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Any advice appreciated

Any advice appreciated

Old Apr 3rd 2006, 3:42 am
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Default Any advice appreciated

I'm moving to Barcelona April 2007 and will be doing a 36 week course at a language school in Barcelona. Starting as a complete beginner do you think 4hrs per day 5 days a week for 36 weeks (720hrs study) will get me speaking fluently enough to get Spanish speaking jobs? I'm currently a financial advisor in the UK but have also worked in banking. I am prepared for a backward step but what sort of salary do you think is a realistic possibility for me to expect after the course?
Also does anyone know whether there are many part time jobs in Barcelona for a non Spanish speaker for during my course. Anything will do for this such as bar work etc or maybe there are temp agencies that could find work to fit around my daytime course? Any tips would be greatly appreciated and I look forward to any help anyone can give me.

Darren
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Old Apr 3rd 2006, 12:34 pm
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Default Re: Any advice appreciated

Originally Posted by Darren2010
I'm moving to Barcelona April 2007 and will be doing a 36 week course at a language school in Barcelona. Starting as a complete beginner do you think 4hrs per day 5 days a week for 36 weeks (720hrs study) will get me speaking fluently enough to get Spanish speaking jobs? I'm currently a financial advisor in the UK but have also worked in banking. I am prepared for a backward step but what sort of salary do you think is a realistic possibility for me to expect after the course?
Also does anyone know whether there are many part time jobs in Barcelona for a non Spanish speaker for during my course. Anything will do for this such as bar work etc or maybe there are temp agencies that could find work to fit around my daytime course? Any tips would be greatly appreciated and I look forward to any help anyone can give me.

Darren
I would say that yes, 36 weeks is long enough. I did the same thing for 3 months in Seville and came along leaps and bounds. When you get there, ask your language school about the DELE exam. There are three levels and I would recommend taking the appropriate one for your level before you finish the course. You can find more info about the exam at www.cervantes.es.

The language school will be able to give you a really sound basis for grammar which you will not be able to simply "pick up" by speaking to people in the street. Get the grammar nailed first, and then work on speed and fluency.

After several years living in Spain I am now pretty fluent, but thanks in a very large part to the kick start I got at the langugage school.
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Old Apr 3rd 2006, 7:27 pm
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Default Re: Any advice appreciated

Which school did you go to in Seville???
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Old Apr 3rd 2006, 8:10 pm
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Default Re: Any advice appreciated

Hi,
How easy would it be for you to "turn the tables around" and offer english language lessons in Barcelona, assuming you do a TEFL type course aimed at business clients? Would you be able to qualify in a year's time?
Good luck,
Carol
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Old Apr 3rd 2006, 11:54 pm
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Default Re: Any advice appreciated

Thanks Amanda & Charles, I've read one or two people say that they felt pretty fluent after 2 years whilst studying 4-6 hrs per week, which only equates to 414-624hrs study, hence why I had hoped that an intense course such as this would mean I'd be fluent by this stage.
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Old Apr 4th 2006, 12:01 am
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Default Re: Any advice appreciated

Carol&John, it is something that seems to be getting more and more common to do a TEFL course which is precisely why I feel it might not be such a good idea. At present only about 40% of people finishing a TEFL course get work in Spain afterwards. 20% come back to the UK to teach in a language school with the rest unable to find work in teaching. With more and more people doing these courses I guess these figures could well go down.
Thanks for the suggestion though because it is something I've though about but dont want to spend any more time studying before getting back to earning again if it can be avoided
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Old Apr 4th 2006, 2:52 am
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Default Re: Any advice appreciated

Just a tip, if you are learning in Barcelona are you going to work in that area ?
Spanish varies so much in other regions, same as English.
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Old Apr 4th 2006, 6:53 am
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Default Re: Any advice appreciated

