Summer is coming and you probably want sun, sea, sand, and....Spanish!
Learning Spanish is probably most effective if you go to a Spanish speaking country. After all, what better way is there for undertaking language learning than to completely immerse yourself in it?
If you do choose immersion as the way to study Spanish, you will have a staggering total of 20 countries to choose from! That is because Spanish is spoken far beyond the borders of Spain. In fact, with the exception of Brazil, it is spoken in almost every single country in Central and South America.
This means that there are some great destinations to learn Spanish. In fact, you can learn to speak Spanish all the way from the Mexican border with the U.S.A right the way down to the southern tip of Argentina, and everywhere in between, including countries such as Colombia, Peru, Chile, Panama, and Guatemala, but to name a few.
The language of Hernán Cortés, Pablo Picasso, and Penelope Cruz, is spoken by around 440 million people worldwide, and although you can probably find an adequate Spanish course close to where you live, you can't beat the experience of moving abroad to learn this second language.
As more and more backpackers head for South America, the importance of Spanish is increasing. Although you will learn a ton whilst you are there, it is always advisable to learn Spanish before you travel. You fluency doesn't need to be perfect-far from it in fact. But you will need a selection of Spanish vocabulary so that you can get back in the first few weeks.
For this reason, and many others, we will now tell you everything you need to know in order to study how to speak Spanish in a Spanish speaking country.
How to Learn Spanish by Travelling Abroad
Are you still at university?
Whatever your level is, it's the best time to go abroad.
Don't worry: if you work, it is still possible to find interesting offers that will fit your schedule, too. And if you want to progress in Spanish, you are really lucky.
Indeed, many Hispanic countries are dream destinations.
Travel to a Spanish-Speaking Country
To go to an Hispanic country, several choices are available to you:
- Language holidays;
- Language courses abroad (for students and adults);
- Working in another country;
- Humanitarian work.
As you understand, depending on your age, and whether you are a student or a professional, the options available to you differ.
The Different Types of Linguistic Experiences Abroad to Improve Your Spanish
Let's be honest, not everyone wants to learn Spanish online. In fact, not everyone want to learn Spanish with a Spanish teacher. This is where a new learner can turn to the Spanish immersion in a Spanish-speaking country option.
Regarding the linguistic holiday, first of all, it is possible for your children to go alone or with friends to a chosen country. Spain is obviously a popular destination, because the Spanish culture shares some obvious similarities with other European countries. The important thing is to be able to immerse yourself in the language and the Hispanic culture.
In order to choose the ideal linguistic experience for you, start by choosing the country that appeals to you best, and how long you want to stay for. You can find plenty of help on the internet regarding this, such as this handy guide to the best student cities in Spain.
You can easily find options of one or more weeks depending on your budget and the your personal goals.
What is interesting about language holidays is the possibility to discover a culture by living with a host family.
This kind of stay will not only allow you to make huge progress in your conversational Spanish, but you will pick up a stack of new Spanish words and Spanish verbs that are used in an everyday setting. These are verbs that beginners may not necessarily pick up by studying at a Spanish language school.
Aside from this, you will learn loads about Spanish culture, and your accent will improve as you will be speaking Spanish all the time.
Knowing the culture is part of becoming bilingual. You can only really say that you speak a language fluently when you understand its culture. Again, this is something you might not get from your weekly Spanish class.
Besides, there is probably loads that you didn't know about Spanish, and learning about the culture of the language is one way to understand the intricacies of this romance language.
However, learning a language usually does require some sort of structured learning, whether this is in a classroom or not. You will learn a variety of phrases from native speakers on the street, but you will need to grasp the grammar in Spanish in order to fully know how to use them.
For language classes, you have even more options. Often in small groups to allow the teacher to follow all of the students easily, you can learn Spanish fast, especially when coupled with all the practice that you will get such by living your life in one of the many Spanish speaking countries.
What is good with language courses in summer is the fun side of these lessons that really contrasts with usual courses provided by the National Education throughout the year. Here, everything is done to allow you to learn while having fun.
Whether communicating between participants, or discovering the culture of your country or host city, you will have all of the necessary tools to immerse yourself totally in Spanish.
