Tips for Students

Learning a new language is a challenge as an adult (any young people reading this take note, get to learning now!) and doubly so when living in your native countries. Why?

Because there is no chance to practice. 

For English speakers, a lot of people speak English around the world. This might be useful when traveling, but it is also a real challenge when you're trying to learn and practice your new language.

That's why immersing yourself in a new culture and a new world can really accelerate the learning progress. If you are living in Buenos Aires, this will force you to practice every day ―at everything from your local bakery to the supermarket, to the hairdresser. It can be a little daunting at first, but it's really the only way to truly begin to learn and become confident at speaking. 

Of course, for those who are a little intimidated by that idea or would like to acquire the language properly, you can always choose to learn at a Spanish school. And Buenos Aires also offers a good mixture of speakers for your first few months. There is a bustling expat community for when you need a break from the challenge of Spanish, and many locals will be happy to practice their English with you. 



Choosing a Spanish course is probably going to be the first thing you look at when embarking on your quest to learn a new language. And while there are plenty of options to choose from, what you decide is going to depend on what your individual experience and what your goals are for the future! Are you wanting to learn Spanish to travel? Or are you wanting to make conversation? Have you taken Spanish lessons before, or is your experience limited yo what you've picked up on Duolingo? It's all relevant to what you decide to do!

For starters, if you're taking Spanish to travel, you might find yourself constrained by budget and time. That's why many travelers I've encountered around Latin America have generally opted for the intensive group classes option. These generally involve 15-20 hours a week in group, which allows you to practice interacting with other students and your teacher. These classes are basically your crash course, going over your important phrases that have to do with accommodation, food and transport, as well as the beginnings of the grammar that will become oh so important the more you delve into this new world of Spanish.

Travelers looking for that added extra ―or those limited to only one week of lessons― also often opt for the extra intense option, combining group classes with an additional of private lessons per day. This is a good way of getting that background basic knowledge and then having the teachers help to practice any parts of your lessons you are struggling with. 

Then again, if you're thinking at living in Buenos Aires and learning Spanish while working and exploring the city, you might want to take the more tranquil option ―this has certainly been my preference. Each day I take an hour and a halph of private lessons, giving me a total of 7.5 hours per week. In my opinion, this is also a great strategy for anyone beginning to progress to an intermediate level, since it allows you to practice your conversation more and focus on those frustrating tenses you can't quite get!

Whatever your decision, be sure to pick a good Spanish school for your studies with a teacher that matches your needs! 

By Aaron Hodges

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