Committed practice beats waiting to absorb Spanish

I’ll be keeping you up to date with my Spanish learning progress here. I had been studying Spanish on and off for many years before moving to Spain, but had not got beyond the beginner stage. Living in a Spanish speaking country has obviously helped me advance a lot, but don’t let anyone tell you that you will just ‘absorb’ the language by osmosis. It is communication with others that helps all the book learning and podcast listening stick.

Studying Spanish books
Steady studying works best for learning Spanish

I have the slight complication of living in Barcelona so I hear Catalan more often than Spanish amongst my friends. But everyone is very helpful and being bilingual they switch languages without a hitch. This does mean that the quantity of ambient listening to Spanish is not as high as it could be, but I can always turn on the radio or the TV.

I also work in an mainly English speaking environment, so that cuts 8 hours of potential practice out of each day. But you have to earn a living and it is an advantage in the workplace for me to be a native English speaker. I should speak more Spanish in the office, but the brain needs a rest sometimes. I’ve had colleagues be very surprised when they hear me speak in Spanish relatively well. They had assumed that I was another foreigner with just a few basic words.

What’s your level of Spanish?

So what about you? What is your level and how are you helping yourself to find opportunities to speak the language? Do you have to rely entirely on infrequent classes? Even worse, are you just studying Spanish on your own with no opportunities to speak the language with others?

If you’re in the latter situation let’s hope that this blog can give you a small bit of help and give you a boost in your Spanish language skills.