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Learning Spanish by Budget Cost

Want to Learn Spanish? 5 Options Broken Down By Cost

You probably already know the benefits of learning Spanish, from getting ahead in the job market to networking with new friends and more! But as with any skill, language mastery takes time — and often money — to achieve.

If you’re wondering how much it costs to learn Spanish, there isn’t one hard-set answer — it really depends on how you’re going about your learning. These days, the Internet makes it easy to find resources to even teach yourself Spanish, without needing a ton of expensive books or software. If you’re on-the-go, free Spanish-learning apps can be a fun way to fit learning into your day.

And when you’re ready to get serious about your studies, the advent of online lesson platforms makes finding a tutor within your budget easier than ever.

So, what’s the right option for you and your budget? Continue reading to learn about five popular options to help you teach yourself Spanish.

Software

computer software for learning Spanish

The modern version of a workbook is language learning software. While there are many available out there, the most well-known option is Rosetta Stone.

Language software is a great option if you want to set your schedule — sitting down whenever you have some spare time — however, the biggest drawback is the lack of personal attention. You won’t be able to double check of your pronunciation with the software, so you’ll need to rely on your own ear to determine whether you’re getting the syntax and pronunciation correct.

This kind of software can cost you from $30 for a budget option up to a few hundred dollars for a comprehensive study of Spanish.

Example option: Rosetta Stone costs$499 for a 36-month beginner program.

Books

learning Spanish with books

This language-learning option was around well before computers, the Internet, or smartphones. A well-crafted book will allow you to learn a language without purchasing multiple resources and building a considerable expense, and similar to software, you can go at your own pace.

Keep in mind, though, that books share the same drawbacks as software as well. Most books will have quizzes or tests at the end of each chapter, but it’s difficult to really gauge your progress outside of that. On top of this, you won’t have the audio that software provides — typically just a phonetic spelling that you’ll need to decipher.

Books can be as inexpensive as $5 secondhand, or over $100 for a textbook.

Example option: Easy Spanish Step-By-Step is a top seller on Amazon, and the paperback version can cost less than $8.

Mobile Apps

learning spanish with apps

Nowadays, there’s an app for everything — including tons of apps for learning Spanish. Language-learning apps are quite similar to software, but they are obviously much more portable. It’s an easy option for quick study during your commute, on your breaks, or anywhere else that you bring your smartphone or tablet. In addition to being portable, many of these apps are free.

On the drawback side, however — keep in mind that these apps typically set your path for you and assume your goals. Because of this, you might get stuck at a certain “level,” even if what you really want (or need) to learn is introduced much later on.

Mobile apps may be free and ad-supported, or require a monthly subscription of $5 up to $40 or even more.

Example option: Download TakeLessons Live for free to access live, online classes in a variety of languages.

Online Learning Websites

learning spanish with websites

Don’t want to install software or download an app? Another learning method comes in the form of websites or tutorial videos. It shares the same drawbacks as apps and software, in that they’re not targeted to your specific goals. While there are certainly some great sites out there, there’s also a handful of not-so-great options — ones that rely on memorization and repetition, instead of real-life scenarios for learning.

Online resources can also be free and ad-supported, or require a monthly subscription of $10 to $50 or more.

Example options: Check out LearnWithOliver, or our other recommendations for Spanish-learning websites for adults, or free Spanish-learning websites for kids.

Tutoring

Learning Spanish by Budget Cost

Whether you seek an online tutor that you meet over video chat, or an in-person tutor that you meet with regularly, tutors are easily the most bang-for-your-buck.

You have complete control over the pace of your learning (your tutor will monitor progress and only proceed when you have mastered the current Spanish segment), instantaneous feedback on pronunciation errors, and the ability to ask questions about anything that you’re having trouble with. As you’re weighing options and considering how much a tutor will cost, it’s important to realize how much more you’re getting for the expense.

Tutors with TakeLessons set their own rates, which gives you a wide variety of options. You can typically find tutors for as little as $15 per hour up to $100 per hour, depending on experience.

