At EBC, we organise Friday nights out in Madrid to typical Spanish restaurants and bars where you meet locals and practice your Spanish outside of a classroom. The best way to practice your Spanish is to speak with the locals, practice what you learned in school with non-English speaking Spanish locals.
To learn fast, you need to immerse and integrate yourself with then locals, their culture and their way of life. In Spain, learning is fun as the Spanish can put fun in just about anything, they set their mind to. This is by the way a classic Spanish skill – they can make learning the language fun, simply with after school activities, “tertulias” (organised talks and meet ups in pubs, bars, cafes).
Room and live with a Spanish local
During your TEFL and Spanish course, you can arrange to live with locals. After your course, for your long-term accommodations, live with Spanish room mates. This is easily done as many Spanish people living in Madrid are students from other provinces or professionals wanting to live with an English-speaking person so they can do an “intercambio”. You speak Spanish and she speaks English. The way it works usually is – you agree the number of hours in Spanish and the number of hours in English. One tip though – the Spanish are talkers so if you are shy and are too careful about making mistakes in Spanish, your “intercambio” will be solely be in English. So, forget about sounding perfect, practice makes better or even perfect!
¡Habla, habla, habla!
Go “español total”! Watch Spanish TV, movies, read newspapers, books in Spanish, go on Spanish internet! When you go out, speak Spanish all the time. “Nada de inglés” (no English). The Spanish are very forgiving of our mistakes and are actually very nice when we try to speak Spanish. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes, many will help you by kindly telling you the right word or the right pronunciation. The best way to make friends in any country is to go out and speak to the people in their own language. Enjoy Madrid – the city that never sleeps! At least in Europe, it is the city that never sleeps.