Advice on where to go and what to do when going abroad to learn a language?
I am thinking about living in Latin america for a 2-3 months (maybe Mexico or Columbia?) to improve my Spanish. I finished my Spanish tree last year and I am currently working on brushing up my German by doing the German tree.
I moved to Canada from France for studying and working in order to learn English What do you guys think is the best way to practice a new language abroad? going to a Spanish school? volunteering? working?. Can you guys share your experiences practicing and learning Spanish or another language abroad?
Any suggestion on which Latin country to go to practice my Spanish?
I've heard Mexico has the most basic/universal accent so maybe start there?
Where do you expect to use your Spanish after you master it? You don't want a Puerto Rican accent if you intend to do business with the wine industry of Chile! Personally I think that the accent in Michoacan produces the most beautiful Spanish on earth - when they talk they sound like they're singing! But that's just me. Probably fresas from Mexico City think it sounds unsophisticated.
Also when you choose how to spend your time there (working, volunteering, teaching, etc.), consider your ultimate goal for your Spanish. Mexicans, I know, are very class conscious, and they use language to judge your class. If you want Spanish for business, make sure you surround yourself with educated Spanish - you don't want to sound like a chilango taxista. On the other hand, if you want to work in anthropology or another field where you will be working with people in farm villages, you want to sound approachable, not like a Mexico City fresa. Personally I couldn't care less about class, but if my life goals depend on the perceptions of the people I will encounter in my future career, then I need to take their biases into consideration.
Columbia does indeed have a beautiful accent. They tend to run their words together badly, but that may be an advantage - if you can understand a Colombian, everyone else will sound staccato by comparison, and be easier to understand.
Just a thought, and I have no knowledge of the field, but... if you want to learn educated Latin American Spanish, maybe you could work as a private English or French tutor (your clients would be educated), or teach English and French in a high school, where all your colleagues would be other teachers and would speak educated Spanish.
Thanks guys for you suggestions. I am not sure where to i would use my Spanish after mastering it, i would want to use it universally as I am in the business field! Thanks for your smart recommendations, I will consider all the factors you mentioned Paula, being a tutor sounds great. did you live in Mexico before?
Que buena fuera! No, I've only visited Mexico briefly. But I live in an area with a large immigrant population, and I have friends who are recent immigrants, so we've had several deep conversations about culture.