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learning Spanish

Old Apr 28th 2008, 8:33 pm
  #1  
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Default learning Spanish

Hello,
my first post here.
In the UK, it is very easy for new arrivals to get help with learning to speak English. There is a very professional structure of lessons and officially recognised qualifications in ESOL - English for speakers of other languages - much of it very reasonably priced and sometimes, esp for 16-19s, free, through public FE colleges.
Is there any similar public provision in Spain or are you thrown on the mercy of the private sector?
In either case, what have been your experiences and what are typical costs?

Thanks,

Mark
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Old Apr 28th 2008, 10:18 pm
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Default Re: learning Spanish

Originally Posted by markcromp
Hello,
my first post here.
In the UK, it is very easy for new arrivals to get help with learning to speak English. There is a very professional structure of lessons and officially recognised qualifications in ESOL - English for speakers of other languages - much of it very reasonably priced and sometimes, esp for 16-19s, free, through public FE colleges.
Is there any similar public provision in Spain or are you thrown on the mercy of the private sector?
In either case, what have been your experiences and what are typical costs?

Thanks,

Mark
I think the answer may well be 'it depends on the area'. We have been looking for help with our Spanish for 18 months and enlisted the help of a Spanish friend but have only been able to come up with certificated courses with exams etc so not suitable for us. However in other areas we understand that there are opportunities to learn via the town hall.

Rosemary
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Old Apr 28th 2008, 10:32 pm
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Default Re: learning Spanish

so is not possible to pay someone privately? I am a teacher of Spanish in the UK and planning to move over to Spain, possible Costa Blanca North and wondered whether I could make a living teaching Spanish to ex pats? Are there lots of people doing this already? Or do people generally just not want to pay too much?
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Old Apr 28th 2008, 10:37 pm
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Default Re: learning Spanish

In Ontinyent (Valencia region, CB North), we have at least three 'companies' who teach Spanish to us ex-pats but who also teach English to the Spanish.

These courses cost me around 46 euro per month and are quite gramatical as opposed to being 'conversational' spanish. You can obviously then perservere for as long as you wish.

If you want, you can then take exams when you feel sufficiently competent.
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Old Apr 28th 2008, 10:52 pm
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Default Re: learning Spanish

Originally Posted by The Oddities
I think the answer may well be 'it depends on the area'. We have been looking for help with our Spanish for 18 months and enlisted the help of a Spanish friend but have only been able to come up with certificated courses with exams etc so not suitable for us. However in other areas we understand that there are opportunities to learn via the town hall.

Rosemary
Absolutely right, There are free lessons available in Torreveija & El Campello, not sure how you get on the list, I guess go along & ask.
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Old Apr 28th 2008, 11:00 pm
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Default Re: learning Spanish

so maybe in the right area, teaching spanish to expats in a fun conversational way rather than bogging them down with boring grammar might be a reasonable way to earn a living over there?
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Old Apr 29th 2008, 12:49 am
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Default Re: learning Spanish

Originally Posted by Longtonian
so maybe in the right area, teaching spanish to expats in a fun conversational way rather than bogging them down with boring grammar might be a reasonable way to earn a living over there?
Sorry to disagree, but grammar is very important even at the most basic level. The best way to learn any language is to learn as if you are learning maths, learn the rules they are pretty constant.
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Old Apr 29th 2008, 1:24 am
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Default Re: learning Spanish

Pay for Spanish lessons? You've got all the formal resources you'll ever need freely available on the Internet.....and as soon as you open the front door there's one big practical Spanish lesson going on all around you.
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Old Apr 29th 2008, 2:20 am
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Default Re: learning Spanish

Originally Posted by XTreme
as soon as you open the front door there's one big practical Spanish lesson going on all around you.
or Valenciano depending on where you live which can be a tad confusing
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Old Apr 29th 2008, 2:43 am
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Default Re: learning Spanish

Everything is possible, in our area there are lessons provided by some local town halls, others by local buisnesses, there are local language schools, and plenty of people who will give private one to one lessons. You just need to look in local english language papers in your area to find them.
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Old Apr 29th 2008, 3:17 am
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Default Re: learning Spanish

Anyone thinking of coming to the Costa del Sol, don't bother wasting your money learning 'text book Madrid' Spanish, they speak a completely different style of Spanish (akin to how the Geordie's speak 'the Queen's English) - if people from Madrid have extreme difficulty understanding Andalucians, you can learn all you want from the books but you won't understand them. They speak 100 mph and omit all the 's's and put in 's's where there shouldn't be!

If you're a foreigner trying to speak 'proper' Spanish with your English accent sometimes they don't understand you either.

eg Numbers: Uno dos tres cuatro 'th'eenco seis - in Andalucian it's uno doh treh cuatro seengco sey.

Dos aguas = dowawah.
Español = Epanol
Autobus = Boo
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Old Apr 29th 2008, 3:38 am
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Default Re: learning Spanish

Learning the basic, good Castillian is a good place to start, as that's all classes will teach in the UK. You can then modify your vocabulary as you go.

Set up intercambios with a Spaniard who wants to learn English, and most importantly, listen to Spanish radio and TV. The more you hear, the more your brain tunes in. I have noticed that the Andalucians do seem to be slowing down for me. What was gabble starts to break down into words.

I agree Andalucians do shed the 's' wherever possible, so buenos dias becomes buendia, but they also lisp 's's like they lisp the c and z in cerveza.

Learning that Castillian with proper attention to grammar will give you an excellent basis to build on. Grammar is a fascinating subject in its own right, and it is appalling that it isn't taught in schools.
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Old Apr 29th 2008, 3:50 am
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Default Re: learning Spanish

The town hall provides free Spanish classes where I live and has done so for 5 years now. 3 levels: beginner, intermediate and advanced, 2 hrs per day, 5 days per week. Only problem being that they stick to the school "terms" so there is a loooooong break during the summer months.
A couple of years ago a private language school opened up, giving excellent group lessons with a native Spanish teacher, but far too cheap imho and so it didn't survive unfortunately.
My personal preference would always be for a native Spanish teacher of the language.
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Old Apr 29th 2008, 6:58 pm
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Default Re: learning Spanish

Originally Posted by markcromp
Hello,
my first post here.
In the UK, it is very easy for new arrivals to get help with learning to speak English. There is a very professional structure of lessons and officially recognised qualifications in ESOL - English for speakers of other languages - much of it very reasonably priced and sometimes, esp for 16-19s, free, through public FE colleges.
Is there any similar public provision in Spain or are you thrown on the mercy of the private sector?
In either case, what have been your experiences and what are typical costs?

Thanks,

Mark
many ayuntamientos offer free or very cheap lessons for foreigners....however they tend to be in big groups and the teacher may not speak your language so it may not suit you.

A lot of my students come to me after a year or more of these free lessons having learned next to nothing!
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Old Apr 29th 2008, 10:25 pm
  #15  
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Default Re: learning Spanish

That suggests to me that they haven't been trying. While a bad teacher is a terrible thing, it is up to the student to do something.

I spent a couple of years learning Japanese, and the teacher I had for the first year was terrible.

The only way I could cope was to spend the week before each lesson studying what was to come, because had I just sat there I would have learned nothing.
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