At last the results have come out for L140. Sadly none of my group of "study buddies" or me, made distinction level (85% or better in each component) but we didn’t disgrace ourselves and we all passed. Here is my long awaited letter from the OU:
Open University L140 Results letter
Strangely I didn’t feel like celebrating, maybe because the gap between end of course and results was so long. The other reason is perhaps a sense of disappointment that the OU is trundling off in its own direction and making it hard for students like me to stay with them.
Here is my summary of my OU Spanish experience after 2 years
L194 is excellent – it takes you from nothing to better than most ex-pats in a year, it was fun to do and a little bit of work each day kept me up to date. My tutor, Gemma was exemplary, even gave out her personal mobile number.
L140 is a good course, apart from the eluminate online tutorials which were unhappy events. It’s a bit heavy on old fashioned drills and exercises even though they are done in a modern way with CD-ROM. Once again I was lucky to have a good tutor, thanks Laura! so I could get help by email when I needed it.
The biggest problem, that I keep harping on about, is lack of conversation practise. I think it should be an intrinsic part of the course. Talking to other students this was a common criticism and probably part of the reason that hardly anyone intended to continue to the next level with OU. Maybe a tie up with a Spanish institution who teach English would be possible, one-to-one "intercambios" between students on Skype, half an hour a week might do the trick (wish I’d thought of that sooner).
No matter how well you can conjugate irregular imperfect subjunctives, when someone grunts and mumbles something to you in a noisy bar it is a good idea to have a phrase or two ready in response. I feel poorly equipped with "Spanish sounding phrases " for daily use "on the street". I intend to work on this on my next trip to Spain, I want to take all the podcasts from Notes in Spanish with me, and try out some of the phrases that Ben suggests will make me sound "like a local".
To finish this post, here is a link to a catchy piece of Spanish music that I like.