The ABC of ELT

My Spanish Learning Adventure

When I first moved to Spain a year ago I was determined to study Spanish hard. Having moved to Ukraine I knew how useful having the local language was in all sorts of ways even though it’s possible to get away with knowing very little of the local language.

As such I was determined this time to take classes, having had formal classes in Ukraine I knew they would guarantee at least that time spent in study and were a great opportunity to clarify the tougher aspects of grammar (plus I love the social side of groups). Unfortunately, due to laziness and the difficulties of living in a small city, I didn’t find a Spanish teacher.

So last year my total Spanish learning comprised of occasionally picking up a communicative text book (where activities such as “discuss X with your partner” were redundant, VERY occasionally picking up a Spanish grammar book, working through the foundational Michel Thomas Spanish course, the regular interactions I had on the street, in the supermarket etc living with two Spanish girls who spoke little English and went away most weekends (when I was free to speak) and later on using Duolingo.

The net result was not impressive. I got better but not dramatically, I could communicate but with a lot of mistakes and the past tense is still a mystery to me.

This year I knew it was not optionally and I was absolutely determined to take some classes and make sure that I could accurately and easily communicate basic sentences. (I can definitely see how a complete lack of focus on Accuracy doesn’t mean a focus on fluency as it can take me a while to try and work out a way to express a verb without using that verb as I don’t know it, or just adding “in the past” at the end of the sentence means the person has t change their understanding of everything I said before.)

So after a while I found another school that is offering classes for a great rate. I’m taking classes three times a week in a group (have I mentioned that I’m a fan of group classes). There are two other students who are both from Ireland and my teacher is a Native of Badajoz.

I don’t want to say too much more about them, I’ll invent some fake names to protect their anonymity and I want to make it clear that although I’m sure i’ll make some criticisms of the classes, I’m sure I’d do the same if I was giving myself the classes.
I hope you’ll follow this journey and find it interesting.

Are you learning a language at the moment? Do you have any questions

About Chris Wilson

I'm an English Language teacher based in Krakow, Poland. I enjoy writing, using technology and playing the Ukulele.

One Reply

  1. Ludovic Carceles

    I’m learning English! Though I have lived in Ireland for 3 years I think I still learn more everyday especially in verbal communication.
    Pronunciation is still difficult to me with some words and also sometimes I find difficult to understand my fellow Irish co-workers and their Corkonian accent 🙂
    I wish I took real course but now after 3 years I’m not sure it would be valuable for me…

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