In this new world where technology is surrounding us and where we are able to learn Spanish using our computers, laptops or mobile phones, you should appreciate more than ever the traditional methods of learning Spanish.
It is obvious that these new ways of learning, ease your life and allow you to learn at your own pace. However, we recommend you to use the Internet, podcasts, CDs, etc. as a complement to the traditional methods such as classrooms and textbooks; learning with a teacher who can lead you throughout your course.
It is important to interact with other people to practice Spanish and to have a teacher who can guide and correct you if necessary.
Speak Spanish like a native speaker
Furthermore, there is a much better way of learning the language, which is to travel to the country of the target language. When you’re in Spain you are immersed in the language and you will learn it much quicker. That is definitely the best way to reach your goal, which is to speak Spanish like a native speaker.
Sometimes people turn down the idea of taking a Spanish course in Spain by thinking about the cost that this could lead to and to avoid the hassle of travelling. Nevertheless, you should stop to think that maybe you are already spending lots of money along the years buying Spanish books, CDs, hiring weekly lessons with Spanish teachers, etc. and you don’t even get an acceptable level of Spanish.
Taking a Spanish immersion course in Spain is every time more popular and successful. Think how easy is to travel nowadays and affordable by anyone’s pocket!
Now you can decide whether to take a week course, two weeks or even staying for a month. That will depend on your availability but surely you can take a break from work or your studies. You will not just decide to take a Spanish immersion course but, also, to have the holiday of your life.
Learn Spanish Immersion
If you browse a bit on the net you will find a program that will fit your needs. You can take an individual course, travel with your partner, family, friends. There are many options to choose from.
Before traveling to Spain do not forget to prepare your trip and I don’t mean just to pack your swimming costume and sun cream. People usually forget things like changing money or buying an electric adaptor to use in Spain and, more important than anything, to check with time whether your passport is not expired.
Now that you have the tickets and baggage ready it is time to prove what everyone says about learning in two weeks in Spain what you normally do in a year at home.
Spanish immersion courses usually combine lessons and extra activities. But another thing that you should look at is the accommodation. Staying with a Spanish family adds a plus. You can even find some homestay Spanish immersion courses at the tutor’s family home.
Staying with a Spanish family it will mean that you will learn much quicker as you will be in a more relaxed environment. You will have more opportunities of practising Spanish, not just with the family but with organised activities. You can be practising your favourite sport or carry out a cultural activity while you are learning Spanish.
Expressions that just Spanish people understand
At the end of your stay you will be able to communicate more and better in Spanish. You will even have learnt expressions that only Spaniards understand.
Caen chuzos de punta
That is when you feel like a native speaker, when you start saying things like “caen chuzos de punta” which means something like “it’s raining cats and dogs”.
Spanish sayings seem quite different but you just need to think: “Ok, they also talk a lot about the weather” even if they don’t mean to talk about it. So, “a mal tiempo, buena cara” is equivalent to “When life gives you lemons, make lemonade”.
Learning Spanish also implies learning about the Spanish culture. One of the most important things for Spanish people is food. You will immerse yourself with your Spanish family in new rituals. For instance the most important meal of the day in Spain is at lunch time. You will try to follow them with two generous dishes plus dessert and coffee finishing with a debate on the table where everyone talks at the same time surprisingly understanding each other. After that you cannot do anything else but take one of the famous siestas.
No es oro todo lo que reluce
By the way, “no es oro todo lo que reluce”. In other words “looks can be deceiving”. The truth is that siesta can be a myth for some people as not everyone can afford to take it. Probably, it’s more common with old people and babies, necessary when it is too hot and perfect if you are in the beach.
Timetable meals will also be shocking if you decide going to a Spanish restaurant to have dinner at 6 pm as it will be closed. Restaurants in Spain won’t be open before 8:30 pm onwards, being the usual time for dinner around 10:00 pm. It’s needless to say that Spaniards usually have a light dinner, something quite sensible if you think that soon you are going to bed and you don’t want to have a busy stomach.
A caballo regalado no le mires el diente
I bet you are thinking: “what happens with the famous tapas?”. Well, that is also a very nice part of the Spanish culture. A tapa is an aperitif or an appetiser. In some areas they even give it for free when you ask for a drink. But “A caballo regalado no le mires el diente”, meaning “don’t look a gift horse in the mouth” or “a falta de pan buenas son tortas” (“Beggars can’t be choosers”) They are varied and small. In any case, “lo breve si bueno dos veces bueno”. That means, “good things if brief, twice good”.
And don’t forget that ”Barriga llena, corazón contento” (full stomach, happy heart).