Example option: A native Spanish speaker and TakeLessons Student Favorite, Georgina L. teaches beginners, intermediate, and advanced students at $30 per hour.

Teach Yourself Spanish - Options by Budget

So there you have it — several options for learning Spanish, all at your fingertips! Best of luck with your studies, and let us know if you need any help getting started. Going the tutoring route? Find Spanish tutors in your area and compare prices with a search here at TakeLessons!

Photos by Devon D’EwartLexnGerTom RafteryS MartinJeremy Wilburn

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How Well Do You Know Spanish? 15 Ways to Test Yourself

What's the Best Way to Test Your Progress As You Learn Spanish (timeline)How much do you really know from your Spanish lessons or classes? While there are a few Spanish proficiency tests available online, there’s an easier way to test yourself: simply ask yourself 15 practical questions. Read on as Fairfax, CA tutor Jason N. explains…

 

Learning Spanish can enhance your life in innumerable ways, such as having more competitive job opportunities, understanding Spanish films and poetry, and — most importantly — being able to form deep connections with people who only speak Spanish. Contrary to what many believe, you do not have to be young to learn a new language (although it helps). That said, learning a new language can be one of the most demanding goals you can conquer.

The depth of practice necessary to root Spanish into the brain so that it sticks for the long-haul can discourage many Spanish learners, and they give up before they are able to see the fruits of their efforts. This article is about preventing that, by keeping the bigger picture in mind when faced with seemingly insurmountable roadblocks.

You can think of the following questions as indicators of where you are, and that can point you in the right direction to get you “back on track” and not throw in the towel too soon. Each question follows a chronological order, and reflects a progressively more advanced command of Spanish. Effective language learning rewards persistence and repetition over a long time span. If you are reading this blog, you already learned one language, proving you can definitely learn another!

1) Can you sing the alphabet in Spanish? This is key to understanding, spelling, and pronouncing basic Spanish. Most Spanish classes start here. I start here with my students who are new to the language.

2) Can you conjugate a verb, especially hablar or comerWithout knowing how to conjugate verbs, we would not be able to form coherent sentences. Just like English, conjugating verbs is essential to learning Spanish.

3) Can you count to 100 in Spanish? Numbers are key to a basic knowledge of a language.

4) Can you differentiate between masculine and feminine nouns? Between ser and estar? Between por and paraUnlike English, every noun in Spanish has a gender! Learning their genders is just as important as learning the noun. The same applies to the differences between ser and estar, and por and para.

5) Can you routinely pluralize the articles and adjectives of any given noun? Plurality tends to follow nouns around in Spanish, unlike in English. For example, in English, we say “the red beautiful cars,” whereas in Spanish, we would say Los carros bellos y rojos.

6) Do you struggle with Spanish without giving up or feeling lousy? Struggling is where a lot of the learning happens, so be patient! Unfortunately, this is where many people give up. If you are being too hard on yourself when you haven’t learned a certain concept or word, pause and remember how difficult learning a new language is, by nature.

7) Is your vocabulary strong enough to order a meal or choose the correct bus or subway line without faltering?

8) Can you read an article in Spanish and get the general idea?

9) Can you formulate a complete sentence in Spanish?

10) Do you ever think in Spanish, or are you constantly translating words and phrases from English to Spanish in your head? On your road to truly becoming proficient in Spanish, you should gradually start to think in that language. This can be as simple as “How are you?” (¿Cómo estás? in Spanish) to as intricate as “I wonder why the person sitting in front of me at the coffee shop drank three coffees, but still fell asleep?” (¿Por qué la persona en frente de mí quedó dormida después de tomar tres tazas de café?) If you’ve been practicing for years, but are still mentally translating, see this link to practice Spanish on mobile applications, or even better, work with a tutor regularly!

11) Can you listen, read, write, or speak for more than 20 minutes without feeling like your brain is on a frying pan? Believe it or not, if you are a native English speaker, you once struggled to learn English as an infant and child. You were not always verbal. You have years, possibly decades, of English practice under your belt now. If you feel overwhelmed after practicing Spanish for 20 minutes, stop and take a breather. This is simply an indicator that you need more practice.

