Reference: Activity 2

Shutters and air conditioners

Description: Home #1                   Description: Home #2
House Raúl is describing                        House Henry is describing

Raúl is attempting to describe features of his house to Henry. Read what he says below and then answer the questions below the table.

Task Line #  
Jigsaw 94 R: Ventanas, sí. Y a los- lados de las ventanas, hay dos cosas negras.
  95 H: Oh, como para uh, condicionar el- la /ere/ (aire)?
  96 R: Sí
  97 H: Sí? Sí, yo tengo dos,um, dos de estas cosas en uh las ventanas en mi pictura también.
  98 R: [?]… lo mismo
  99 H: Es el mismo

What is he referring to in line 94 and why do you think he does so in this way? 
Given the photo of Henry’s house, why do you think Henry misunderstands Raúl?
Why do you think Raúl says ‘Sí’ in line 96 in answer to Henry’s clarifying question in line 95?

When you have finished typing your answer, click to compare your response with the Learner Language staff response.

During his interview, Raúl identified vocabulary as something he could potentially improve by taking Spanish classes. As we saw in Activity 1, he doesn’t know the word for “shutters” and approximates, using “cosas negras” instead. Because there are black things in the windows of his house, Henry interprets “cosas negras” to mean window air conditioning units. He asks a clarifying question (“oh, like to condition the air?”) and Raúl says “yes” possibly thinking of the way shutters can allow air to circulate while shading a window in the summertime.
There is clearly a gap in understanding. If Henry had paid attention when Raúl said the black things were “a los lados de” (on the sides of) the windows, or if Raúl had paid attention when Henry said the black things were “en” (in) the windows, they might have realized they were referring to two different things. 



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