Amigos de blog de One Language, una vez más nos encontramos en este espacio virtual. Esta semana les traemos una nueva publicación de este blog y con este, un reto para los miembros de nuestra comunidad. El día de hoy el blog viene de parte de Zack, nativo de California, US. el cual nos va a brindar su historia, experiencias y aventuras, viviendo y trabajando en Chile.
Hey, My name is Zack, today I will explain a little about my interest in English teaching and my experience so far living in Chile. My full name is William Zachary Zaorski, and I am from California in the United States. In university, I studied Business and Technology, and I am also a trained Facilitator and Community Mediator. Working in community has always been of great interest to me, especially since graduating and having time to explore the working world.
It was my meditation skill set, and encouragement from my family, that first brought me to Chile. Through 2019 I was working as a Volunteer Mediator in the Civil Courts. Many of the disputes I saw took place in Spanish, which at the time I had low proficiency in. In order to work to improve my fluency, I started to look to travel and spend time in Latin America. My Dad’s girlfriend and her family encouraged me to travel to Chile over other parts of the Spanish-speaking world. They talked about the culture, friendly people, and beautiful natural areas. With their advice, I traveled to Chile in January 2020.
From February 2020 to the start of the quarantine in March of that year, I got my first experience of exciting Chilean culture. Spending February in Viña del Mar taking Spanish classes and being involved with English/Spanish intercambio groups, I got to experience what a lively and social culture Chile has to offer. Towards the end of the month I began to travel to different parts of the country, seeing Coquimbo, Pucón, Valdivia, and Chiloé.
From the start of the pandemic, I opted to stay on Chiloé to continue learning Spanish. Through this time I spent time volunteering through the WWOOF service. I also worked remotely online in California in order to apply for a visa.
Though I had lots of horticultural experience from previous work in a botanic garden, I was not fully prepared for the lifestyle on the farms on ‘La Grande Isla’. There is an independent, self-sustaining type of agriculture practiced where farmers manage many crop and animal productions. I worked in greenhouses, milked cows, harvested potatoes, counted sheep, and planted garlic-among many other tasks. The whole time the family groups that I stayed with gave me ready instruction in Spanish, Chilean culture, and practical life skills, like construction.
One of the most challenging things about learning Chilean Spanish is the speed at which it is spoken, and also the way that certain consonants are omitted regularly. Sometimes people speak indirectly to relay hidden meanings and also use made-up words, ‘modismos’. At first these things were intimidating to me, but over time I learned to understand the way the language is used and its contexts. I took classes online with a tutor and read poems to friends on Whatsapp. Little-by-little I improved and picked up the language as it is spoken here.
With the pandemic, my plans have changed, and I am hopeful to continue to stay here. I hope to teach English while studying for a certificate or higher degree here. I have received a lot of kindness here in this place, and feel good giving back. I will continue to enjoy sharing conversations about things like Music (Depeche Mode, Bob Dylan, etc.), History (Cold War, Diego Portales, US History, La Memoria, etc.), Chilenismos (Chato, pillar, cachai, sapo, etc.)
Como siempre, no olviden seguirnos en nuestras redes sociales, como lo son Facebook, Instagram y Linkedin. Si no lograste entender el blog o solo pudiste entender un poco de este, te invitamos a que te evalúes con nosotros para medir tu nivel de inglés, y puedas dar el siguiente paso para hablar un nuevo Idioma. ¡Hasta la próxima!