12) Can you watch a movie in Spanish without subtitles and not feel totally confused?

13) Do you dream in Spanish? A language really begins finding its way into the core of your neutrons when it influences your unconscious mind and habits. When studying Spanish in Costa Rica in 2010, I had recurring dreams of my Costa Rican friends and classmates correcting my Spanish grammar and pronunciation as I spoke to them. This isn’t exactly the kind of dream I am referring to, but I still associate this with when I truly started to become fluent. This was the first time in my life where I was writing, reading, speaking, and listening to more Spanish than English on a daily basis. Ask anyone who has successfully learned Spanish as a second language, and he or she will have a similar story.

14) Do certain words or phrase come more readily available to your mind in Spanish, before English? If you are listening, reading, speaking, or writing in Spanish frequently, you will know you’re doing well when you can think of the Spanish word or phrase before the English one every now and then.

15) Do you feel understood when you are in a context where only Spanish is used? 

With language, you either use it or lose it. These questions are meant to motivate you! Six years ago, I knew fewer than 40 words in Spanish, and now I work primarily with Spanish-speakers in one job and teach Spanish in my other job. It’s a long-term process, and your efforts (although not always tangible immediately) will reap incredible benefits if you stick with it!

Looking for a more interactive Spanish proficiency test? Here are some of our favorites:

JasonNJason N. tutors in English and Spanish in Fairfax, CA. He majored in Spanish at UC Davis, lived in Mexico for 3 years where he completed a Master’s degree in Counseling, and studied Spanish Literature and Psychology at the University of Costa Rica. Learn more about Jason here! 

 

 

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5 Things to Know Before Taking Skype Spanish Lessons

4 Things to Know Before Taking Skype Spanish Lessons

5 Things to Know Before Taking Skype Spanish LessonsInterested in learning Spanish? As you’re deciding between in-person and online Spanish lessons, consider these points by Fairfax, CA tutor Jason N...

 

Spanish continues to gain traction as the undisputed second language of California, and the United States for that matter. In the next decades, Spanish could even become the most commonly spoken language in this country. The U.S. Census Bureau reports that Los Angeles, California, for example, is 53% Latin American and growing. That means that if you’re Caucasian or born in this country, you could be an English-speaking minority in the near future!

So clearly you want to learn Spanish, but you are busy with children, work, family relationships, and many other competing demands on your time. Maybe you are a college student and don’t have time or space in your schedule to take a Spanish class. Maybe you may have tried mobile applications to learn Spanish, but have noticed that you learn best with a live human tutor rather than through an app.

A couple months ago, I wrote a blog about what to look for in a tutor, where I underscored seven key traits of an effective tutor, which was written assuming that you meet with your tutor in person. In this day and age in 2015, as technology increases in effectiveness, increases in use, and becomes progressively commonplace, many people are seeking tutors via Skype. The global market of “Skype tutors” continues to grow by the day. Consequently, for a myriad of reasons, you may be considering Skype Spanish lessons. Here, I underscore four points to consider before deciding to take Skype Spanish lessons.

1. Skype lessons are often cheaper

Maybe you are interested in private Spanish lessons but don’t have the budget to regularly meet with a private tutor, and have realized that Skype lessons can be a cheaper or more convenient option. Let’s be honest: private, in-person Spanish lessons can be expensive. Skype lessons can very well be a cheaper option. Many Skype tutors charge around $10 per hour lesson, when the average Spanish tutor in this country charges between $20 and $100 per hour.

2. Spanish via Skype can be convenient

Often we are too busy to fit in another outside activity. Undoubtedly, meeting with a tutor via Skype enables you to have the personal live tutor experience without having to leave your house or invite a tutor into your home whom you don’t know yet. It’s important to shop around first and find a great match. TakeLessons has a network of instructors who offer live Spanish lessons online via video chat.

