Spanish Lessons in Barcelona and Where to Find Them
You may be asking yourself: how can I learn Spanish, this incredibly useful language (and beautiful, if I do say so myself) with over 430 million native speakers? Better yet: How can I learn while in this bustling city by the Mediterranean sea? Whether you are visiting Spain’s 2nd largest city for a couple of weeks or coming for a Spanish immersion program, here are a few suggestions of where to find the best Spanish lessons in Barcelona.
Meet-Up Groups for Language Exchange
To no one’s surprise, there’s a multitude of people looking for inexpensive Spanish lessons in Barcelona. More than a way to save money and practice the language, most people join language exchange groups for the social aspect. A language exchange is a group of people, albeit tourists or long-term expatriates mixed with locals as well, bringing together a melting pot of languages. You usually sport some sort of identification that shows the languages you know and which languages you are looking to learn.
For example, you may be a German with an advanced level of English. You can go to the language exchange and meet a local Catalan individual, who speaks Catalan and Castellano, looking for an English speaker but he also has family who lives in Germany and knows a few things. Now you both have two languages to offer each other and chat the night away!
Meet-Up Groups – Not for Languages
If you already have a good grasp on the language, you can still try the social and inexpensive aspect of meet-up groups. Perhaps the idea of talking to strangers all night doesn’t appeal to you. Maybe you’ve already been to a few language exchanges and haven’t had much luck. Either way, there are various other options when it comes to meet up groups. Fitness classes are great because even if you get lost in the Spanish, you can simply look around and copy what the others are doing (and did I mention practice movement vocabulary?).
Fitness and art classes are popular among an international mix of people. Barcelona also has an entrepreneurial vibe to it and therefore plenty of business meetup groups where everyone is invited, both locals and foreigners alike.
Group Spanish Lessons in Barcelona Schools
Group lessons are an economically sound investment in your Spanish language learning. Joining an intensive group lesson in a Spanish school in Barcelona will run around 160 euro – 210 euro per week. This is a great option for people coming to Barcelona for Spanish lessons and to taste the culture for a couple of weeks or even a couple months. The structured and engaging lessons help you develop your new language skills much quicker than with free meet-ups.
Private Spanish Lessons around Barcelona
Because Barcelona is just a mixture of people, there is an endless supply of people ready to offer their languages for 20 euro an hour. But be wary! Many of these people are simply native Spanish speakers, not necessarily teachers or with any teaching experience. Having said that, through word-of-mouth or online Googling will easily lead you to a teacher for some quality one-on-one lessons.
The price tag of an online tutor may seem lower but the quality will leave you paying double in the end, looking for a new tutor wondering why you haven’t learned anything worthwhile. So, I recommend turning to an accredited Spanish language school and hiring a specialized tutor for one-to-one lessons.
How People Supplement Spanish Lessons
No matter which way you have decided to learn Spanish, there are always extra ways you can supplement those lessons. Put those newfound grammar rules to practice with some easy tricks. Here’s where to find them.
- Have Spanish Roommates: If you’re in the city for more than two months, I recommend renting a temporary room. Finding roommates from all over Spain who have also moved to Barcelona shouldn’t be difficult. Alternatively, your foreign roommates and yourself can make a pact to speak Spanish at home. Voila! Free Spanish lessons in the comfort of your own home.
- Stay with a Local Family: Take things one step deeper into language learning commitment by staying in a Homestay. Homestays are typically offered in immersion schools and are wonderful ways to practice the language, experience the local culture and have a safe, private room in a local host’s home.
- Date Spanish People, Make Friends: Speaking of commitment, why not make closer relationships during this time abroad. I’m not saying finding someone worth dating and making close friends can happen in a matter of weeks, but what better time to put yourself out there to make new connections? The fact of the matter is that people you have begun to spend a considerable amount of time with will feel more comfortable to correct your Spanish mistakes and teach you the type of slang you don’t often learn in the classroom.
- Go to Concerts/Events in the City: I don’t mean seeing your favorite American band and celebrating Canada Day while in Barcelona. I mean following the music you hear in the air and see where it takes you. There are always events happening in the city, especially in the summer. I mean saying “yes” to the wonderfully quirky culture celebrations Catalunya has to offer. Even if you don’t understand what’s going on, hey, it’s a free Spanish lesson, isn’t it?
What you invest in your language learning (i.e., time and money) will be returned to you for face value. Generally, someone who spends a lot of time practicing and throwing themselves into the culture/language will learn quickly. This can be done inexpensively but take a grand gesture of effort. Someone who invests a lot of money into their education will learn quickly. This person will advance rapidly. Most people who take Spanish lessons in Barcelona sign up for a mixture of cost-effective group classes supplemented by some activities in the city or few private lessons. Find your perfect combination!