If you are soon going to Spain, we are sure that one of the things on your bucket list is learning Spanish, improving your Spanish or perfecting your Spanish! We’re going to be sharing great effective ways for you to do so. However, before we start, it is worth mentioning that, while it is an amazing goal to have, there are a few things to consider when it comes to learning Spanish in Spain.
The first thing to have in mind is that everyone will want to practice their English with you. This can make it a bit difficult for you to practice your Spanish, which means you have to be extra intentional. You can kindly let people know that you only want to speak Spanish, or that you would be more than willing to practice English with them, and in turn they can help you practice some Spanish. Whatever you choose to do, just make sure you are extra intentional because it won’t come easy!
The second thing to have in mind is that you will probably be in an environment where you only have to speak English. If you are an auxiliar de conversación, you are actually not allowed to speak Spanish at your school. This means that you will have to find other times and places for you to learn Spanish. You may also surround yourself with friends who are also native English speakers, and so it can be hard to speak / practice your Spanish.
All of this can be solved with intentionality and perseverance! Without further ado, let’s get into what you can practically do to learn Spanish in Spain:
#1 Take a Spanish course at an academy
Spain has plenty of academies or centers where you can take Spanish courses adapted to your level. We recommend this way of learning Spanish if it would be helpful for you to have a set schedule, homework and activities with others who are also doing the course with you. Sometimes, when we pay for a course and we know we have to get out the door and go to class, it can be more motivating for us to learn a language!
#2 Take classes with a private tutor
If you prefer to have personalized guidance, you can hire a personal Spanish tutor! The advantages of this are that the tutor will cater to you specifically; you will be investing your money and time to receive these private sessions; and you can even be more flexible with your schedule, as you won’t have to adapt to a group class.
#3 Learn Spanish on your own
This is recommended for those who are more independent learners! If you think you can do this on your own, go for it! A few things we recommend doing if this is the path you want to choose:
- Make sure you set goals throughout your learning. What do you want to learn specifically? What types of conversations do you want to be able to have in Spanish? Setting specific goals in advance will help you stay organized and on track!
- Make sure you strive for a balance between competence (learning grammar, vocabulary, reading, listening, etc) and performance (actually speaking the language). If you don’t, you’ll find yourself knowing a lot of Spanish in your head, but not being able to use it when the time comes (which is very common); or speaking Spanish really badly.
- Put yourself in a position where you have to speak the language! Whether it is finding a partner that wants to help you speak Spanish, or finding a group of people that don’t speak English at all and making friends with them, or taking a painting course completely in Spanish if you enjoy painting, it will all help you to get immersed!
Whichever way you choose to learn Spanish, make sure you surround yourself with people who don’t speak English and are willing to help you practice what you learn! And most importantly: have fun doing it! Learning a language doesn’t have to be something you dread, but something you look forward to.