3. Consider the technology

Despite the two benefits above, speaking from three years of experience tutoring Spanish usually in person and seldom by Skype, I strongly believe that learning is enhanced when the tutor explains and writes key words down on paper or in a textbook with you next to him or her, to facilitate learning. While Skype has a convenient screen-sharing option, it can be easily compromised by not being able to see your tutor’s face and hand gestures as he/she explains to you what they are demonstrating on the screen. This makes it similar to a short YouTube video lesson, which is not worth paying for or scheduling.

4. Key pitfalls

There are undoubtedly pitfalls to learning Spanish via Skype. These include:

  • Interruptions can be a lot more frequent than if the lesson were live. Having a regular Skype Spanish student, I’ve grown accustomed to the inevitable bad Internet connection on either or both sides, which can be frustrating and disrupt the flow of the lesson.
  • As I stated above, it is harder to teach conjugation and the nuances of the many and complex irregular verbs in Spanish. Screen sharing can only do so much.
  • It is hard to teach pronunciation across a screen, for example where to place tongue while pronouncing Spanish words that end in L, and how that differs from English.
  • Just like the visual pixel resolution is particularly superior in-person than on an iPhone 6, for example, the hearing ‘resolution’ is undoubtedly better in person. Have you compared the difference of a drum set and electronic drums? The electronic sounds will never sound as pure.

In conclusion, Skype Spanish lessons can be an attractive option depending on your specific needs, preferences, and life situation, while you don’t lose touch of the pitfalls. Skype lessons can be a cheaper, convenient, and unique adjunct to successful second-language learning. That said, based on my experience of learning Spanish in other countries, I’ve come to believe human contact in person is an indelible part of learning a language. Click here to find a tutor in your area!

Readers, what do you think? Have you tried taking Skype Spanish lessons? Leave a comment and share your thoughts!

Bonus:  Learn about the budget-friendly options for learning Spanish!

JasonN

Jason N. tutors in English and Spanish in Fairfax, CA. He majored in Spanish at UC Davis, lived in Mexico for 3 years where he completed a Master’s degree in Counseling, and studied Spanish Literature and Psychology at the University of Costa Rica. Learn more about Jason here! 

 

 

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free Spanish lessons for beginners

How Much Does it Really Cost to Learn Spanish?

free Spanish lessons for beginners

Learning a language like Spanish has tons of benefits, for adults and children alike. But how much should you expect to invest, if it’s something you’re serious about learning? There are few outlets for free Spanish lessons for beginners, but they’re not always the best option. Books may provide vocabulary and grammar lessons, but you’re missing out on hearing the language spoken. YouTube videos can be fun to watch, but you’re missing out on that essential component of conversation with another Spanish speaker.

Below, we’ve listed some suggestions to consider for finding tutoring options at a rate that you can afford.

How much do lessons really cost?

The average cost of one-on-one Spanish lessons can range from as little as $10 to as much as $50 for an hour-long session. The rate is typically determined by a few factors:

Supply and Demand

One factor is your location. The cost of your Spanish lesson depends in part on how many Spanish tutors are in the area and the level of demand for Spanish tutors. If, for example, you live in Southern California where there are thousands of native Spanish speakers, it may be possible to find a tutor for less money. However, if you live in an area where Spanish isn’t as prevalent, it’s likely you will have to pay more for lessons. Also, the cost of a tutor in urban cities is generally more expensive than rural areas. With TakeLessons, you can filter your results based on your ideal price point.

Tutor’s Experience

Another factor is your tutor’s experience. There is typically a correlation between the experience level of a tutor and the cost of the lessons. Tutors with college degrees or PhDs in Spanish will be more expensive than current college students or recent graduates just beginning their teaching careers.

Lesson Location

Finally, consider the location of the lesson. Some tutors will charge you more if they have to travel far to teach, so to cut down on costs, try to arrange your tutoring session either at your tutor’s residence, or at a mutually convenient public place, like a library. If you’re technologically savvy, you can increase your tutoring options and eliminate any travel costs altogether through video chat sessions and online Spanish lessons.

Are there any additional costs?

