Learning Spanish in school: is it possible to start talking Spanish among classmates

Learning in class is the oldest form of learning and is still the most popular form of language learning. They are however often either not so efficient or unaffordable for some people due to the dynamics of their everyday life.

I am an avid supporter of language self-education. This does not man that I am against Spanish classes and Spanish language schools, or against Spanish teachers or tutors.

I myself have attended language class and I used to go to private lessons many years ago.

The class learning system has its sheer advantages and disadvantages like all the rest. If you know them, there are a couple of questions you have to ask yourself and give a clear answer.

Benefits of learning Spanish in school:

  • You can get attention from your teacher and you can ask questions him/her anytime you need. It is not possible to ask a wise man nearby while studying Spanish by yourself, and this is a problem.

Certainly if you are a proactive person, you’ll surely be able to find an answer to your questions but anyway it’s much more convenient to ask the expert next to you.

  • You are in a Spanish class, surrounded by classmates, who are interested in learning Spanish like you as well. You know that learning will take time and efforts but you are not alone.

You’ll have some problems, and other people are likely to experience similar problems too. You learn and they learn. You speak and they speak, you read and they read, you write and they write. You can share between you all your troubles, all the good and the bad moment during the study.

  • The learning process is distinctly interactive and you both track your progress easily and work on improving certain skills when needed. This is because the teacher plays a central part, he’s the one who guides you in your Spanish training.

Moreover he is the expert, so there are moments when he presents you what you have to learn, while the people in the class should listen. Next time the roles are changed and students are expected to speak – each alone and with each other – and show what they’ve learnt, while the teacher would listen, get the idea where how the training goes and makes certain decisions to make improvements, so that everyone of the Spanish class be a success.

Disadvantages of studying Spanish in school:

  • Spanish classes are expensive, often more expensive even than the most expensive language learning software. Lessons with a private tutor are many times more expensive than language classes.
  • Often Spanish classes would not match your time schedule and plans. It is not easy to find classes at the right time for you (if you go to work five days a week, you’re supposed to sacrifice either a couple of hours after your working days is over or your weekend), which are suitable for your level of knowledge.
  • Often the teaching pace might not be the proper for you. You might feel at a given moment that you’re progressing too fast, unlike the others, and that the teacher is moving on quite slowly with the material. Or on the contrary – to have some problems and feel yourself falling behind, while the teacher looks like speeding up the lessons. Certainly this is not an issue if you have a tutor, but as we mentioned above tutors are often hardly affordable.

I have a friend who studies Spanish and I think she does it quite successfully, what is more in her work she uses extensively both of them. She loves Spanish.

The only problem with her – she is not aware of it unfortunately – is that she has too little faith in her own abilities to cope by herself from a certain moment on. That is why she has gone to lots of courses and has passed lots of levels so far – and she always thinks she’s short of certain skills or she lacks some knowledge.

She does what she considers best for herself – she goes to the next Spanish language course. In my opinion in the latest courses she’s been to, she has barely learnt 10% new material.

But she is sure that the fact itself that she’s gone to a course, and having spent a big sum of money, will by all means bring the lacking skills. She cannot believe when I tell her that she doesn’t need any new Spanish courses at all, that she’ll manage perfectly all by herself and that she’s going to be the best among all her colleagues and managers.

The truth is that a training course cannot fully teach you how to successfully implement Spanish in practice, how to apply it in real life.

No one knows what the situations you’ll face will be like, so at a given moment you have to abandon any courses and take the things in your own hands. A training course has two sides.

First you feel calm and you’re not afraid of the new study – you have your well-prepared teacher and you have your classmates which like you have a lot to learn. But as time passes, you get addicted to that course. That’s why it’s vital that you choose the right moment to go on with Spanish by yourself.