My time in Spain
I have always wanted to study Spanish because many people speak it in the US. In fact, there are more Spanish speakers in the US than Spain's total population.
I arrived in Madrid during their long Christmas season and witnessed a parade much like mardi gras in New Orleans. Saw a Flamenco show in Sevilla in Andalucia and visited the Roman ruins of Merida. My favourite part was seeing Toledo, visiting the Jewish quarter, the Cathedrals and learning about El Greco the painter.
Suggestions for those who want to visit Spain to learn Castellano or another language: Learning a language is about living the language! Go to cafes and restaurants that are busy and listen, or go to places that are quiet and strike up conversations with bartenders. You'd be surprised at how many like that you have an interest in their language. Read the newspaper. Watch the news. A great show to watch here is pasapalabra. Also, your choices for what to watch on Netflix depends on your IP address, so I was surprised to find my choices on Netflix were mostly Spanish movies and in many other European languages.
One of my professors told me the reason why only 20% of Spaniards can conversationally speak English is because in college it's mostly about writing, but not speaking. Speak! Making mistakes is part of the process. You can learn through mistakes.
If you can't afford to go to Spain or elsewhere, have language exchanges through websites and create self-immersion. Watch shows, read books and listen to music in target language. It's nice to get out of the echo chamber of daily routines in your native language.
I hope people enjoy this or find this interesting. Tenga un buen dia!
Spot on. You illustrate well the benefits in both learning Spanish and experiencing Spanish culture as a result.
Excellent! But you're much to young to be a Beatnik. Don't ask me how I know.
Lol, it's more about the appreciation for the lifestyle. I am not, but my younger sister definitely is one. :P
YOUR YOUNGER SISTER! Damn. that's it, I don't want to seen as robbing the cradle.
Hi Swingbeatnik, thanks for your post - I agree with you. Your post actually gives me an idea in this very moment and I shall make a new discussion post under Why not become an English teacher assistant in Spain? As you may know, Europe wants that the EU member states do have the same levels in education. And as you know and mention in your post, Spain has to make efforts to reach that goal. You find plenty of job adds of schools looking for assistant English teachers. I do not know all the details but they want the persons being of English native language. So, if you have the wish to work and live for a while in Spain,check-it out and take the chance.
Thanks for sharing!
My own experiences learning Spanish correlate quite neatly with this post!
PS I assume you are US citizen. The US do have a cooperation with Spain so that US-citizens can go there and work as English teacher assistants. I do not know about the details since I am not US. But this might be your chance to live and work in Spain for a while. Good luck.