Thousands of people have come to Spain to work as language teaching assistants, or “auxiliares de conversación” in Spanish schools.
This year, 239 of these language teaching assistants told us about their experiences by filling out a survey that was written and analyzed by me, Kate Peregrina. I had time to do all this because I work as an auxiliar de conversación.
Notes about reading the graphs:
- “N = ” tells the number of responses to each question.
- The number in brackets [ ] is the number of responses to a particular answer
- On some bar graphs the percentages add up to over 100% because respondents were asked to check all that apply.
So here’s what 239 language assistants in Spain had to say about their Spanish abilities during the 2013-2014 academic year.
Respondents were asked:
- What was your Spanish level Before you started this school year?
- What is your Spanish level now?
They were asked to respond to both of these questions by ranking their Spanish levels on a scale of 1-7, with 1 being “Nothing” and 7 being “fluent.”
I made a table of the average current Spanish level (Spanish level at the time of the survey), based on the starting Spanish level.
This is the graph and table of the averages.
Love and Spanish
Some people say that the best way to improve your Spanish is to date someone who speaks the language.
Is it true that love is the key to language proficiency?
Respondents who reported that they had been in at least on serious romantic relationship during the academic year were asked:
- Have you been in a serious romantic relationship with someone who does not speak English during the 2013-2014 academic year?
40 respondents answered “yes.”
On average, respondents who had been in a relationship with a person who did not speak English had a higher Spanish proficiency than other respondents.
Respondents who had been in a relationship with a person who did not speak English also had a higher Spanish level to begin with.
In this table:
- “Yes” represents the people who had been in relationship with someone who does not speak English (during the 2013-2014 academic year)
- “No” represents the people who had been in a relationship, but had not been in a relationship with someone who did not speak English (during the 2013-2014 academic year).
- “Single” represents the respondents who had not been in a relationship at all during the 2013-2014 academic year.
- “All” represents all respondents.