I'll have to admit that in many ways, I suffered mostly pain in my 30 years as a high school teacher. Nothing is like it seems. In many cases, my Spanish students getting C's and less ended up speaking Spanish as well as native speakers. In most cases, my "College Prep" students were lucky to even say "Si!" I had some classes called "Fundamental Spanish" for low achievers, potential drop-outs, and trouble-makers. Since the administration didn't really expect them to learn anything, I was not forced to "keep to the book" as I was in those cursed College Prep classes. Therefore, I started out just teaching the students cognate words, for it is easily possible for a person to converse somewhat more than minimally using cognates. Since our school and the district had a large latino immigrant population, they got the opportunity to develop their basic knowledge of cognate words to something greater. One day, one of my best "Fundamental Spanish" students went to visit me in my evening adult classes. I wasn't there at the time. He left me a note containing some of the finest and most eloquent Spanish that I have ever read in my life - and from a poor White gringo high school dropout! Nothing is like it seems.