Article by Jack Blacksmith
If you intend to spend a lot of time in Spain, whether by living there or frequent, lengthy stays, you will want to learn Spanish. For short visits, a few phrases may be sufficient but not for a longer stay and, especially, if you are living in the country. It is difficult to live in the country without speaking and understanding the language, which will help you adapt much faster.
There are quite a few options available today for learning Spanish, and you will need to find the best method for you. What works best for one student may not be the most effective learning method for another student. A combination approach often is best, which may include formal instruction, self study and practical use of the language.
Private instruction or language schools are easy to find, though they can be expensive in some cases. The most expensive method for learning Spanish is private instruction, but one-on-one instruction may be the best method for you as compared to group classes. Nonetheless, if you are not able to maintain a self-study program and keep up with the lessons, formal language instruction whether one-on-one or in a group is probably the best choice. Language exchanges are another great learning tool which can be found on the internet or in magazines and newspapers. Language exchange is more information learning method whereby you learn through informal conversation rather than curriculum-based. You can also use language exchanges as a supplement to a curriculum program or formal instruction, since any opportunity to speak and listen to the language will be beneficial.
If you are moving to Spain, you may want to check with the local city government as they may be able to provide you with some suggestions on local language programs. Some city governments even offer courses which are often free. Of course, there are language schools in Spain. For instance, there is a Spanish Language School in Madrid, the capital of the country.
Once you have learned the basics of the Spanish language, you will want to fine-tune what you have learned and continue to improve your conversational ability. Making friends in Spain is a great opportunity to converse using your new language skills. Not only will you be able to use your speaking and listening skills, making friends will also help you feel more at home.
As far as formal instruction, you can subscribe to more advanced materials such as a magazine subscription or a cassette. For example, the Puerta del Sol is a bimonthly publication which can not only help with your reading and speaking skills but also help you learn about the culture.
Finally, language or social clubs are a good way to improve your skills. These discussion groups are less instructional and more social and generally meet over dinner. This is a great combination of making friends, improving your language skills and eating a great Spanish meal. Such social situations help you gain confidence in your language abilities outside of the classroom and in the real world.
About the Author
The magazine writer Jack Blacksmith is specifically interested in subjects associated with Spain. You might find out more about his publications on learn spanish at http://www.alicante-spain.com and different sources for learn spanish information.