Once you find your tutor, any additional cost for Spanish lessons is pretty low. There are tons of free Spanish games, podcasts, and websites that you can use without spending more money. In fact, the only other materials you will need are likely a notebook and pencil, and maybe a workbook or textbook that your tutor can recommend to help structure the lessons.

What are the benefits of learning Spanish?

Learning a new language is a lot of work, but it’s well worth the time and money.  You’ll be able to engage with people from different cultures, increase your career opportunities, expand your network, make new friends, and much more. While there are few options for free Spanish lessons for beginners, tutoring is an easy and affordable option for learning a new language. Check out TakeLessons to find a great Spanish tutor in your area!

Bonus:  Learn about the budget-friendly options for learning Spanish!

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How-Often-Should-You-Practice-Spanish-to-Really-Improve

How Often Should You Practice Spanish To Really Improve?

How-Often-Should-You-Practice-Spanish-to-Really-Improve

Not sure if you’re practicing Spanish enough to reach your goals? Make sure you’re getting enough practice time with these tips from Spanish teacher Emmanuel N

The fastest way to learn Spanish is to practice and use the language as much as possible. Think about it, kids go to school five days a week from kindergarten to high school, and they use English constantly. They read, write, and learn new words and vocabulary. In order to learn a new language, you have to practice speaking, writing, and reading.

You might be wondering what’s the fastest way to learn Spanish, and the answer is that it depends on how often you practice and use the language. So how often do you need to practice in order to improve? My recommendation: Every. Single. Day.

Find Time to Practice

I realize not everyone is able (or even willing) to practice every day, but it really is the fastest way to learn Spanish. If you want to learn and improve, you need to make a commitment and find time to practice. When it comes to Spanish, just like any other skill, practice is the key to learning. This doesn’t mean you need to study constantly or complete limitless assignments and homework.

Make Learning Fun

Learning Spanish can be fun, and it’s important to find a study strategy that works for you. Here are two effective learning strategies that you can try.

  1. Listen (and sing along if you want) to Spanish songs. Find videos on YouTube that have English translations for the Spanish lyrics. You can also do this yourself: find the Spanish lyrics and use Google to translate the words. This will be easier if you understand Spanish expressions, and the best way to learn this is through conversations.
  2. Watch Spanish shows and movies, or English shows and movies that are translated in Spanish. If you’re a beginner, turn on the English subtitles to help you follow along. It may be difficult to understand the shows at first since fluent Spanish speakers speak pretty fast, but you’ll be able to understand more words and phrases as you continue to practice.

Find a Teacher

I have shared some ideas and suggestions to help you improve your Spanish, but at the end of the day it always helps to have someone to help you study. Not everyone has Spanish-speaking friends or relatives. This is where a Spanish tutor can help. I like to structure my Spanish lessons like conversations you would have with a Spanish-speaking friend. I understand that learning a new language is difficult, and I try to encourage my students when they make mistakes. A teacher can offer extra help if you’re struggling, and help you determine what you want to learn and practice.

Do Your Homework!

I’m a firm believer in homework as a study tool. Just because the lesson is over, doesn’t mean you’re done learning. Here are some things you can do on your own to practice your Spanish between lessons.

  1. Write (in Spanish) about your day, week, or weekend.
  2. Write down all the Spanish words you hear during the day that you don’t understand. Ask your teacher to explain the words in your next lesson.
  3. Watch your favorite show and describe the plot in Spanish.

I’m Latino, but English was my main language because I used it in school. After years of practicing with my family, I managed to improve my Spanish. I’m not fluent and I may not have the perfect accent, but I never gave up on learning. I encourage you to do the same to learn Spanish; challenge yourself, stick with it, and have fun!

Emmanuel Noriega

Emmanuel M. teaches Spanish online. A California State University, Fullerton graduate and native Spanish speaker, he also teaches essay writing, study skills, and singing. Learn more about Emmanuel here!

 

 

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How Long Does it Take to Speak Spanish Fluently

How Long Does it Take to Speak Spanish Fluently?

