Learn a Language in a Classroom or in Another Country
I have always wanted to learn another language. I tried French and did German for three years, but either of them really had me wanting to further understand the language. I guess I just didn’t like them, but for me Spanish was one language I have always wanted to learn. I thought if I learned Spanish I would have a lot better understanding of what many people around the world were saying. Considering over 19 countries in the world speak the language. I also knew it would be a great tool to have for traveling, since that is what I mostly due with my spare time.
So this year in early May I started going to University for part time classes to learn Spanish. The classes were only three hours long, once a week but I knew if I practiced enough and kept up the studying I would learn it fairly quickly. Well, for the most part I did learn a lot, but wow did I ever have to study and really try to speak it to others who knew Spanish well. Yes, at times I looked and sounded like a fool, but I was learning slowly. Yet, even though I was learning the grammar and how to correctly write in Spanish I still had trouble speaking back to others. Understanding it was fine, well only if they spoke slowly. But I compared this with a friend of mine who went to a Spanish speaking country for a month to learn the language. She came back speaking to me so smoothly in Spanish that I was jealous. I was shocked in how quickly she learned the language compared to me. She mentioned to me that she was surrounded by nothing but Spanish speaking individuals, so she had to learn fairly quickly in order to get by. Yet, even though she could speak back to me in Spanish, her grammar was incorrect and she couldn’t clearly write a paragraph compared to me.
So there are advantages to learning a language in a classroom environment and disadvantages to it too. First off, you learn to speak much slower in a classroom environment compared to learning it in the native language country. It’s only because when you are learning it in an classroom, you don’t go home still speaking it – so not being surrounded by it makes it more difficult for you to catch on as quickly. The advantage to a classroom environment is that you learn the correct grammar aspects of the language and usually can learn how to write the language quicker including correctly.
But as I see it, I rather speak the language rather than learn the grammar part of it. Maybe in the long run it is better to know the language correctly, but if you are traveling you want to learn fast!! How would you want to learn?