I began taking one-to-one conversation classes with Spanish Connection about three years ago. I had attended an intensive three week Spanish course at the Escuela de Idiomas de Nerja and I was afraid that what I had learnt in three weeks I could easily forget in three weeks. But by attending conversation classes twice weekly for three years, I am now comfortable speaking Spanish. I still make mistakes and my vocabulary leaves a lot to be desired but I can get along pretty well in situations where Spanish is essential.
I am in just such a situation now. I’m in Oaxaca, Mexico, participating in the Oaxaca Film Festival. Most of the senior staff at the festival speak good English but many of the young volunteers do not and few people one meets in shops, bus stations or elsewhere here can speak no English at all.
Of course conversation classes on their own are not enough, if one wants to learn a language properly. Since my first intensive three week course, which was at elementary level, I’ve had a second three week course in Nerja and a third intensive course with Spanish Connection in London. My general level is now moving towards the higher end of intermediate but my spoken Spanish is much better than that.
In addition to my classes with Spanish connection, I also progress my level of Spanish by reading Spanish newspapers as well as novels and short stories by Spanish and Spanish-American writers in the original language and by watching Spanish language films.
All my teachers at Spanish Connection have been University Graduates, highly intelligent and interesting people in their own right. Our conversations have ranged over every topic you could think of and I have consequently learned a lot about Spanish culture, heritage, politics and attitudes to life. And I’ve had a lot of fun along the way.