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Monday, December 19, 2005 (read 661 times)

Beginner in Spanish, What Did I Learn in 6 Weeks?

by Jeroen

During my course I had four lessons per day. In Salamanca I took morning classes from 9:00 to 13:00, interrupted by a break of 30 minutes. In the café of the school I could recline a bit of all the studying, enjoy some tapas and coffee and chat with my fellow students and with the teachers.

But of course, in the lessons the focus was on the most important thing: learn Spanish. Because I was a complete beginner at the start of my course, I worked with the textbook 'Nivel incicial'. For every level, from beginner to superior, my school works with different books. Besides the different books, the teachers gave us extra study material on regular basis.

Learning Spanish is more than only learning vocabulary. On day one the main subjects were the pronunciation of the letters and the verbs in present time, but after six weeks I already knew a lot about the Spanish basic grammar. And that includes the presente, gerundio, imperfecto, indefinido and imperativo. Sorry for that. This summary may sound very vague, but it means that I can talk in the present, past and imperative tenses. Besides, we also discussed a manner that lets you talk about cases in the future. Ok, my teachers told me this is a simple version, the more difficult one we get in is our second book. With the knowledge of all those tenses, expressing myself is getting more and more easy. Thanks to this I can practice my Spanish also very well outside the classroom, for example on the street, in shops or during intercambios.

The Spanish lessons fortunately do not only consist of grammar exercises. For example: I had to speak (most of the time short sentences), sometimes write a little story or read one. The study book of my school contains a mix of different exercises, so I could learn a lot of practical basics, like: counting, how to order some bread, how do you manage you get the right medicines at the pharmacy if you don't feel well, etc.

Very diverse and helpful were the listen-to-Spanish- 'canciones' (songs) exercises. My teachers in Salamanca, Almudena and Maria, often brought their CDs and gave us the song lyrics, that we subsequently had to translate. And of course, it was important to learn Spanish words on a regular basis, but because during this in-country course you immerse yourself in the language and culture, vocabulary grows rapidly.

So, after six weeks I have learned a lot. We almost discussed the complete beginner's book. Right now, I am studying in Madrid, attending the 11th week of my course. And yes, since two weeks I am not a beginner anymore and I work with the second book, according to the school a book for intermediate students. That means progression! But before I'll reach that level, I have to study more. I'll be an intermediate student when I finished the complete second book. I'll go for it. ¡Venga!

Keywords: beginners


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