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Go Back   Pollensa Forum > GENERAL > Miscellaneous

Miscellaneous Use this area ONLY if you can't find a suitable home for your topic. We'll create a new area if necessary and reserve the right to move topics to more suitable areas. Only post regarding the Pollensa area. This is not a forum for general discussion.

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  #1  
Old 13-06-2005, 22:39
Jimsboy
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Default Learning Spanish

Hiya Congokid,

As a consequence of what has happened to our beloved site, in the past few weeks, I have been straining my somewhat aged brain in an effort to remember which of our members said that he was going to attend a Spanish Language course, in Palma, during May. Was it you?

If it was you, might I ask how it went and did you enjoy it?
If it wasn't you, I shall try to find a Memory Technique Course in Palma. That's if I remember, of course.

Jimsboy
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  #2  
Old 15-06-2005, 21:29
robjay
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Jimsboy have you tried to learn online?. Have a look at the this BBC Site www.bbc.co.uk/languages/s...ndex.shtml It's free and good fun.
Hope it helps
Rob
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  #3  
Old 16-06-2005, 00:54
congokid
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Si senor - soy yo.

I had a great time and really enjoyed the course, thanks for asking.

I booked my one week intensive course through Languages Abroad
www.languagesabroad.co.uk/

The classes were held at International House (www.ihspain.com/), which is in the the picturesque Placa Cort in the middle of Palma.

At the time of year I went it wasn't too busy - classes were between 3-5 students.

Most students seemed to be in their early 20s, so bear this in mind as you may have limited shared interests if you're a lot older like I was! However, there are also courses aimed at people aged 55 and over.

I went with a friend who also did the course and we stayed with other students in a huge five bedroomed shared apartment very near the centre of the city. Furnishings were spartan, but it was quite grand, comfortable and convenient - lots of nice cafes and bars nearby! Apart from personal belongings, you only require your own towel.

However, cleanliness of the shared areas depends a lot on your co-habitees. As we were there only a week we ate out all the time, but the other sharers used the kitchen a lot and a couple in particular weren't too fussy about clearing up after themselves.

The first morning students complete a multiple choice quiz and fill in missing words and phrases on a sheet, and are also briefly interviewed in Spanish. This helps the teachers assess each student's ability and decide which class to allocate them.

It took me ages to complete the quiz, but eventually I was placed in level 3 - the top level being taught that week. At full capacity and with more advanced students the school teaches at five levels. That first morning some students were moved up or down a class depending on how they fared initially.

Classes are entirely in Spanish, which I found intimidating at first, but if you're at the right level you learn to cope, if not understand everything. Our workbook - Aula 3 (www.agapea.com/AULA-3-ALU...9365i.htm) - is one of a series written by International House teachers. I liked it and still have my copy. Other levels came with a CD of the dialogues, though mine didn't have one.

Courses ran from 9.30am until 1.30pm, with a 20 minute break mid-morning for coffee at a nearby café, or shopping if you want. The rest of the day was free, though on a couple of evenings there was voluntary organised activity. My stay coincided with a tour of the Patios of Palma, run by the city council, and a medieval food, drink and crafts fair outside the cathedral that were both part of a larger cultural celebration. There was also a Saturday excursion to Valdemossa that I missed as I had to collect a car and a friend at the airport that day.

However, there is also homework to do each evening! After exploring the city or a siesta, we usually got ours done, then ate in some of the huge variety of cafes and restaurants in the city (we also caught Liverpool beating Milan!). Homework wasn't marked, but we went through it first thing in class next morning.

The final morning was an exam - multiple choice questions - covering what we'd done through the week. I got 17 right out of 20, and a certificate to show I'd done the course.

All in all I found it hugely enjoyable and worthwhile and would recommend it to anyone learning Spanish and looking to try a different kind of holiday. If you're young you meet lots of other people your age. If you're older perhaps try the 55+ course or go with a friend. My friend and I both really loved exploring Palma and the challenge of learning. We still socialised occasionally with the younger students and it probably helped that we weren't together in the same class all morning.

