When we decide to learn a new language, we always do it with great enthusiasm! But there is a high risk that we drop it soon. Most people who begin to learn a foreign language gradually lose interest or quit right away, but why? Common reasons – lack of time and, above all, not having chosen the most effective method of learning. You must have already researched different options of courses to learn Spanish, we have reviewed each one of the them to outline pros and cons.
When choosing a course, the first thing to take into account is the time available, the money you are willing to invest and, the most important, the commitment you are willing to make to learning.
The first decision to make is to start studying in your country or take the big step and study abroad. From the economic point of view it is always better to start in your country, but from an educational efficiency point of view, the best way to learn a language is linguistic immersion.
Sign up for a language school in your town
You decided to start learning Spanish in your country. The cheapest method is to take course in a public language school. You get several classes a week and an official degree. But it has 2 serious disadvantages:
- Non-native teachers: Most state schools have very good teachers, but most are non-native. It is not bad, but it is always better to hear a native teacher to work on your accent.
- Students who have a language in common – a temptation to use your own language in class to express your thoughts. On many occasions, there is a very large disparity of levels in the class.
The result is the opposite to natural learning. You experience “canned” situations, hear many weird accents, and though you learn a lot of grammar, the practical part costs a lot more.
There is another very good alternative, though more expensive – private school or official institution, such as Instituto Cervantes, where you have native teachers. However you still study with students of your own nationality, who tend to speak their mother-tongue in class and in your daily life you continue to speak your language.
Learning with a private tutor
If attending group courses to learn Spanish is not your choice, you can always learn with private tutor and combine it with self-study.
We are not going to deny that there are very good books and apps, as well as native tutors with whom you can learn a lot. But this option requires a lot of discipline and commitment, and the more you progress the more you will feel the need to put your skills to practice in Spain or another Spanish speaking country. That is the best way to evaluate your knowledge of Spanish.
Study in a Spanish-speaking country: get a lot more with less effort
If you really want to learn Spanish, sooner or later you have to do a “linguistic immersion”. Taking a language course abroad is the best way to learn a language naturally.
From the moment of your arrival everything your eyes see and your ears hear is in Spanish. TV, radio, cinema, etc. – all in Spanish. To communicate with the people in the street, with your classmates and with your teacher – you have to speak in Spanish. And if you combine your course with a stay in a Spanish family, your immersion will be complete.
However it is very important that you choose wisely where you are going to take courses to learn Spanish. Many language schools are located in tourist areas, where you find people of all nationalities but Spanish. We advise to choose a school located in a village or residential area away from tourists.
Daily life will complement your classes. Regardless of what learning methods you use (applications, games, classes, etc.), the essential support of the need of Spanish and improvisation of real situations is a must to learn a language. You will combine leisure and study, discipline and fun, vacations and classes. And the time you can spend in a Spanish speaking country will boost your language skills, sometimes even more than all “attempts to study in depth” during the year back home.
What is the best solution for me?
Immersion courses is the most efficient way to learn Spanish. Second to it come lessons in private schools or native tutors. However these are options with high cost. Learning a language is for everyone, disregarding the time, budget and commitment constraints, we recommend combining these:
- Choose courses that are for your pocket, even free resources, but never forget the natural learning that you can add into your leisure time.
- Take advantage of the holidays to consolidate what you learned take courses to learn Spanish while staying with a Spanish family for your next vacation in Spain.
There are also options of working in the hotel business to finance your stay abroad from 6 months to 1 year. Highly recommended if you want to take a giant step and finally speak Spanish. Tenerife offers many opportunities to work in the tourism sector.
We will not tell you where to go (it is your choice!). We can tell you that Tenerife is a very economic destination and offers many opportunities. And our school, located in Adeje, offers wide variety of courses for all students.
We hope you know what course is for you and shall you need any help – contact us!
Your SMS Spanish Experience Team