Travel Thursday!

Duke, our VP of Branding and Marketing, recently spent some time at a language program in Spain. But instead of taking Spanish classes, Duke passed on his native English. Read on to learn about a day in the life…

Day 1: Día de Vino

I don’t think I’ve ever drunk this much wine in my life. As in…in all my 33 years, cirrhosis of my liver begins this week alone. So in true form, I’m interrupted in my thoughts because one of the Spaniards at my table has poured more wine into my empty glass.

Where I am is Rascafría; it’s just north of Madrid, Spain by about one or two hours. We took a bus to get here, and the Spaniards in the program drove here from their homes in Madrid and from the outskirts of the city.

The program is called VaughanTown, named after the company CEO Richard Vaughan.The program speaks to the mission of GLN because it’s an immersion program for the Spaniards.They come here to this hotel in Rascafría called Santa María del Paular, and for one week, they must speak in English at almost every turn. Most of the Anglos in the program have taught or currently teach English. We all come to the program with just a simple passion to talk…and it doesn’t hurt that it’s free. All we have to do is talk. The Spaniards rely on us to hear our accents, to learn new words, and to have conversations in the target language.

For example, let me tell you about our one-on-one meetings. But first…more wine, I’m told. So, yes, we meet one-on-one in an almost hour-long conversation where we talk about anything…or sometimes nothing at all. Lately, I’ve been talking about how to improve their presentation skills, because on Thursday the Spaniards have mandatory 5-minute presentations where they get up in front of the group to wax poetic on one topic of their choice.

Oh, good. Another bottle of wine.

For now, I’m going to try to get some rest. Which I’ll need, since my liver is damaged from all this wine.

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