If you want to make the most of Gran Canaria it is well worth trying to learn a bit of Spanish. There are many ways of learning a foreign language and some ways will work for some people but won’t work for others. Below are a few suggestions of how you can start and how to improve.
If you are really serious about learning Spanish you should go on an intensive beginner’s course at one of the many language schools. Click here for a list of all the language schools in Gran Canaria, they don’t always offer Spanish classes so unfortunately it will just be a case of ringing round. The classes tend to be quite informal and follow the pace of the learners. They vary from a week to a month. If the school you want to go to doesn’t have any courses and they offer private tuition you’d be better off finding your own private tutor as it will be much cheaper.
Intermediate and above
The language schools don’t tend to have classes for intermediate students so you’d probably be better off going to the escuela official or looking for a private tutor.
Escuela official de idiomas
Click here to see the public language schools. They offer courses for all levels however the classes are at very odd times like 11am on a Wednesday morning so they are usually no use if you have to work. The classes are very structured and are more formal than the language schools, if you thrive in a traditional classroom environment these schools are for you.
There are a number of private Spanish teachers on the island and they charge between 15€ and 20€+. The quality varies so we’d recommend you try a couple until you find one you are happy with. We have a list of a few teachers to get you started, click here to see the teachers. If you are a teacher and you want to advertise your services leave a comment on this page and we’ll add your details to our database.
Michel Thomas has created a 8 CD set for learning Spanish and he claims that after listening to the 8 CDs you’ll be confident in the language. Whereas they don’t teach you all the grammar necessary and all the vocabulary they are a very good start and are a great way to build your confidence. You can buy them at Amazon here but they are also available on various P2P file sharing sites for free.
There are a number of great resources on the internet to help you learn Spanish. The following sites are highly recommended.
Notes in Spanish
On learnspanish.com they have a very useful audio guide to the top 100 spanish phrases, it is well worth downloading and listening to as it will actually make you sound more Spanish and less foreign.
Subscribing to Spanish podcasts is a great way to learn the language. The following are a good start.
However a search in itunes for Spanish lessons will give you a plethora of choices
1. Get a private tutor – have about 2 hours of classes a week. This will improve your speaking and listening.
2. Use the Michel Thomas Learn Spanish CDs – these will boost confidence and give you a real kick start in the language. Although they will not give the grammatical base that you will later need, they will give you the confidence to go out there and try to use the language.
3. Work your way through a textbook. Starting Spanish from scratch is a slow process if you only work with your tutor. If you work hard by yourself on vocabulary and grammar you will improve a lot quicker.
We arrived in GC in September, using this method, by Christmas we were socialising with Spanish people, watching Harry Potter at the cinema in Spanish and were comfortable in most situations.
1. Read a book – get a trashy novel and read it – don’t look up the vocabulary unless absolutely necessary and enjoy reading in Spanish. Choose your book wisely. The Harry Potter books, CS Lewis and Isabel Allende’s children’s books are a good start.
2. Try to watch TV – choose an American programme dubbed into Spanish, they use less vocabulary and are easy to understand. To begin with use subtitles in Spanish too.
3. Continue with your tutor.
4. Listen to a couple of podcasts and try to learn some Spanish phrases. The real Spanish vocabulary guide is a very good start.
If you have any suggestions to learn Spanish or have any experience of Language schools or tutors please leave a comment below.