Best Place to Practice Your Spanish
Mejor ... uh ... ¿cómo se dice? 

El Grupito Español

Wanna use that high school Spanish for something besides ordering tacos? Hook up with El Grupito and get those linguistic juices flowing again. "The Little Group" was formed in 1998 by a handful of students who'd just taken a Spanish class at UC Extension and wanted to keep the language fresh in their minds and on their lips. The drop-in discussions are open to all levels. Folks bring snacks or a bottle of wine to share, kick back, and talk about cualquier tema que surja -- whatever comes up. Mark Middlebrook, the group's nominal leader, says people work hard to make everyone feel welcome -- so whether you have a just a few phrases under your belt, or you're reading Don Quixote in the original, there's no excuse not to come. Once a month or so, there's a slightly more formal tertulia literaria y gastronómica, a potluck dinner at a member's home. A short reading is assigned for discussion, and people bring dishes and wine from Spanish-speaking countries. A nice glass or three of Rioja will improve your Spanish in no time flat -- let's just hope you remember it the next morning. El Grupito meets on alternate Wednesdays, 7:30 - 9 p.m. at Diesel Books, 5433 College Ave, Oakland. See the Web site or e-mail mark@teamrioja.org for a schedule.

Readers' pick:
Fruitvale district, Oakland

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