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Are you considering taking Spanish lessons in Tampa? Tampa is a city that is rich in Spanish heritage. At one time, Florida was a Spanish territory and reflects that rich heritage to this day. Famed Spanish explorer Juan Ponce de Leon first claimed Florida as a Spanish territory in 1512. Now, more than 500 years later, Spanish architecture and culture abounds in Florida and the Tampa Bay area.
When you take Spanish lessons in Tampa, you’re among nearly 100,000 Spanish-speaking and Hispanic residents. Of the city’s more than 350,000 residents, more than 23 percent are of Hispanic or Latino origin. That means you’ll have plenty of opportunities to engage with native Spanish speakers and participate in Spanish-oriented activities, which can range from eating in restaurants that serve Mexican and other Hispanic foods, attending Spanish-oriented events, and visiting Spanish-oriented venues.
Fun Ways to Supplement Your Spanish Lessons in Tampa
There are many fun things you can do that will make the learning process much easier and more enjoyable. One is to simply watch Spanish-language television programming. UniVision and other programs often have translation captioning that allows you to read in English what is being said in Spanish. By watching these channels, you’ll more readily recognize various words and phrases and eventually understand what is being said without having captioning on at all. You also can listen to Spanish-language radio programs, which will allow you to hear native Spanish speakers.
Another great way to practice and better understand Spanish is to eat at Mexican, Cuban and other Hispanic restaurants where servers and others are fluent in the Spanish language. Even reading the menu in such establishments will help you to understand how nouns, pronouns, adjectives, verbs, adverbs, and articles are situated in Spanish, while also giving you an opportunity to practice your Spanish speaking skills.
Inspiring Events for Learning Spanish
There are several local events that can help to keep you inspired to learn Spanish. One of the best is the Conga Caliente, which is an annual festival held at Al Lopez Park in Tampa. The festival usually occurs during the first weekend in September and features a variety of Spanish music, art, culture, food, and fun. The annual Tampa Hispanic Heritage Month celebration is another great annual event that occurs during the last weeks of September through October and into November.
Visit Old Tampa at Ybor City
The Ybor City Historic District in Tampa is one of the oldest Spanish settlements in the United States and has a wonderful mix of old and new Spanish architecture, homes, culture, and businesses. Noted for its settlement by Cuban and Dominican immigrants in recent decades, the Ybor City has a robust cigar industry that is popular among tourists.
Ybor City also boasts many great Hispanic restaurants, museums, music venues, art galleries, and more. One of the most popular annual events, La Verbena Festival is held each fall in Centennial Park. The free event is family-oriented and celebrates Ybor City’s cultural history with lots of food, music, dancing, and other attractions. A visit to Ybor City will keep you enthused to take Spanish lessons in Tampa.
These are just a few of the resources available to Spanish learners in Tampa. Visiting these venues and attending these festivals will not only help you improve your Spanish-speaking skills, but it will also keep you motivated to learn the language.