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This section is for those that are learning the Spanish language.

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By beastess
I taught Spanish children in a language school for a while. There were some very good value deals in Hastings where kids stayed with local families and then had a morning´s tuition plus the odd day trip to London, discos etc. The kids mostly knew the basics when they came and left knowing a bit more - plus they had a lot of fun. The Spanish kids were a nice crowd to teach while the French and Germans were hell. I had a French nine-year-old light up a pipe and smoke it in class, others snogging and a German boy banging knuckledusters (real ones) on the table. I pretty soon realised teaching was not my vacation...
By mariac
We had some students staying with us in Ireland the Spanish were great fun but I don´t think they learnt a lot as they went around in packs but they did meet other spanish students from all over spain,
By crummy
Just got back from Spanish class..... my brain hurts.. I feel I know nothing...

But when I next go out there I will have a beer or two and be completely fluid... er ... fluent! Strange how a drink or two makes you so good at speaking a foreign language. :?
By Maria B
beastess wrote:I taught Spanish children in a language school for a while.
funny, I've done that.
By Jane C
Just got back from Spanish class..... my brain hurts.. I feel I know nothing...
Hi Crummy,

This is the most usual reaction of people who are making progress with a language. They focus on the new stuff they haven't learnt yet and lose sight of all the rest they already know and are getting better at all the time.

The alcohol obviously proves the point :)

By beastess
What occurs to me is that most of us just aren´t spending enough time learning but expect too much. Our kids spend twenty-five hours a week learning it for 8 months or so of the year in Spanish schools. Apart from it being easier to learn young that´s one reason they are fluent in a couple of years. Most of us can´t afford that amount of tuition but putting in some hours in Spanish films or reading the papers might make a lot of difference.
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By landlady
Best, almost free way I think is to go somewhere where you are the only English speaker, then put a bit of effort in with grammer books at home. This is how I learned French, mind you I was young and had a French boyfriend too which helped.

Now I am finding it so much harder, especially being surrounded with English speakers and having a family. I must admit to being inconsistent in my learning process-sometimes going all out and spending hours per day, sometimes when life gets busy, not doing any for weeks.

I now have 1 hour per week with a local group for grammer, am repeating my pimsleur speak & learn last 30 lessons and practising conversation with my Spanish friend. Its hard going, but at least I can get by in many situations now, which really does make life easier and more enjoyable living here.

One little tip I have found..... if you install the latest google toolbar in I.E. with all its bells and whistles, you have the option in the menu for a translator -set the language to Spanish and when you hover your mouse over an English word, it will show you that word in Spanish. Very useful as a learning tool.
By beastess
I spent a long weekend in Barcelona with my son on a karate course so we had to speak almost nothing but Spanish for 4 days. That has really helped. Six hours karate a day in Spanish. Meals taken with the guys from our DOjo (mostly SPanish, one Lithuanian with good Spanish). Train to and from sitting with the same guys talking and playing cards in Spanish... So different from my urb where it´s darn hard to find a Spanish person to talk to... I really wish I had tried harder in my first year to get away from the easy option of talking to English neighbours, etc. Joining a class or club centred on some sport or activitiy you like really seems to be the best way to mix with the Spanish and Spanish speakers.
By Steve
I suppose over four years I have spent perhaps 5 or 6,000 euros on Spanish lessons, course books etc (excluding papers, magazines etc) My choice / don't drink., don't play golf etc etc

Am I glad I did it? Yes, an investment. In terms of business I have done with Spanish speakers it has paid for itself.

Would I do the same again? No. I'd throw myself into a Spanish area and sink or swim. Much like I am doing in Thai. Once you have learnt a few languages the next ones come easier. I was in despair yesterday until I realised I had covered in 4 hours what some guys had covered in 4 weeks. Some people will always find it easier than others. The only way to fail to learn a language is to quit trying. Sadly among the expats on this coast many have quit and many never ever started!

To paraphrase Beast "You cannot put a price on education"
By crummy
One thing I have learned.. It helps to have a good English Education. Subjunctives, conditionals and passive impersonals may have been Martian to me when I started. We did little grammar at our school. I wasn't even taught how to decline verbs. When I started learning, first Greek, then Spanish I was floundering and found I had missed so much when I was young. .... but then again.. my first language is Lancastrian.. says it all 'eh?
By beastess
Sitting through a good film in Spanish is a bargain for learning the language. Last night we went to King Kong and thoroughly enjoyed it. Forgot which language it was in after a while. Three and a quarter hours of listening to Spanish for a mere 5 Euros per person. Not bad value. Normally the cinema is full of Spanish people (apart from us). Halfway through a shout of "F···in' 'ell!" in an Irish accent revealed there were other ex-pats in there enjoying themselves...
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