South Africa has 11 official languages, but only one of those is English. This is helpful, but for those who desire to live, work or study abroad another international language is most helpful. But, which one?
After Chinese, Spanish, which is spoken by 440 million people across 24 countries, is the second-most widely spoken language in the world. It’s an excellent choice for the English-native because as a language it shares many of the same root words, and is, therefore, easier to learn than many other languages.
But with most South African schools not including Spanish as part of their curriculums until Grade 12, the question is how do I learn to speak Spanish?
Fortunately, if you want to learn to speak Spanish, the lack of this offering within South African mainstream schooling, need not put you off. In this article, we will look at how to learn to speak Spanish at home as an adjunct to your official education as well as why gearing yourself up to learn to speak and understand Spanish is extremely useful in planning a future career.
So, if you are searching how long does it take to learn to speak Spanish? Well, that all depends on your goals – keep reading.
Set a Career Path: Learn to Speak and Understand Spanish
It’s well known that South Africans not only love to travel the world but as a nation, we are famous for combining these explorations with study and work stints. And with Spanish being as widely spoken as it is, it makes sense that if you can learn to speak Spanish at home, parallel to your schooling, you will have more opportunities to when it comes to choosing tertiary education in Spanish-speaking countries, as well as opening up work placement opportunities abroad.
There is absolutely no doubt, adding Spanish proficiency to your CV will broaden your career and study options. And when you learn to speak Spanish, it opens up a whole new social world to you too.
As mentioned, an internship in a Spanish-speaking country is the ideal way to travel while growing your international working experience. This requires, at the very basics, a certain level of competence when you learn to speak and understand Spanish.
In fact, as an English native, you could expect universities and companies to require a language proficiency exam to test the level at which you understand advanced Spanish.
So if working or studying abroad is your motivation and you are wondering, how do I learn to speak Spanish? And also, how long does it take to learn to speak Spanish? Then it’s important to know the different levels of Spanish available and how you would use them.
To enter into a professional or academic setting in one of the world’s Spanish-speaking countries, in-depth knowledge of language rules, as well the jargon and tonality required for professional environments is necessary. Bear in mind that speaking to colleagues will be very different from how you would speak to a taxi driver or waiter in a restaurant.
These are reasons why during one’s school years it’s important to be asking the question, how do I learn to speak Spanish?
How Long Does it Take to Learn to Speak Spanish?
Fortunately, on platforms like Superprof, there are literally hundreds of private Spanish tutors to help get your Spanish education on the go from a young age. In addition to your regular schooling, you could learn to speak Spanish at home with the right tutor. A move like this, for yourself, or on behalf of your child, could be one of the most important moves you make for both future tertiary studies and a career.
And when it comes to how long does it take to speak Spanish? This depends on your availability and dedication. It also depends on how you choose to go about this.
These days, there is always a free online environment where smatterings of anything can be learnt. This can be very useful when being introduced to any new topic. When you search, how do I learn to speak Spanish, or how long does it take to learn to speak Spanish – you will be amazed at the long list of results.
However, unless you want to improve your vocabulary or learn to speak and understand Spanish that is simply conversational, free internet resources are not going to be enough to ensure you pass entrance exams for overseas work placements or universities.
As mentioned, by comparison to languages like Chinese or Arabic, Spanish is manageable to learn. But of course, there are still complex tenses, conjugations, tenses, and other language nuances to master. To come across as a professional, one needs a lot more than the basics when it comes to how to learn to speak and understand Spanish.
Of course, you are still wondering how long does it take to learn to speak Spanish and even, how do I learn to speak Spanish in South Africa? There are language schools, but to meet your individual goals, your answer could be private tuition.
The Advantages of a Private Spanish Tutor in South Africa
One of the most effective ways to reach your Spanish-speaking goals is to learn to speak Spanish at home with a private tutor. You could do this by choosing from a plethora of qualified and verified tutors on Superprof. By using the website’s location functionality, you could find a tutor to help you learn to speak Spanish at home, in-person or via webcam. All, at a time that is convenient for you!
On Superprof, you even have the option of finding a tutor who would teach you via webcam from other parts of South Africa, or even the world.
