Posts Tagged ‘student’

Studying Spanish in Argentina? 7 Don’ts of Learning Spanish

Friday, July 7, 2017 7:40

Categories - Spanish, Uncategorized - 0 Comments

Before you study Spanish in Argentina, you may be practicing at home gearing up for your trip abroad in a Spanish speaking country.

You’ve been trying to learn Spanish. You memorize a few new phrases and then give up. You wonder, “why isn’t is sticking?”

Sound familiar? Most students tackling a Spanish feel this way at some point.

Without the guidance of professional teachers, studying Spanish can have lots of starts and stops. Here are 7 things not to do while learning the lingo in a foreign tongue.

IMG 6640 300x169 Studying Spanish in Argentina? 7 Don’ts of Learning Spanish

What Not To Do While Studying Spanish

1. Don’t skip out on setting goals

Setting goals isn’t just for the gym. Goal-setting is a great tool when it comes to studying Spanish. Do you want to become conversational with other Spanish speakers? Do you want to pass the DELE exam? Want to become fluent in the language? Fluency means different things to different people, so it’s important to narrow down the reason why you are studying Spanish so as to not get overwhelmed. Once you have narrowed down your goals, you’ll be extra focused when hitting the books.

DO: Write down macro and micro goals for your language learning and celebrate every time you reach one of them. An example of micro goals before arriving in Argentina for Spanish classes could be: (1) Memorize the alphabet, (2) Practice the Argentine slang and lunfardo—che! Dónde está el bondi?, (3) Know how to introduce myself in Spanish.

2. Don’t ignore phonetics

Want to sound like a native? You have to think about things like word stress, sentence intonation, rhythm, and more. Plus, each dialect has its own accent. But getting the hang of phonetics is especially important if you plan on traveling to a country to learn the native language of the people there. Speaking with the right accent can make you a more confident speaker and it makes it easier for a local to understand you.

DO: Identify the phonetic rules in your target language that give you the most trouble. For example, native English speakers learning Spanish typically have the most trouble with the letter “r.”  You can find the pronunciation of any word on Forvo. For studying Spanish in Argentina, try watching Argentine films such as The Motorcycle Diaries, Los Secretos de Sus Ojos, and Relatos Salvajes.

3. Don’t focus on irrelevant vocabulary

Many at-home programs toss around a mixture of vocabulary, verbs, and phrases that may have nothing to do with your life or your plans abroad. So be sure to focus on words that are specific to you. Not only will you quickly reach a conversational level that is relevant to your life but the vocab will also become easier to remember.

DO: Start studying a language by writing about yourself (hobbies, travel plans, family, etc) and build your language knowledge from there, choosing complementary words.

4. Don’t miss out on language immersion

Growth is inevitable when you fully immerse yourself in a new country, a new culture and Spanish. The deep mental involvement challenges the brain in unique ways while building confidence in the language and lending various learning opportunities and practice with native speakers.

DO: Check out Expanish Spanish School’s Spanish courses in Buenos Aires, Argentina for the complete immersion package. With classes available for all levels taught by native Spanish speakers and free activities every week for students, it’s a fun way to surround yourself with Spanish and quickly reach your language goals.

 

While You Study Spanish in Argentina…

5. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes

You may have the written accuracy of a language prodigy but speaking in real-time with natives is where growth happens. So get ready for some mistakes. If you have ever confused the Spanish word for “embarrassed” and said estoy embarazada (meaning “I’m pregnant”) instead of the correct phrase tengo verguenza, the conversational mishap would leave you….well, embarrassed. I bet you anything you’ll never forget the correct phrase again. And you know what? That’s great! Most Spanish speakers will laugh it off and help you learn to maneuver correctly in their language.

DO: Approach each conversation as a learning opportunity and not as a test.

6. Don’t speak English

Did you fly to another country to speak in your native language? Or did you come to learn? I think you came to learn. Don’t fall into the English trap while conversing with friends or asking for directions in tourist areas. And when you have some downtime after a long day of sightseeing? Don’t succumb to your favorite homeland TV show. Take that opportunity to dive headfirst into the culture. For example, if you are living with a homestay family, have a look at primetime television shows in Argentina. Or read the local newspaper. Or listen to the national radio. You get the idea.

DO: Tell any locals you meet that you are practicing your Spanish skills. Not only should they be more inclined to have back-and-forth with you, it may dwindle their urge for them to practice English with you. This is your time to shine. Indulge yourself.

7. Don’t lose faith

Don’t get down on yourself when you haven’t gone from complete beginner to fluent in a few months. Studying Spanish takes calculated steps, dedication and lots of help from trusted teachers, classmates and Spanish-learning friends. Embracing every milestone, every newfound word, every successful lesson makes keeping the faith a little bit easier.

DO: Return to step 1 of this list if you need to re-adjust your goals.

