Since in my Advanced Spanish Conversation class we are supposed to cover the vocabulary relating to politics, I decided to use this opportunity to remind the students of the upcoming elections. "So," I said to open up a discussion, "I guess everybody here is going to vote on Tuesday, right?" The students looked perplexed and said nothing. "Do they suddenly not understand what I'm saying?" I thought. "That's weird, because at this point in the course their listening comprehension skills are very advanced. So I tried again, speaking very slowly. "You know that there will be elections on Tuesday, right? Elections? Voting? Congress? Senate?" All these words sound almost the same in Spanish and in English, but the students still looked very confused.
Finally, the students gave me some feedback.
"Elections?" drawled one of them. "Huh. . ."
"Hmm," said another student.
"Ahh. . ." added two more students.
So I abandoned the failed conversation about politics and talked about the difference between English and Spanish interjections instead.
I hear that the Dems' only hope is a good voter turnout. Well, all I can say to that is "Hmm. . ."