Thanks jdr, yes I do intend staying in Barcelona after the course subject to finding work of course. I'd like to stay there working for at least a couple of years whilst I get up to speed on the Spanish system etc before looking at starting a business once I'm confident I know how things tend to work over there.
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Old Apr 4th 2006, 10:09 am
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Originally Posted by Darren2010
Thanks jdr, yes I do intend staying in Barcelona after the course subject to finding work of course. I'd like to stay there working for at least a couple of years whilst I get up to speed on the Spanish system etc before looking at starting a business once I'm confident I know how things tend to work over there.
Hi Darren
You might find some Catalan useful in that area, particularly North of Barcelona.
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Old Apr 5th 2006, 9:01 am
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Default Re: Any advice appreciated

Thanks Susique, although I'm aware that catalan is the local dialect, learning one language is tough enough without trying to learn two. Although all catalan speakers will also speak Castellan (i think thats the right term for the most common form of Spanish) that couldn't be said the other way around therefore if I learn Castellan I will presumably be able to speak with any Spaniards. This is therefore what I'm planning on and having read various things on websites i am assured that not speaking catalan would not pose any problems.
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Old Apr 5th 2006, 9:11 am
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Default Re: Any advice appreciated

Originally Posted by Darren2010
Thanks Susique, although I'm aware that catalan is the local dialect, learning one language is tough enough without trying to learn two. Although all catalan speakers will also speak Castellan (i think thats the right term for the most common form of Spanish) that couldn't be said the other way around therefore if I learn Castellan I will presumably be able to speak with any Spaniards. This is therefore what I'm planning on and having read various things on websites i am assured that not speaking catalan would not pose any problems.
I understand your point, Darren, but in Barcelona the people are fiercely Catalan, indeed they are for most of the Costa Blanca - where one is faced with Catalan, Valenciana and Castillian Spanish, sometimes a mixture of all three. Like you, I'm trying to learn Castillian as I hope that at least that will be understood everywhere, but whether they deign to answer or not is another question!
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Old Apr 6th 2006, 6:16 am
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Default Re: Any advice appreciated

Originally Posted by poollounger
Which school did you go to in Seville???
I went to CLIC. More info at www.clic.es.
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Old Apr 6th 2006, 9:35 am
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Default Re: Any advice appreciated

I was in Barcelona in Feb and got speaking to a German who spoke only Castillian Spanish, not Catalan. He also spoke v good English but that's by the by! He did say that life as a potential employee in Barcelona was difficult for non-Catalan speakers as there is a lot of covert discrimination against people who don't speak Catalan.
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Old Apr 6th 2006, 9:20 pm
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Default Re: Any advice appreciated

Originally Posted by Hillybilly
I was in Barcelona in Feb and got speaking to a German who spoke only Castillian Spanish, not Catalan. He also spoke v good English but that's by the by! He did say that life as a potential employee in Barcelona was difficult for non-Catalan speakers as there is a lot of covert discrimination against people who don't speak Catalan.
Since my Spanish is pretty much limited to Coffee Please (haven't even figured out how to order beer yet ) what is the difference and is there a common language. I mean if you fly from Barcalona to Madrid will anyone understand you.
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Old Apr 6th 2006, 10:13 pm
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Default Re: Any advice appreciated

Originally Posted by tim hortons man
Since my Spanish is pretty much limited to Coffee Please (haven't even figured out how to order beer yet ) what is the difference and is there a common language. I mean if you fly from Barcalona to Madrid will anyone understand you.
Oh dear, Tim Horton's Man! Surely you learned how to ask for a beer first???
'Una cerveza frio (cold) grande (large) por favor' should do the trick.

During Franco's regime, anything but Castillian Spanish was outlawed. The Catalans continued to keep their language alive in secret for many years (I know this as I remember as a child in the Palafrugell area, we had Catalan friends (still have for that matter) and I know they spoke Catalan among themselves and Spanish to visitors. People were very afraid of Franco then.
Now that they are able to use their language they are fiercely proud of it and their part of Spain, and will never let it go again. This is why they insist on using it, sometimes, even thought they know it, refusing to use Castillian Spanish.

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