I'm hoping to go again soon - but not necessarily to Palma, even though it's a lovely place. There's so much more to explore! I'm also considering doing Spanish GCSE next year.
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  #4  
Old 25-06-2005, 00:28
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Hi Congokid,

Thanks, after reading your post, it inspired me to do something to improve my Spanish, after 4 and a half years living in Puerto Pollensa, I understand a lot more but when I try to speak Spanish most the locals reply in English, realising how bad I am.

So I have booked to go to Palma for a weeks course in August, will let you know how I get on.

Cheers Pollensa Man :rollin
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  #5  
Old 26-06-2005, 20:57
congokid
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OMG!!! A reply!

I'm well chuffed that you're inspired by my post, Pollensa Man. You'll have a ball in Palma, I promise. It's an excellent place to be.

I'm learning Spanish at classes run by my local borough council in London, and both the teachers are Spanish. Last Tuesday my regular teacher was ill (ella está embarazada por diez semanas) so the teacher for the class below invited us to join hers.

It was mostly revision, which I can always do with more of, but we also covered things I'd only touched on before, such as saying if you're ill and parts of the body (ooh, sounds weird).

But we also got talking about what we'd done recently and I launched into an account of my week in Palma - in Spanish. It's the kind of thing we were doing all the time in class there. I think she was impressed - she announced to the rest of the class that only 18 months of study could take them to where I was! Nowhere near fluent, I should add.

Hope your week in Palma goes well. Say hi to Martha and Elena from me if they're still there! I mentioned my website so they might remember congokid!
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  #6  
Old 26-06-2005, 21:22
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Hi guys,

I attended Spanish classes for 5 years - we did GCSE after 4 & then 1 year of pre-AS level & then I gave up. I got fed up with talking about the pros & cons of Bull fighting etc. For GCSE we were asked about how much pocket money we got, whether we helped our parents with the housework & what we wanted to do when we grew up...

There are very few classes geared towards 'adult' education. However our Spanish teacher did organise a trip to a language school in Murcia for a week. The week after Semana Santa (Easter) is a major fiesta in Murcia & it was brilliant.

So we did GCSE classes as well as an optional annual trip to a language school. All the class got A* at GCSE so we're very proud of ourselves.

Un saludo,

Zelda
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  #7  
Old 29-06-2005, 03:57
Jimsboy
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Hello Congokid,

I found your reply to my query extremely informative and interesting. What you did is certainly an option for me, albeit I do fall into the "Saga" range.

I am sorry I haven't replied to thank you for the time and effort you put into your response. I'm sure you will understand when I explain that I made the query the day I set off for PP and returned only four hours ago.

As a matter of interest I am seriously thinking of signing up for the course run by the OU.

Thank you once again,
Jimsboy
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  #8  
Old 30-06-2005, 00:43
congokid
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Hi Jimsboy

Thanks for the kind comments.

I just had a look at the OU course. It seems expensive, but I suppose you'll be committed to making the most of your investment. Have you had Spanish lessons before?

My brother did an OU degree, and so did a friend. I'm sure I could motivate myself to study alone too but, although they're a bit out of my way - I have a 3 mile cycle ride home afterward, I like going to weekly classes. The GCSE classes will be much closer, however, so I'm looking forward to that. And I'll have the same teacher.

I also liked being part of the same group of students for almost the whole of the past year, though there were a few drop outs at the start and again at the end.

Unfortunately I don't think any of the 'survivors' is planning to enroll for GCSE - so I'll have a whole new bunch of classmates! I'm already used to being the oldest in the class.

Whatever you decide to do, good luck!
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  #9  
Old 30-06-2005, 02:08
Jimsboy
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Hi Congokid,

You are right about the cost of OU course. It does need serious thought. I have studied Spanish conversation for several years but find that progress seems to stop at the point which enables the ordering of drinks or meals, usually. I find now that, with a dictionary by my side, I can read and understand a daily Spanish newspaper and I am able to read Spanish novels. What I sadly lack is conversational practice and this is emphasised on my visits to PP or elsewhere in Spain.

I shall continue with my endeavours and will let you know how I get on.

Jimsboy
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