Spanish evening/part time course?

RWS

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KatharineAnn said:
I'd love to know what your definition of "fluency" is, and how on earth you are "near it" in about three months....and also that you think you should be able to be near fluent in even less time than three months because Spanish is just so easy. :confused:
Fluency: able to conduct conversations on any topic (excluding those on which I can't speak knowledgeably in my native tongue, of course!).

"Near it": I generally can be fluent, though I lack some more arcane vocabulary (perhaps the words just don't exist in Spanish); I occasionally must puzzle tenses out by context; and some rapid-fire, slurred, or muffled speech may elude me (though it may in my first tongue, too, at times).

Less than three months: one of my younger acquaintances did so in little more than a month.

Easiness: not only my assessment, after having learnt other languages, but that of UNESCO in a survey taken ca. 1990 of a few hundred linguists worldwide (English, for its huge vocabulary, irregular grammar, and complex syntax, and Chinese, for its large vocabulary and tonal variations, were considered the most difficult).

Time and again, I find that foreigners who've never really learnt any language other than their mother tongue find Spanish daunting, and that others tend to pick it up quickly. The key, then, might be the flexibility that comes with exercising anything, be it muscle or patterns of thought. But, I really don't know what makes the difference.
 

kds2931

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Hello I am a Spanish teacher and I love to share knowledge with anyone who wants to listen. Even better is that I love getting knowledge from others. Check out my profile :D
 

KatharineAnn

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RWS said:
Fluency: able to conduct conversations on any topic (excluding those on which I can't speak knowledgeably in my native tongue, of course!).\
I'd like to see how well you converse with a group of 10 Argentines "talking" (see: arguing) with each other. I am a language teacher and linguist, and have students who have been studying English for 20 years, and they could certainly not cope with that same situation in English, and I think you must be exaggerating your skills only a bit, because I have never seen someone become fluent in any language in less than a year's time, and a year would be something quite admirable and rare.

If you were indeed able to learn Spanish in 3 months' time, from zero to almost fluent, you are somewhat of a miracle as at my work I see hundreds of Americans and other foreigners come here to study Spanish for various months, and never even come close to being fluent (and some even have YEARS of study under their belts).

Either way I don't think you should go around telling people to expect to become fluent in just 3 months - they will face a wild, wild disappointment later on. 3 years is a more reasonable time frame for fluency. What you can expect in 3 months is to be able to conduct very basic conversations, particularly if they are one-on-one with a speaker who is patient and willing to help you, and in general, many Argentines are (although some definitely are not! - so don't get discouraged when they are not!) If you come here knowing no Spanish and in 3 months can order in restaurants, on the phone, talk to the kioskero, ask passersby for directions, etc, without any problems, you should be proud and happy with yourself for your accomplishment!
 

citygirl

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3 months would be shocking. I've been here in total a year and a half and while I can get by in one on one conversations, I still get completely lost when in a large group.

As for a month - unless there was a solid base of another Romance language and even then, I just don't know how it could even be possible to be at a basic conversational level of fluency (present tense, limited conversational skills, etc), let alone true fluency.
 

RWS

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citygirl said:
3 months would be shocking. I've been here in total a year and a half and while I can get by in one on one conversations, I still get completely lost when in a large group.
As for a month - unless there was a solid base of another Romance language and even then, I just don't know how it could even be possible to be at a basic conversational level of fluency (present tense, limited conversational skills, etc), let alone true fluency.
What can I say? I was diligent (yes, I had the advantage of having partly grown up in France) and perhaps have a facility with language. But, as I mentioned, the fast learner certainly surpassed me -- briefly even had one of my Argentine cousins thinking that he was a native speaker.

More important than the speed, I think, is the thoroughness with which the language is learned. Spanish definitely can be learned thoroughly and is not so daunting as many another language.
 

Napoleon

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RWS said:
What can I say? I was diligent (yes, I had the advantage of having partly grown up in France) and perhaps have a facility with language. But, as I mentioned, the fast learner certainly surpassed me -- briefly even had one of my Argentine cousins thinking that he was a native speaker.

More important than the speed, I think, is the thoroughness with which the language is learned. Spanish definitely can be learned thoroughly and is not so daunting as many another language.
I was suspicious of you when you spelled "learned", "learnt". I suspected that you weren't from the States and thus don't have to overcome the disadvantage of being taught to be self-centered, lazy, and nationalistic. Thus, everything you say must be taken with a grain of salt.
 
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davonz

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If anyone does find a good tutor or cheap classes can you list here, as i am keen to do some classes, either with tutor, or group to get to know some people..
 

RWS

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Napoleon said:
I was suspicious of you when you spelled "learned", "learnt". I suspected that you weren't from the States and thus don't have to overcome the disadvantage of being taught to be self-centered, lazy, and nationalistic. Thus, everything you say must be taken with a grain of salt.
¡Ja! FWIW (¡ojo, puedo ser estadounidense moderno!), I am American, simply suffered under the twin disabilities of a foreign upbringing and a partly English education. Sadly, though, your observations regarding the quick American slide into oblivion seem to be right on target.
 

KatharineAnn

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I actually find British and Australians to be just as bad as learning languages as Americans, so I believe it's a Anglophone thing unfortunately for us. There's enough American hating among Argentines, we don't need auto-criticizing here.

That said, I consider myself a pretty good language learner, and passing for a native in 3 months still sounds a little impossible to me :)
 
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