|Learning foreign languages in Andalucía|
Spanish Language Schools
Of the many ways to learn Spanish in Spain and get a good foundation in grammar and pronunciation, while having fun in the process is to attend a language school. A good course will give you the grounding you need to boost your confidence when practicing the language in 'real life' later. Language centres have access to many resources, including audiovisual, course material, experienced teachers and specific methods and courses, which will stand you in good stead and give you good ideas for future learning.
Language schools offer different courses, from beginner and intermediate to advanced level, depending on the existing knowledge and abilities of the student. Normally the school will assess your knowledge of the Spanish language, before allocating you to a particular section, making sure that you are in a group of students with similar capabilities. One-to-one and intensive courses are usually also on offer for those who need to speed up the process, perhaps to start a new job. Special business Spanish is also frequently on the curriculum, since many foreign people come to live and work in Andalucia.
Invariably, course content covers many aspects of the colourful Spanish lifestyle and history as well as the rich culture. This helps you understand more about the local people and their customs, which, of course, is all intertwined with the language and how it is used. In many cases, trips to historical landmarks, local theatres and festivals are incorporated into the course. This is not only a wonderful way to become immersed in the fascinating world of Andalucia, but it is also an excellent way to meet new, likeminded friends.
While the Spanish spoken in Andalucia has a notable accent, you are more likely to learn Castilian Spanish in a language school scenario. This is the best starting point in the same way that it is best to learn clear English, before picking up a regional accent. The language school will no doubt make you aware of the differences, so that you can converse with a wide range of people. Without some formal language training, you may pick up some bad habits before you've mastered the basics!
The Andalucian people are very friendly and open. Since so many British and other foreign visitors and residents often speak no Spanish at all, they are always delighted when you make the effort. With just a few useful phrases, you will begin to feel more involved in Andalucian life. You will also feel a great satisfaction in being able to travel more freely and be able to communicate, even when you are in towns and villages way off the beaten track.
Most language schools have special summer courses, designed for school and college students from other countries, when they can spend from one week to two months combining Spanish studies with a full social agenda. Accommodation can often be arranged by the language centre, in the form of living with a selected Spanish family, or, if the centre is linked to a local university, perhaps in nearby halls of residence. Courses of all types, for all ages are run all the year round and the best thing is to ask at a language school in an area you are interested in, what is available at a time that suits you.