Learn with Locals or Enroll in a School?

Which is better?

If you are planning to live in a Spanish speaking country you might be wondering if you should go to an actual school to learn the language or is it better to learn from the locals you meet every day.

My Experience

When I was living in Colombia I studied Spanish at a university.  Now it was mainly so that I could get a student visa but I did want to learn Spanish as well.  It was a cool experience but I never really enjoyed being a student.  Going to class every day and doing homework was never really something I would call fun.

What was more exciting for me was learning from people that I interacted with every day.  I started to think of every person that I ran into on the street as a potential Spanish teacher.  So rather than just having the one Spanish teacher at the university.  I had thousands when I walked outside the school walls.

I found that people were really helpful in giving me tips to improve my Spanish.  People would correct me and tell me better ways to say things.  Some even went above and beyond.  They would teach me what felt like a full Spanish class about my mistake and how to fix it.  Some of the actual teachers that I had were nowhere near as helpful as people I met in passing out and about in the city.

So is it better going to a school to study Spanish?

Going to a school really helps especially if you are the person that is into that.  However, you can learn a lot from just tapping into the natural surroundings of all the Spanish speakers that surround you.  The best way to get the most out of it is to combine your classes with the bigger classroom around you outside of the school.  If you do that you are on your way to improving a lot faster than just doing either one on their own.

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Unlock your Spanish voice!

Learn all the Spanish you need for real life.

Unlock your Spanish voice!

Learn all the Spanish you need for real life.