I am now in Barcelona studying to earn certification as a teacher of English as a foreign language (TEFL). Although I’m certainly not new to teaching, both the content taught and students differ greatly from my previous experience. Students are adults aged from early 20′s to early 80′s and are very eager to learn and practice. Much to my chagrin, I’m finding out how much I don’t know about English grammar. For instance, can anyone of you name 4 different forms of the present verb tense?
One of the interesting aspects about living for a time in a foreign city is the opportunity to experience different ways of being and hopefully relax into a different life rhythm. For instance, in Spain shops are generally open from 9:00 in the morning until 2:00 in the afternoon, then they close. Most open again about 5:00 in the afternoon and stay open until about 8:00 in the evening. For many people here (not students, mind you) lunch is a leisurely affair eaten in a social setting from early to mid afternoon. And If you try to eat dinner in a restaurant much before 9:00 in the evening, you will look like a tourist.
When the shops are closed, a metal door slides down to cover the door and display windows. Although many doors are sprayed with graffiti (often an art in itself), some are covered with delightful art work, as you can see in the picture.