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My experience with DELE

Monday, September 14, 2015 11:38

Categories - Spanish, Student Stories - 0 Comments

Before starting my Expanish experience, originally I had no plans on extending my stay in Buenos Aires. It’s funny how things can pan out in life, from originally being a 3 month holiday, 10 months later I am still here in Buenos Aires. I have been studying at Expanish all up 6 months and have had the amazing opportunity of also working here. Expanish has been much more than just a learning experience, I have made lifelong friends, learnt from others, developed a new perspective on life and created close bonds with my teachers inside and outside of Expanish.

The first month at Expanish I wanted to learn basic spanish for travelling purposes and really wanted to get a grasp on this amazing language. I would then carry on with my South American journey and then in three months return home to Australia. How boring right… Thanks to my spontaneous self it has been one of the best decisions I have ever made. I recall one of my first weeks in Expanish, I had made up my mind that I was going to stay here in Buenos Aires for a year, there was nothing that was going to stop me. The thought of living abroad for a year is both exciting and overwhelming, without a rough plan or possible opportunities you may encounter/ be interested in, you may find yourself in a pickle. So as you can imagine, I started to come up with a plan. Well let’s say the least, a very vague plan which mind you is the best plan, as I am not constrained by anything, freedom has never felt so good!  But one thing I was sure of was that I was going to complete my Diploma in Spanish (DELE). Why not when I’ve been studying hard for 6 months? It deserves some recognition and it’s just another thing to put on your resume to wow your future employers. In Australia speaking spanish isn’t one of our most popular languages spoken other than english. So I thought that by taking advantage of this and being recognized for speaking the language, it is a great way to brand yourself and most importantly distinguish yourself from others-making you unique and stand out of course!

The next step was to roughly arrange my time. Personally having just finished my two degree course over a four year period I couldn’t embark on another long study journey, so the only answer I could come up with (to avoid studying for 6 months straight) was travelling. Not a bad excuse hey! I decided to break up my studying by travelling to Colombia and Panama. Then on return from my holiday, embark on the last study period at Expanish. Now the hard work started..practising for the DELE exam isn’t exactly easy, it involves hard work, a lot of dedication and a positive attitude. At the end of the day study is study, if you want results you always have to put the hard yards in. What made this experience most enjoyable was my classmates and teacher. The last study for me in Expanish was a 3 month period where I participated in group classes with Eduardo (my teacher) and then in the last 3 weeks before finishing I took on private classes in preparation for my exam. The added bonus of my DELE classes is that Eduardo was my teacher, one of the most passionate and admirable teachers I have ever been taught by and have been fortunate in meeting. And mind you I have been taught by A LOT of teachers, like most of us I would say.

The DELE classes took place every day (Mon-Fri) for 2 hours each day. We covered the four sections of the exam, listening component, writing, conversation and reading. All the materials supplied are from level B2 of DELE exams that were from previous years. There are 6 levels of the DELE exam, A1, A2, B1, B2, C1, C2 (C1, C2-these levels more so for native speakers). I chose to do/in the progress of studying for level B2, as I am currently in C1 level and believe that this is a level I will successfully be able to pass/ receive good marks-given that I also have sufficient time to study for this exam. Doing the DELE exam is also great if you are interested in working in South America as many international organisations require you to have completed a certain level of the DELE exam. Also most of the universities in Argentina require you to have sufficient knowledge of at least a B1/B2 level of spanish. This is definately a great motive in completing your diploma, more work and study opportunities! I know that this diploma will come in handy for me on the next return to Argentina or other Spanish speaking countries.

What surprised me with the exam preparations was that just after the first week of private classes my spanish had immensely improved, my vocabulary had improved, I was using big fancy words when speaking, spoke with very few errors and for longer periods of time. My teacher was impressed of how just one week I had rapidly improved and I too personally recognized the jump in my spanish level. This is a great feeling, my hard work and studying was paying off, but I still have along way to go..

All up, I have not yet completed my exam, little time remains up until the BIG day! I think that by telling you my experience of how it really is or how it has been is a great way in assisting you with any doubts or concerns you may have of DELE and a great insight. As you can tell and get my gist I highly recommend anyone in completing the DELE exam and giving it your best possible shot. It is truly an enjoyable experience where you get to discover and unravel the spanish language, dedicate your time effectively and efficiently to end results that will pay off, have yourself a diploma, oh and did I forget to mention studying in BUENOS AIRES!

expanish 237 de 237 1024x564 My experience with DELE

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First day at Expanish

Monday, August 24, 2015 12:07

Categories - Expanish News - 0 Comments

This day for many is nerve racking: it’s like the first day of school all over again. The thought of the unknown and embarking on new experiences for some is intimidating and overwhelming, however for some being the most memorable first experiences. That first experience in meeting your best friend, trying mate for the first time (famous Argentinian drink) or simply the comforting feeling that you are in a safe place in Buenos Aires.