How Long Does it Take to Speak Spanish Fluently

Whether you’re a beginner or intermediate Spanish student, you may be wondering how long it will take to become fluent in the language. Here, New York, NY tutor Lauren P. shares her practice tips and recommendations to help you become a fluent Spanish speaker… 

To determine how long it will take to speak Spanish fluently, you must first decide how much time you have every day to practice Spanish. The key words here are practice and every day. No scientific data can determine exactly how long it will take to speak Spanish fluently, but if you commit to a specific amount of practice every day, you can set a realistic time frame to reach your goal.

Active Practice

It’s not enough to just read a study guide or use learning software, you must actively practice listening and speaking the Spanish every single day. Our brains are meant to learn vocabulary and grammar naturally by listening to and speaking the language. Therefore, don’t spend all your time reading vocabulary lists and rules of conjugation. Instead, choose a small set of vocabulary or verb conjugations, and use the majority of your time making authentic sentences with these words. For example, spend one minute reviewing 10 household vocabulary words, and then use your remaining time to practice using those words in sentences. A great way to practice is to jot down several sentences throughout the day, and then spend your study time translating those sentences into Spanish. Since the human brain remembers details it finds meaningful and important, you will learn and retain the content of your real-life sentences better than a generic vocabulary list. Depending on how much time you have every day, use a Spanish guide with the following strategies to learn to speak Spanish fluently.

15 Minutes = Three Years

At the bare minimum, you can find 15 minutes a to study Spanish. It’s important to set specific daily goals instead of one long-term to goal. Spend two minutes reviewing a list of 10 related Spanish nouns, and three minutes conjugating one or two relevant verbs. By focusing on one vocabulary theme or category at a time, you will remember more than if you learned the words separately or in alphabetical order. Spend the remaining 10 minutes making up realistic sentences and questions with your list of nouns and verbs. Since sentences should be authentic, look up additional verbs as needed. Write the sentences and then practice saying them aloud. Record everything in a notebook so you can look back and review. Remember that speaking aloud is more important than reading and writing since your goal is to speak Spanish fluently.

SEE ALSO: How Long Does it Take to Learn a Language? 

30 Minutes = Two Years

Do you want to push yourself to practice Spanish for 30 minutes a day? Spend the first 15 minutes on the activity above, then incorporate more real-life practice into your routine and learn five real-life sentences every day. Keep a record of sentences you use or hear throughout the day. Either jot down sentences in the moment, or do your best to remember them during your practice time. Translate these sentences into Spanish and practice saying them aloud. Practice does not make perfect, but perfect practice does. The last thing you want is to learn incorrect Spanish translations from faulty online tools. Meeting with a private tutor for 30 minutes every day or several times a week will ensure you make time for perfect practice and have the correct translations.

One Hour = One Year

Increasing your practice time from 15 or 30 minutes to an hour is much easier than you think. Spend 30 minutes reviewing relevant vocabulary and verbs to use in sentences. Then, listen to Spanish for another 30 minutes at any point in the day. You can listen to a Spanish radio station or podcast while you walk, drive, or exercise. While everyone agrees language immersion is the best way to become fluent, you can simulate brief periods of immersion by listening to real Spanish speakers. While you listen, write down any unfamiliar words and sentences to incorporate in your targeted practice time.

Two Hours = Six Months

Committing to two hours a day of Spanish practice isn’t too difficult if you use your time wisely. Just think of how much time you spend commuting, watching television, browsing the Internet, or even sleeping. Double the amount of time you spend practicing vocabulary and verb conjugation, and then spend 30 minutes reviewing 15 to 20 vocabulary words and four or five verb conjugations. Use another 30 minutes to translate 10 to 15 real-life Spanish sentences. Jot down sentences from your own conversations and from the words and sentences you hear from real Spanish speakers, radio, or television.

Double the amount of time you listen to authentic Spanish speakers during your day. Whenever you exercise, drive, walk, or have downtime, tune into Spanish radio, podcasts, or Spanish television. Since your goal is to speak Spanish fluently, you should use half or all of this time to practice conversations. Find a native Spanish speaker who is willing to talk to you for a certain amount of time every day or every week. Then schedule time to speak with a private tutor for 30 minutes to an hour every day. With this fun but intensive program, you could be conversational within six months.