If a private tutor is the answer to your question, how do I learn to speak Spanish, you will be pleased to know that there are many benefits to this route. Firstly, you can tailor-make content in a way that is suited to your own personal goals. If you know that you want to include Spanish studies as part of your university linguistics degree, you could make sure that you focus on complex grammar and literature. If you know that want to study engineering in a Spanish-medium university overseas, you would need to choose a tutor that will aim to have you speaking fluent Spanish, with engineering terminology to match!
All tutors are unique and have their own methods, but if you are serious about advanced Spanish language education, make sure that you choose someone who is qualified and has the expertise to help you achieve your goals.
One of the best ways to become bilingual in Spanish is to start from an early age. One of the ways to do this is to learn to speak Spanish at home during your school years, even treating it as a seventh subject from Grade 8 to 12.
The Types of Spanish Tutors in South Africa
When it comes to the types of Spanish tutors available in South Africa, there are different types for different goals. From the native Spanish person who is studying the language, or has graduated to the bilingual professional who has self-taught as a tutor and understands the requirements needed for the workplace, the options are endless.
Choosing the right tutor to help you to learn to speak Spanish fluently can depend on you. This is where using Superprof can also be helpful, because most of the tutors offer their first lesson for free. This provides a valuable opportunity for you to ask questions about their background, qualification, and teaching style while making sure they know exactly what your reasons are for wanting to learn to speak Spanish. At this point, once you have discussed your goals, you could also ask, how long does it take to learn to speak Spanish and even set some achievable milestones together.
When it comes to learning many things, but especially languages, there is no doubt about the efficacy of working with a private teacher. This could mean embarking on how to learn to speak Spanish at home where all the attention is on you, your weaknesses, and how to improve them. This is definitely how learning is accelerated and grasped.
Careers for Spanish-English Bilinguals
When you learn to speak and understand Spanish at an advanced level, doors of opportunity in many different careers and sectors will open for you:
- The Diplomatic Core
- Humanitarian Agencies and much more
So, as you can see, the benefits of learning Spanish from a young age can only open up tertiary education and career opportunities, which is all the more reason to find a private Spanish tutor near you now.
How Long Does it Take to Learn to Speak Spanish?
When it comes to, how long does it take to learn to speak Spanish, this all depends on how much time and effort you are prepared to put into your Spanish language education. There are classes, there are fun and creative ways to supplement what you learn in the classroom, and then there is something called language immersion!
Language immersion is something that every student who is serious about really answering that question: how do I learn to speak Spanish, should consider. Language immersion is really about turning everyday situations into a constant classroom. Simply put, it’s when language students elect to live, study and work in a foreign country where the language theory that they have learnt in a classroom comes to life through real-life relationships.
If you can find a work placement within a Spanish organisation or university you will be able to practise your Spanish theory on lecturers, colleagues, and friends. It will not be long before you achieve complete fluency and sound like a Spanish native too.
Spanish Language Immersion Options
So, if by now you are persuaded that a period in a Spanish-speaking country would benefit your Spanish fluency goals. Where could you go?
Spain is an obvious destination but did you that because of Spain’s history of conquering nations, Spanish is one of the most widespread languages around the globe. These destinations are also highly desirable for travel and adventure. Here are a few to consider:
There’s also Central America:
- Costa Rica
- El Salvador
Outside of both Spain and Latin America, Spanish is also spoken in the African country, Equatorial Guinea.
Of course, Spanish is not limited by any means to these countries. As such a prolifically-spoken language, large Spanish communities can be found in just about every large city around the world. This means South Africa too! So if you are unable to travel abroad to immerse in the language, simply find a Spanish community near you to help you to learn to speak Spanish! If you don’t know where to start, ask your private Spanish tutor!
Supplementing your language study of Spanish from South Africa through immersion can also be achieved to a large degree, by finding a language buddy who wants to practise English, while you practise Spanish. One way to do this is to follow Spanish-based Instagram accounts of things that are of interest to you and in no time, you could find a language buddy.
Another solution for language immersion within South Africa is to look for Spanish corporations that have local operations. Applying for jobs at these, especially if you are able to add Spanish proficiency to your CV could be a good way to learn to speak and understand Spanish in the workplace!
Become Internationally Bilingual
In today’s competitive world, being internationally bilingual is highly beneficial from both a career development vantage, as well as socially. Be strategic about it and start at a young age with a private tutor who will take you places.
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