5 Simple Ways to Improve Your Spanish in Argentina
As a fellow busy expat, teaching English in Buenos Aires, I know that it can be easy to fall into the trap of limiting your daily Spanish intake to “un café con leche, por favor.” When you are surrounded by eager Porteños who want to learn your native tongue as well as an ever-growing population from your homeland, you can forget the importance of speaking another language. In order to completely and utterly immerse yourself in the culture and genuinely interact with the locals, you must sharpen your Spanish-speaking abilities.
Here are 5 simple ways to get started:
- Twitter: Follow @vamospanish for daily tips to learn some valuable local lingo and interesting Argentina facts.
- Más Spanish Course: Finally a class that fits the schedule and salary of ESL teachers! Most teachers tend to have morning and evening classes with a vacant timeslot in the afternoons. For a very affordable price, you’ll get four weeks of informative group classes, Tuesdays and Thursdays from 4-5:30pm. Hurry – next session starts April 6th! (If you miss this one, don’t fret, this course starts every first Tuesday of the month.)
- Intercambio Club: For even “más” than “más”, meet at Vamos Spanish Academy on Wednesday evenings for 2 hours worth of cross-cultural interaction, language exchange and snacks and beverages – only 10 Our address is Viamonte 1516, CABA, Argentina pesos.
- Fall in love: First with the city, and then with its people. Many an Argentine has charmed his/her way into the heart of an unexpecting expat. The benefits include 24/7 free (in the pesos-coming-out-of-your-pocket sense of the word) language lessons and unlimited access to local friends and families. If you’re lucky, you’ll even get to attend the weekly asados and family dinners.
- Indulge your senses: The best way to learn a language is to live it – listen, speak, read and write. Take off your iPod and tune your ears to the sounds of the streets and subway. At home, rock out to the Uruguayan band Onda Vaga (self-described as “rumba-cumbia-reggae-folk-rock-happytango”) or be serenaded by the masterpieces of the classic tango singer Carlos Gardel. Extend your vocabulary beyond “por favor” and “gracias” – if you have no one to speak with, join the Intercambio Club to find a partner. Grab the free “El Argentino” on your daily commute. Create a list of new words. Keep a journal of all your life-altering explorations – in Spanish!