There are no teachers, native speakers or advanced speakers here so:
The charlas take place on Zoom and there are currently three each week on Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday at 1900 UTC. There are also bonus charlas run by community members at different times for different time-zones. When you’re a member of the ¡Charlemos! Facebook group you’ll receive invitations to each charla.
When you first arrive you’ll be in the main zoom room and in this room we speak English. So when you first arrive you’ll be greeted in English and you have a chance to settle in without having to worry about speaking any Spanish at all!
Then we do two things:
1. We break into pairs and have a conversation in Spanish, and then
We talk abut everyday things such as where we live, our family, our jobs, our interests etc. Common discussion points are why you’ve started to learn Spanish and how long you’ve been learning.
If you get stuck, you can switch to English to get yourself past the block and then continue in Spanish.
Because your charla partner is also a learner, you’ll probably find the vocabulary not too hard and of course, if there’s a word or phrase you don’t understand, just ask!
The chats last about 10 minutes and then you’ll be returned to the main group. I try and fit three charlas into the hour. At each one, you’ll get a different person to speak to (depending on how well I can manage the break-out rooms!)
Sometimes you’ll be in a group of three depending of how many people turn up.
2. We return to the main room and talk about our experiences as Spanish learners
One of the benefits of belonging to this group is the ability to talk about our challenges, learnings, breakthroughs.
So after each charla there’s an opportunity for a debrief where we can reflect on how the charla went and what we learned from doing it.
We have these conversations in English so that it’s not a strain to express the sometimes intricate ideas we want to talk about.
At the end of the hour, if you have time, you’re welcome to stay in the main room where we share stories – both poignant and funny – about when we used our Spanish in el mundo real!
We also talk about tools and resources we’ve found useful.
I manage who comes to our charlas through a Facebook group. To join the group you just need to agree to the rules of the charlas – the main one being not correcting or teaching – and let me know a little about your Spanish journey so far. Use the form at the bottom of this page.
Yes – once you’re in the group, let me know that you just wish to be an observer and I’ll put you with others who will understand where you’re at.
I get it. Taking any step towards the thing that frightens you is counter-intuitive and your brain is trying to protect you.
What you can do is join the ¡Charlemos! Facebook group and then get a sense of what we’re like from the posts and videos there.
Take your time. You won’t be pressured in any way to come to a charla – it’s entirely up to you.
Then this is not the group for you. There are heaps of resources out there for people wanting teachers or feedback but this is not one of them.
We are different – we just open our mouths and give it a go and nobody interrupts to correct you or tries to give you a lesson.
We are not a teaching group so you need to be beyond absolute beginner. If you’ve started to feel the desire to try out the Spanish that you’ve learned so far (even though you may be super-nervous) you’re probably at the right level to take part.
Watch the introductory video below – ¿Es ¡Charlemos! para ti? – and if you follow most of what I’m saying, you’re going to be fine speaking in the charlas!
For sure! Particularly if you’d like to be speaking a bit more but don’t yet have the confidence to find a teacher or initiate conversations with native speakers for fear that… well the list is endless right!
Or – you may be looking for an active community of Spanish learners, an alternative way to practice, or to be a listener to support someone who is not as far forward on the path as you. We just need to conscious of not speaking too fast, using simple vocabulary and not correcting your partner or doing any teaching!
“Thank you for such a warm welcome. I have been involved in dozens of group chats and this is 100% different.
Just to give everyone an idea of how phobic I am of speaking Spanish: the night before I know I will be on a chat, I don’t sleep and all day I have anxiety. Most of the time, I am a no-show. Even groups like Rosetta Stone where NO ONE can see you or even know who you are, I have such anxiety that I pay for the class and don’t show up. I have read articles about it and nothing seems to help.
I feel a complete weight has been lifted off and I was so excited when I hung up that I called my husband to tell him. It was a huge step for me. I HIGHLY recommend that anyone who feels even remotely shy to join Tony Burns and his group whenever you can. Thank you Tony and everyone for your patience and kindness. I had so much fun!!!!!!! “
To get your Facebook ID, click on your name in the upper right of your Facebook home page. Copy the URL which will be something like https://www.facebook.com/first.last.number/
You’ll be taken to the ¡Charlemos! Facebook group where you simply click the Join Group button, indicate you’ve filled in this form and you will eventually be admitted and start receiving invitations to our charlas!
You’ll also receive an email asking you to open up Facebook Messenger contact with me. Messenger is what I use for any direct communication with you.
The Facebook Group is for people who participate in our charlas. If you can’t participate for an extended period but want to stay in the group, please contact me (use Messenger) because, after three months without coming to a charla or contributing to the group’s discussions, your membership will lapse. You can always rejoin though!
Due to a sudden increase in membership
I’m limiting who can join ¡Charlemos! right now.
You’re welcome to fill in the application form
to be added to the wait list.
I don’t know when you might be added to the group.