Three or More Hours (Immersion) = Three Months

If you’re moving to a Spanish-speaking country, you can expect to be relatively fluent within three months if you continue to practice, and listen to and speak with native Spanish speakers. If you’re not moving to a Spanish-speaking country, spend one hour on targeted study and another two hours listening and speaking to a private tutor or native Spanish speaker.

For more helpful tips on getting fluent faster, check out this quick video from one of our top Spanish instructors-


Whether you have three years or three months to learn a language, you cannot fail if you commit to specific daily goals. Find 15 minutes to three hours a day to practice speaking the words and sentences that are relevant to your life. The best way to stay committed is to schedule time with a private tutor who can ensure perfect practice and act as a conversation partner. Find a Spanish tutor in your area. Stick with it and good luck in your journey to speak Spanish fluently!

LaurenPLauren tutors various subjects in New York, NY. She has her Master’s Degree in Education (with a concentration in students with learning disabilities), and is a certified NYC Special Education teacher. Learn more about Lauren here!

 

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Spanish Classes vs Private Tutoring What will work for you

Spanish Classes vs. Private Tutoring: What Will Work for You?

Spanish Classes vs Private Tutoring What will work for youNot sure whether Spanish classes or private tutoring will work best for your learning style? Here, Carmichael, CA Spanish tutor Joan B. shares her advice for making that decision…

 

When you’re exploring how to learn Spanish, it’s important to consider the various options, including Spanish classes and private tutoring. Consider your learning style, goals, needs, and abilities when making a decision as to whether Spanish classes or private tutoring will work best for you.

First, reflect on your learning style. Do you learn best with lots of personal attention and individualized instruction, or do you benefit from learning with others, seeing their mistakes and learning progress and hearing concepts repeated several times as exercises are reviewed in small or large groups? Some students really enjoy hearing others responding to the same exercise, and working in small groups together, while others benefit more from focused attention in a one-on-one setting. You can also consider that group classes generally meet more often than private tutoring.

Next, you can take into consideration your goals and needs. What is your main goal(s) in learning Spanish? Is it to prepare for an upcoming trip, become conversant in the language, or learn to speak in a business context? While some Spanish group classes are specialized, Spanish classes are generally ideal for those who want to become generally proficient in speaking and don’t have an urgent timeline. Private tutoring is probably a better option for those who have a deadline (say, a trip to Spain in a few months) or a very specific goal (learning to speak Spanish to communicate with clients, for example). Tutoring allows you to progress quickly toward specific goals since your tutor can work with you to develop the specialized skills you are seeking.

Lastly, your needs and abilities also matter with regard to choosing the appropriate instruction type. If you are a motivated self-learner, going to a group Spanish class to put into practice the concepts you mastered through homework and self-practice can allow for quick progress. If you like more hands-on instruction to master concepts, tutoring may be an excellent way to get the feedback you need, while also allowing you to put the concepts into practice through conversation with your tutor in Spanish. If you have limited time to devote to Spanish learning, tutoring can be an ideal way to optimize the time you have available. Classes can be more time-consuming between attending the classes and doing the homework, but they offer a more extensive and general curriculum that can strengthen your understanding of basic concepts.

The most important thing to consider when choosing between Spanish classes and tutoring is what feels right to you, based on the above elements. If you find it hard to make a choice, you may want to consider taking a class but supplementing it with occasional tutoring sessions to address your specific challenges and goals. Another thing to watch out for is that people often delay when making a decision like this; after contemplating it, don’t forget to take action — no matter what you choose, you’ll be on your way to learning Spanish if you follow through and sign up for that class you found, or schedule your first session with a tutor.

Need help finding a tutor? Browse teachers in your area here!

Joan BannaJoan B. lives in Carmichael, CA and has been teaching high school Spanish for more than 18 years. A lover of language, she’s studied French, Arabic, and Italian and spent time living in Spain. Joan aims to help students improve on tests and increase their conversational ability when traveling to Spanish-speaking countries. Learn more about Joan here!

 

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