Who knows, once your level improves slightly, you could even find yourself working or volunteering in your new surroundings!
Learn Spanish in Spain or beyond!
As we have already mentioned, if you want to go to a Spanish-speaking country, you have plenty of options available to you. If you are considering Spain as your first option, you are probably thinking about choosing between Madrid or Barcelona. But have you considered these other options in Latin America:
- Costa Rica;
The most difficult thing might actually turn out to be which country to choose!
But nothing prevents you from repeating this experience several years in a row, each time in a different country.
Learn Spanish with a Summer Course
For many, the mere mention of the word "course" would scare them enough to make them run away without even trying. It is true that we don't want to learn a language, read tons of books, and think about what is a verb, and how to structure a sentence, once the holidays start.
Yet, think again: summer school is a long way from resembling the courses taught in your school with the classic Spanish programs. In a summer language school you do a lot more than learning about conjugation and tenses.
In fact, as a beginner who wants to learn a new language, it is a completely different learning experience.
Visit Spain to Take Spanish Summer Classes
To start, you have the opportunity to take summer courses in Spain itself. We started talking about this previously but without going into details.
Through a little bit of research, you can find some great offers at Spanish schools in Spain. These could be intensive courses, private lessons, or specific courses (for example, Spanish courses + dance or Spanish + cooking).
Basic Spanish is easy to learn in dedicated language lessons. In these course, you learn to understand the language, its grammar, and verb conjugation with a teacher who can really make you understand how the language works. It is essential to get the fundamental basis of a foreign language to be able to move forward in conversational skills, and to be able to then understand its culture.
For example, after a very quick search, we found Spanish summer courses in Malaga with cultural and sports activities in the morning, and lessons from 4pm to 7pm.
Many Spanish institutes open their doors in the summer.
So, no matter how old you are and how well you speak the language, you will find the appropriate courses.
A Good Way to Learn Spanish for Beginners: Practice with Bilingual Native Spanish Speakers
To conclude, let's put the Spanish classes London or elsewhere aside. Summer and its pleasant temperatures, day and night, can, indeed, be the opportunity to meet surprising and friendly people. There is no more efficient way to become fluent than speaking every day and actively learning the language as it comes to you.
Whether it's at a bar, a nightclub, an event, or a party: in summer, we are more likely to meet new people. It's a fact: the barbecue brings us closer to together.
To meet people, you have several options, depending on your ability to reach out to others.
Make random meetings to improve your Spanish.
If you are sociable and if you enjoy chatting with strangers, you will have no trouble meeting with Spanish speaking people to help you learn.
In most big cities in the western world, you are probably not too far from a Spanish conversation (obviously, it will be easier in an Hispanic country like Spain or Mexico than at home). When you find one, you can introduce yourself by saying that you would like to improve your Spanish.
If this is a little bit out of your comfort zone, then see if there is a Spanish Institute in your local area. Such places, including the Instituto de Cervantes, often offer conversation clubs with a relaxed atmosphere when you can go and speak to native speakers, as well as other Spanish learners about any topics that interest you.
Spanish pronunciation will also come easier and more naturally this way. In a way you get great Spanish lessons with actual Spanish teachers who will not put you in the position of a student. Learning Spanish whilst travelling will be a lot easier if you already have some conversational experience with a native speaker!
Find a Spanish Speaking Correspondent
Finally, last option: find a Spanish speaking correspondent.
It's a great way to practice Spanish. The person you will communicate with you in Spanish, or in English if you want to have a language exchange. You can create a friendship as you find out different things about each other, and each other's culture. You never know, you may even end up visiting your new friend on the other side of the world one day.
Finding a correspondent is a great way to work on your Spanish, and improve your grammatical knowledge, your vocabulary, and your abilities to express yourself in Spanish. Ask them to correct you if necessary.
Of course, this method is suitable for people who already have enough a basic knowledge of the language to be understood. If you already have an intermediate Spanish level, this option is perfect to improve your language skills, especially your grammatical knowledge, and your vocabulary.
In addition, it is always useful to know people all around the world.
Summer is definitely the perfect time to improve your Spanish. The sun and the heat are both natural sources of motivation to go out and meet new people.