Usually the case is everyone feels slightly nervous, however these feelings go within no time after feeling more at ease with the situation. On your first arrival at Expanish, within the first hour you will feel completely free of any emotions that may have been affecting or holding you back! The first hour involves a fun packed orientation where you get to meet your fellow peers, play games, are informed on general information of Buenos Aires and are required to complete other enjoyable activities-we can’t reveal all as that would be no fun, and everyone likes surprises!

However, before all these fun filled activities, a small exam, “un examen chiquito” is required to distinguish which level your Spanish is at. Then from there, the teachers can determine the most suitable and appropriate class for you. You will also receive a welcome pack which is filled with useful information on the best places to eat, how to get your first subte card, weekly activities the school has to offer (definitely get on board with this, it’s a great way to make new friends) discounts for places to eat and lots of other useful information. Oh and not to mention you get a cute expanish bag, it’s great to put the books in and keep as a little memory/souvenir of the school!

The morning tour you are introduced to our wonderful school and may meet some of our teachers on the way. You will definitely meet Gabriel (Expanish Academic Director) which is by far a favourite and plays a very important role with your studies at Expanish. If you are having any doubts, worries about your studies or either just want to add classes, Gabriel is your go-to man. On your first day you will also meet our famous Milva! Expanish and Milva go hand in hand, when you think of Expanish you think of Milva, you could say she’s kind of a mascot for Expanish. Milva works at reception and will help you with all your needs, even if it’s the smallest question or worry Milva has all the answers.

After your first class, to end the day you have a tour on general advice, directions and locations of surrounding neighbourhoods and a talk on safety -for example distinguishing between fake and real notes. This talk is very useful and will give you the heads up on what to do and what not to do! We can promise to you that your first day will be very welcoming, memorable and simply just nice. What more could you ask for, studying a language you enjoy in a beautiful city-mind you in the best location of Bs As, meet and make friends with people around the world, oh and get taught by the best teachers? Nothing beats an experience as such…

TanjaMiletic 3 1024x683 First day at Expanish

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Studying Abroad: An interview with one of our students

Friday, November 7, 2014 12:10

Categories - Student Stories, Uncategorized - 0 Comments

Pete, 29, London

student e1415382218708 224x300 Studying Abroad: An interview with one of our students

Why did you choose to come to Argentina?

I have lived here before in 2003 for more or less 6 months, when I was 19 years old. After stopping through Argentina for a month, I went travelling through South America for 4 months and then decided I really wanted to come back. I worked in a couple of bars and really got to know Buenos Aires and my Spanish was at a really good level.

How was your Spanish before you came?

Pretty much non existent. I had studied Spanish for a year in high school learning basic introductory Spanish.

What made you want to come back?

I turn 30 in January and just had a bit of a life epiphany. Having of kept in touch with people I had met in Buenos Aires but had moved to Europe. I kept my Spanish going speaking to them and then realised I can really talk and thought I should dedicate some time to getting it back in to shape.

Why Expanish?

Well, it had a very good reviews and testimonials about this place. As well as the location being right in the centre of town. It also seemed to have broad mix of students with different levels of ability. There also seemed to be a lot of places that just offered introductory and beginner courses. However, because I did have a background of learning Spanish,

When I came here I was fortunate enough to meet Gabriel. The first thing he did was ask me to do a test, to see how good my Spanish was. It was a little bit dissapointing as I was not as good as I thought I was. He then put me in a class with everyone at the same level as me. What I really liked is that the classes are not dictatorial, we talk loads and that really is the best way to learn Spanish! I am really enjoying it! One thing you kind of forget is that Brazil is just next door so you get a lot of brazilians in the school, which is awesome! If I look back at what I learn’t in school in that one year of High School, I have probably more in the one month that I have been here than I did in that entire year.

What do you like about Argentina?

I find that the people are generally really warm and welcoming. Obviously its sad at the moment with the state of the economy. However, on the flip side it means that we can live and travel and come to school quite cheaply, relatively talking. I like the fact that having spent 9 years in London where they are rules and regulations for everything, then in comparison here there isnt much order but in a positive way, there is rules and regulations too but not everyone respects them and it kind of makes you feel free in a way. I have been quite fortunate to end up in a neighbourhood called Caballito, which I didnt know so well prior to coming here. But, its really cool I really really like it.

What activities did you do here?

I have seen a couple of movies, which was really good. Then I went to the Intercambio which was fun and I think I am going to the Mate tasting this week.

How long are you going to be here for?

Well I am here to stay ! I plan to study here at Expanish until December, being 3 months in total, then I am going to do the DELE exam as I think it will be a worthwhile thing to do have a universal accredited qualification of my Spanish. Then, have a go at starting my own business here, with 9 years of Digital and start up experience under my belt so it seems like everything is coming together quite well.

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