Thursday, 13 November 2008

Estoy aprendiendo espanol...not so much

A few weeks ago I started taking Spanish lessons.

Before I moved to Spain I was teaching myself and it was going really well. I had some podcasts that I listened to while commuting to and from work, which would take on average 40 minutes. That meant each day I could do almost an hour and a half a day of "lessons."

But here in Spain, of the two jobs I've had, the longest commuting I've had to do is a 10 minute walk. Almost the same time it to to walk to the bus stop back home. And now I work from home which means I get even less time to listen to lessons.

Obviously you'd think that working from home would give me more time. But I get up later, work more (in this job I can't spend hours online and still get paid for it) and tend to do a bit more around the house. Which means that 6oclock comes round quicker and then I'm in "relax" mode.
I guess I have bad time keeping.

But my Spanish lessons are a good idea. It makes me get out of the house. Forces me to take part in lessons. Not only that, I actually use the Spanish I learn (you tend to find there aren't many people wanting to speak Spanish at 630am on a packed train).
And it's nice being surrounded by a Spanish environment. Across the road from the class is an old persons home. They do a lot of painting and dancing. So some times when learning Spanish you'll have flamenco music coming through the windows and the occasional sound of dozens of feet stamping on the floor. It's nice.
And afterwards on the way home when walking through the main town there are always a lot of people eating out in bars and restaurants. It's certainly an alien feeling in November compared to what I was used to this time last year in England.

There is a slight problem though. It's not that the whole class is in Spanish. But what was suppose to start as a beginners class has turned quite difficult.
Whats happened is a Experienced Spanish Course has started on a Friday. One of the people from that class started taking the Tuesday/Thursday--free--beginners class. Probably to brush up. I think it's trickled through the class that there is this other class to brush up on.
So now more experienced Spanish speakers are taking the beginners class and the average level of the class has increased A LOT.
So I'm slowly starting to think I'm falling behind. Already some of the beginners have dropped out of class and I'm feeling a bit of the same.
I'm thinking that if I took the same time that I put aside for lessons now but went back to teaching myself I'd be able to work at my own pace and from text books I understand.

The problem with this is outside my Spanish lessons there aren't many Spanish people I speak with. So anything I learn I'll forget again unless I use it.

I'm going to keep going for now. I'll have to start putting a bit of an effort in to home studying. Combining the two sounds like the best option really. I just hope that in the mean time I don't get left too far behind in class.

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