Viña del Mar-Valparaíso, Chile. As in many other places around the world, the Eusko Etxea in Viña del Mar-Valparaiso had to convert its face-to-face Basque classes to online ones during the quarantine. Leire Martinez de Luco, from Pamplona, who is her fifth year as a Basque teacher is happy with this year, and the new virtual model, since she has more students, “a dozen, six of them are brand new. It shows that there are benefits that have come with the Coronavirus at least for Basque classes,” she said with a smile.
Leire now offers two hours of class a week for the Eusko Etxea: the first hour is “to teach material,” and the second “to practice, review and to correct homework.” She also has a virtual classroom where “all of the material, images, exercises, and class recordings are uploaded so no one misses out on anything.” She attributes the increase in class interest to the confinement, facilitating taking classes from home. Among the disadvantages she includes the unsteady connection on phones or computers, “sometimes connection is weak and makes it uncomfortable for a while,” she tells EuskalKultura.eus.
Some of the new students live in more remote areas. This is the case of Rony Elizondo Rojas, who lives in Ovalle, in the northern region of Coquimbo. Rony explains that he is “very happy,” because” online classes allow me to attend. Leire is a good teacher and instructor, and the classes are serious and respectful, and I feel like I’m learning.” Antonia Fernandez is a more veteran student who is also very happy with the new format “especially because I’m now in Santiago and this has allowed me to continue from here. I thank Leire for all the work she has done as well as the Euskal Etxea for adapting and providing us this opportunity,” she said.
-More information on Basque classes at the Viña-Valparaíso Basque Club by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org