apolaroidofus
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Hi, I've been talking to my Spanish teacher about this so wondered what your opinions were! Basically, I'm not doing A-level Spanish but still want to become fluent at some point, so what do you think is the best way to do this? A gap year to work as an au pair in Spain? A holiday course in Spain? Going there during the holidays and getting a temporary job?

I'm genuinely just really curious to see what you think. Also, how would you keep up your level of Spanish during A-levels?
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elamle
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Hi! I'll tell you what really helped my Spanish fluency - acting!

I'd been in Spain for a while, and thought I was fairly fluent. Didn't realise how much I wasn't until I joined a local amateur theatre group. The first play we did, I literally didn't understand the script at all. But by the time I'd learnt the lines, practiced them, and socialised with the other group members, my fluency had improved SO much!

My Spanish before then had been good but relatively superficial, good enough for talking to friends/family/shopkeepers etc, but my engagement in the language really didn't extend past my day to day use until the plays. If you can find a way to be in Spain for a while, I highly recommend it.
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SirNoodles
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I don't class myself "fluent" but I guess I am to a certain extent - I personally hate the term "fluency" as it's so subjective and unmeasurable yet so commonly used. But I'm just going to go by the idea that fluency means being able to speak about practically anything in your target language with very little difficulty in communication haha.

So what I'd recommend:

- Practising with natives (IMO there's seriously no way to fluency apart from talking with natives as you can practise your Spanish and also see the way they speak and learn about how real Spanish is spoken)

- Immersing yourself in Spanish content such as films, TV, YouTube videos, books etc. and keeping note of new words you don't understand

- Going to Spain or a Spanish speaking country (this one is harder because not everyone has the financial capability of travelling but when you go to the country and are surrounded by the language it kind of just unlocks the language for you if that makes sense haha obviously you have to put in the effort and not listen to BS stories like "I lived in Spain and became fluent after 2 weeks" but go to Spain if you can and try and avoid using English)

- Listening to Spanish music (great for just enjoying music, learning new vocab and listening comprehension practice)

If you're really dedicated you could turn your home and daily life into a Spanish immersion experience by trying to avoid using English on the internet, turning your phone to Spanish etc

Espero que esto te haya ayudado y buena suerte con tu español
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apolaroidofus
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(Original post by elamle)
Hi! I'll tell you what really helped my Spanish fluency - acting!

I'd been in Spain for a while, and thought I was fairly fluent. Didn't realise how much I wasn't until I joined a local amateur theatre group. The first play we did, I literally didn't understand the script at all. But by the time I'd learnt the lines, practiced them, and socialised with the other group members, my fluency had improved SO much!

My Spanish before then had been good but relatively superficial, good enough for talking to friends/family/shopkeepers etc, but my engagement in the language really didn't extend past my day to day use until the plays. If you can find a way to be in Spain for a while, I highly recommend it.
This is such a great idea, thank you!!
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apolaroidofus
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(Original post by SirNoodles)
I don't class myself "fluent" but I guess I am to a certain extent - I personally hate the term "fluency" as it's so subjective and unmeasurable yet so commonly used. But I'm just going to go by the idea that fluency means being able to speak about practically anything in your target language with very little difficulty in communication haha.

So what I'd recommend:

- Practising with natives (IMO there's seriously no way to fluency apart from talking with natives as you can practise your Spanish and also see the way they speak and learn about how real Spanish is spoken)

- Immersing yourself in Spanish content such as films, TV, YouTube videos, books etc. and keeping note of new words you don't understand

- Going to Spain or a Spanish speaking country (this one is harder because not everyone has the financial capability of travelling but when you go to the country and are surrounded by the language it kind of just unlocks the language for you if that makes sense haha obviously you have to put in the effort and not listen to BS stories like "I lived in Spain and became fluent after 2 weeks" but go to Spain if you can and try and avoid using English)

- Listening to Spanish music (great for just enjoying music, learning new vocab and listening comprehension practice)

If you're really dedicated you could turn your home and daily life into a Spanish immersion experience by trying to avoid using English on the internet, turning your phone to Spanish etc

Espero que esto te haya ayudado y buena suerte con tu español
Yesss these are great ideas thank you!
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University of Strathclyde
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(Original post by apolaroidofus)
Hi, I've been talking to my Spanish teacher about this so wondered what your opinions were! Basically, I'm not doing A-level Spanish but still want to become fluent at some point, so what do you think is the best way to do this? A gap year to work as an au pair in Spain? A holiday course in Spain? Going there during the holidays and getting a temporary job?

I'm genuinely just really curious to see what you think. Also, how would you keep up your level of Spanish during A-levels?
Hey apolaroidofus :^_^: I studied French at university (alongside Business), and like the others above I'd recommend launching yourself in to the culture in any way you can! At the moment that might be through watching TV/movies, listening to music (particularly the radio- you get loads of great conversational input from the radio! I used a global radio app) and reading news articles in Spanish. Do very small things to integrate Spanish bits and bobs in to your daily life, so that it doesn't feel like a chore to learn the language. Do things you normally love in English - but do them in Spanish These would be my top tips for keeping up Spanish skills during A Levels too, keep your language learning casual and fun so you can enjoy it as a recreational thing rather than a structured learning task.

And secondly, I see you're thinking of becoming an au pair in the future too. I was an au pair with the same family for two summers, and I was *so* lucky with my host family. They helped my language come on leaps and bounds over the time I was there, particularly as the kids were all too young to understand that I didn't understand them! I'm still in touch with them today about 5 years later. I had an amazing experience as an au pair and I owe a large part of my language skills to the time I actually spent in the country. Like I say, I was very lucky to find them and I've heard some not-so-nice au pair stories, so if you pursue this option make sure you've met both your host parents and kids virtually and make sure rules are set out in advance (e.g. pocket money/pay, rest days, kids routines).

I also loved doing what SirNoodles has suggested and turning my phone in to French! Great way to get that little bit of a language worked in to your daily routine, and associate words you see all the time in to their Spanish equivalent without even realising.

Buena suerte, et bonne chance !

- Caitlin
Official University of Strathclyde Rep
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tinygirl96
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I can speak French
This is what helped me you can try them too
Flashcards for learning the vocabulary easily and quickly on the go
Workbooks (you can buy those in a bookshop etc) or use Amazon
Read Spanish news articles
Translate some lines from different Spanish movies and the like
Summarise whole bits from any and all Spanish literature
Learn Spanish dances and songs
Act out entire scenes from Spanish films
Speak in Spanish little and often
Write out challenging questions in Spanish
Listen to a native Spanish talker
Read books in Spanish
Tune to a Spanish radio show
See if you can find a Spanish tutor online
Order workbooks online
Immerse yourself in the fascinating and fun culture of Spain
Buy a Spanish dictionary in order to use
Be patient and positive
Set yourself goals
Remember it takes time to fully learn a language
Try out Spanish food at a restaurant or at home
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