma, to be acted out by the members of other groups. For this exercise, we were practicing the use of gerunds. Coauthored with Becca Ahalt, Sean Binder, Rachael Moore, and Bryan Tupper (please pardon any of our errors):

    Uno:
    Barrett, Bret, y Paul están acostados en sus toallónes en la playa.
    Austin, Jessica, Angie, y Amanda están nadando en el mar.

    Dos:
    Barrett, Bret, y Paul están durmiendo en la playa.
    Todos los nadadores están gritando porque ellos ven un tiburon.
    El tiburon está empezando a comer Austin.

    [One:
    Barrett, Bret, and Paul are lying on their towels on the beach.
    Austin, Jessica, and Angie are swimming in the ocean.

    Two:
    Barrett, Bret, and Paul are sleeping on the beach.
    All of the swimmers are screaming because they see a shark.
    The shark is starting to eat Austin.]

    It is incredible how much joy can be found in something like this when every one of you is at the speech level of a very young child. Any story you can tell is wonderful.
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