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Learning Spanish II

It seems like a lot of my posts are starting to have a Part II to them… Well, the Learning Spanish post is no exception.  I’ve been down here just over three weeks now and while I’m picking up the language in bits and pieces (I can almost read a full menu now!), I was starting to wonder if 4 hours per week with my tutor, Marco, was going to cut it. He’s great, by the way, but I found that once I left the classroom, I was not always keeping up with the lessons.

Luckily, one of my blog readers, Henry, let me know that The University of Buenos Aires was about to start an 8 week intensive course in Spanish as a Foreign Language on Monday. It’s 4 days per week for 2 hours per day for a total of 64 hours.  He said that his friend took the course and it really helped him, and I had heard the same on some other expat forums.  I decided to check it out and went down for the placement exam. After placing into Level 1 (there is no Level 0), that was enough convincing for me. I signed up.  The cost is AR $1053 in one payment or AR $554 for two payments. So for US $5/hour, I’m now enrolled!  There’s no more than 14 people per class, and they’re entirely in Spanish.  I’ll see how it goes, and I’m keeping my more private sessions with Marco too.

I’ll be sure to let you know how it goes!


Learning Spanish

I had my first Spanish lesson on Tuesday, and thanks to reading another blog, I found a great teacher, Marco Luccón who runs Hablar en Buenos Aires. He’s 24 and really loves languages and teaching. He has split his apartment in Palermo into a living area and a classroom (complete with whiteboard) and has prepared many of his own materials.  I had originally decided to take two classes per week, but now that I’m realizing how much I actually need to learn, I’m going to see about bumping that up to three classes per week. He charges AR $30/hour for individual lessons and AR $44/hour for group lessons. His web site slogan is “Now learning Spanish is fun and easy” and while I’m not so sure about that, so far, the class has been great.

I’d strongly recommend Marco if you’re in the area. I also interviewed a couple of great private tutors who will come to your house, but I decided I needed something to get me out of the apartment. I also considered enrolling in a group class, but I liked Marco’s approach more. If you’re looking for advice on what may be best for you, the BA Expats Forum is a great place to ask for recommendations for schools or tutors.

I also have a copy of Rosetta Stone, which is a great program.  I started to use it before I moved, but did not keep up with it. I’m planning to go back to that as well to learn as much as I can as quickly as possible.

There are also a number of new Web 2.0 sites that promise to help you learn Spanish:

I didn’t use these too much, but they may be another good resource for you. I’ll let you know how my lessons progress.