Becoming Fluent in Spanish!
Hannah (23) spent 20 weeks in Madrid on a Spanish Gap Year course from July to November:
I had been to the Spanish language school in Madrid before. My expectation was that I would achieve fluency in Spanish at the school, by the time I had completed 20 weeks there. My expectations were met!
The class sizes were small with the average being made up of around 4 students. This meant time could be spent on things individual students found more difficult, plus there were opportunities for all students to contribute and participate fully. Some of the teachers also allowed the students to suggest activities to do in class which were different to those planned, e.g watching a Spanish film, or discussing specific topics.
The school has developed its own test books for students to use, which were excellent resources and allowed quick progression at those levels. The school was in a good, central location and was very friendly. Whilst there were some teachers who valued the separation between their work and private lives, there were others who were prepared to become friends with some of the students who like myself were there for a long period of study. This allowed me to see more of the Spanish way of life than would have been possible had I only become friends with my fellow non-Spanish students.I would recommend the school to anyone wanting to seriously develop their Spanish fluency.
The best parts of the programme were the teachers I met and the friends I made as well as meeting my objective of becoming fluent in Spanish. The opportunity to take advantage of Madrid’s cultural, sporting and social activities: going to the ballet, seeing La Liga matches, eating in some excellent restaurants.
Having visited Madrid before I already knew I liked the city. It is a large city although not too large, with lots of things to do. I found it a safe city to study and live in. There were good opportunities to use my language skills with local people. I would recommend students going to Madrid to visit cities such as Toledo, Segovia and Salamanca.
The flat I shared gave me the privacy, comprehensive facilities and given that my flatmates typically went away at the weekends, an opportunity to have visitors and space.
As with the past occasions I have used CESA Languages the service I received was excellent.
Having achieved fluency in Spanish, I would not need to do another Spanish course unless it was a specific recognised Spanish course which would provide me with an internationally recognised qualification such as the DELE course the school offers. However I would recommend others to go, especially those whose Spanish was at beginners or Intermediate level. If I were to undertake a fresh language I would certainly go to another country to undertake a language course with CESA.