Want to send DD, aged 16, to Spain next summer to learn Spanish ...(20 Posts)
DD is doing GCSEs this year and wants to do Spanish at A level next year (and maybe at uni). She's good at languages, but has had some ropey teaching over the last 2 years, and I'm worried that she will find the leap to A level v hard. I'd love to find something she could do in Spain (or even South America if not prohibitively expensive) for a couple of weeks in the summer holidays next year - volunteering, perhaps, or a language school, or an exchange? The point would be to immerse herself in the language, so i wouldnt want her to be surrounded by other english kids. Any suggestions or recommendations gratefully received!
It was a long time ago, but I went to a great language school in Malaga for a few weeks, there were all levels there. I was slightly older than your DD is when I went, but maybe she has a friend she can go with?
Language school with homestay would be the best way.
It will be expensive, but so worth it- you'll get much more for your money if you spent the same on a tutor over 1/2 years
There are lots of language schools in Spain but I can't recall any names, sorry.
The language schools in the UK tend to do lessons in the morning and activities in afternoon for kids so if your dd wants something more intense she might be better joining a language class for adults.
If she's brave enough then I'd suggest going without a friend so she's forced to speak Spanish outside of class too.
I'd recommend an exchange, if you can find a suitable family. As a teenager I did an exchange with a French penpal, as well as taking various immersion language courses (year abroad, etc). Learned far more on the exchange. It was the foundation for all my language learning from then on. Just by being obliged (no easy alternative) to speak French, I came home fluent after three weeks.
The language courses were fine too, but there was a bit too much scope for chatting in English with other students/friends while there. So plenty of fun, but not as good for actually improving my fluency.
In the meantime, could your daughter do a conversation exchange? If there are any Spanish students where you live, she could offer an hour's English conversation in exchange for the same in Spanish. Nice way to meet native speakers and get used to chatting in the language.
www.donquijote.co.uk/spanish-courses/summer-camps-in-spain My DC went on this course but when she was 16. She enjoyed it and it improved her Spanish. We had it recommended to us by her school. However she attended 5 years ago so some other posters may have more up to date information on this company.
I went to Madrid for a month when I was 16! Brilliant .
Very nervous parents, but adults took likes of me under their wing and I wasn't even the youngest one there (guy who was starting University at age 15).
Mine was a summer school program thru community colleges (USA).
I hope you find something.
My son did a Spanish language course at Salamanca university. Had a great time and learnt a lot.
I agree with gastrognome - my French improved exponentially after my first exchange (I was 12) and I continued to do them/similar throughout the rest of my time at school. I am still really good friends with my first French exchange, 36 years on
Meant to add that I have absolutely no idea how to arrange them if the school does not organise (sadly my DC's school do not)
ooh interesting thread - I also have a dd doing gcses this year who wants to do spanish at a level. I'll be checking these links too
I live in Ecuador and they have some overseas schools, but it's a lot more cost effective in Spain- and probably more what she will be looking fr, accent wise. I think the name was Cervantes- with home stay-?
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You are better off going to Spain to learn as the Spanish spoken in South America is very different to that spoken in Spain so could actually hinder A level study. I believe Spaniards and South Americans find it very difficult to understand each other.
I highly recommend Lingoo - like online dating but for teenage language exchanges,- you put up a profile and contact families with children who are a good match for yours. My two daughters have had 3 Lingoo exchange partners between them, all of which have been great successes - one DD is now reading French, Spanish and Russian at uni after doing French and Spanish exchanges. Her French partner is reading English at uni and her Spanish partner is also still studying English. She has met both girls every year since the exchanges started, and both have become family friends. Younger DD is about to swap with her exchange for the second time this summer.
As English speakers, you will find yourself spoilt for choice with potential families to choose between. This is particularly true for
French, where we had literally over a hundred offers each time, but for Spanish and German there is also plenty of choice.
Well worth a look - can't recommend it too highly.
I would absolutely recommend volunteering as language schools are full of foreigners. Look for "campos de trabajo" (work camps) where mainly local youngsters go, you have some in the mountains to help
with archaeological excavations and the like, she will learn so much more if no-one else speaks English.
I have also found a 1-1 private Spanish teacher excellent.
Erm south american and spanish accents are a bit different and easily identifiable but speakers from both sides of the atlantic can understand each other, no.problem. accent shouldn't be a factor in your decision.
Be careful, though, not to send your daughter to one of the spanish regions where spanish is not the local language. It would be the equivalent of sending your kid to quebec so they can learn english...
I would not send her alone ( or even with a friend) to Spain or South America (!) at that age.
South America way too dangerous ( i lived in Mex, Arg and Ven in my 20s, and did get sexually harassed on a daily basis , and there us too much crime and you stand out too much being white and young and foreign).
Even in Spain I got grabbed and groped.
Lovely people, most men are not threatening, and older women like me can deal with it, but at 16 it can be very frightening) so, great countries, but not for a 16yr old without her fzmily IMO
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