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Recommendations for Spanish classes in London wanted

2020 Camino Guides

Helen1

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
London to Santiago (2014)
Narbonne to Oloron (2015)
Camino Portugues (2016)
Sentier Cathar (2017)
Hi All,

I'm lucky to live in central London so I have a overwhelming choice of places to learn beginner Spanish after work e.g.
  • The Cervantes Institute course is £325 per term + books, but the classes are 2.5 hours long !?! (this is the one people tend to recommend on camino forums)
  • Various universities run classes which are around £300 per term, with 1.5 hour classes
  • CityLit classes are £179 per term + books, with 1.5 hour classes
  • Spanish House classes are £165 per term + books, with 1.5 hour classes
  • Stripey Spanish courses are £390 including 3 activities like cooking classes [These classes look good fun]
  • Local council course £120, with 1 hour classes
  • A Spanish tutor is £20-£40 per hour. (A term is 10-12 weeks, so works out as a similar price to a course)
I've had a go with courses like Pimsleur and Duolingo but they don't give me the confidence to actually speak Spanish. So looking for something where I need to talk to real people. Does anyone have any other recommendations/thoughts? Are the more expensive courses likely to be significantly 'better'?

Thanks! Helen
 

D74

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Walked Frances 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019
Walking Portuguese from Porto 2020
Hi,

I'd recommend not attending the beginners course at Spanish House, as I am a complete beginner and I took this course recently and really struggled to get anywhere with it - the course wasn't very helpful for beginners, with a lot of us being left behind scratching our heads.

I have heard good things about City Lit, so I will try there instead.
 

Leibniz

Peregrina
Camino(s) past & future
Frances from Astorga (2018)
Frances/Invierno from SJPP (2019)
@D74 let us know how you get along at City Lit!
 
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Reactions: D74

domigee

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
2020? Hopefully Via de Bayona/Burgos to Ponferrada/Camino de Invierno
I recommend the ‘Instituto Cervantes’ but then I don’t know any of the others....
 

sunwanderer

Member
Camino(s) past & future
SJPdP to Santiago
Sep/Oct 2015
I've tried many different approaches for learning many different languages and they all have some value. What I don't like about introductory level classes is they always pair you up with another beginner in the class, and you each end up taking the other down wrong grammar and pronunciation paths. The instructor can always pull you back on track, but I get discouraged by the many false starts.

What has helped me the most is private tutors.

You could also look for a Spanish Meetup group near you. However, if you lack confidence, you may not have enough courage to try speaking.
 

Bristle boy

If not now...when? If not you...who?...........
Camino(s) past & future
2019
I would recommend the “meet up” group!
It is a gentle way of learning and improving! It is also great for a social group setting.
There are spanish speakers who are interested in improving their English and vice versa!
For me there is no substitute for having the nerve to speak it and having it explained!
Good luck with your method of choice!
It’s all good.
 

Leibniz

Peregrina
Camino(s) past & future
Frances from Astorga (2018)
Frances/Invierno from SJPP (2019)
I would recommend the “meet up” group!
It is a gentle way of learning and improving! It is also great for a social group setting.
There are spanish speakers who are interested in improving their English and vice versa!
For me there is no substitute for having the nerve to speak it and having it explained!
Good luck with your method of choice!
It’s all good.
Bristle boy do you recommend one in particular (in London) or were you talking in general?

When I looked up Meetup groups there were quite a few and in the end I wasn’t quite sure so I gave up. 😁
But if anyone has one in particular that they recommend I’ll give it a go .
 

Bristle boy

If not now...when? If not you...who?...........
Camino(s) past & future
2019
Bristle boy do you recommend one in particular (in London) or were you talking in general?

When I looked up Meetup groups there were quite a few and in the end I wasn’t quite sure so I gave up. 😁
But if anyone has one in particular that they recommend I’ll give it a go .
Well I attended mine in Bristol. They are not specific to any area unless it is more prevalent and needed in my area (should I have said popular). Meet up groups serve so many interests and social gatherings (dog walking groups for example).
I went to supplement my own self learning (never had a lesson in my life),
Google meet up groups and then by category! I’m sure you have one near you.
Hello btw @Leibniz
Edit: we used to meet in coffee bars and the ocassional pub.
 

Leibniz

Peregrina
Camino(s) past & future
Frances from Astorga (2018)
Frances/Invierno from SJPP (2019)
Yes I meant there are loads of Spanish conversation Meetup groups in London (at least 4 or 5) and also some of them are not just Spanish but trilingual (for example English Spanish and French) and so because I didn’t know what was best I (for the moment) gave up.

Oh and hi 👋 to you too. :)
 

Bristle boy

If not now...when? If not you...who?...........
Camino(s) past & future
2019
Sorry I wasn’t explicit! I was trying to portray my experience! Spanish to English is best (if you are an English speaker..again I speak for myself).
It also doesn’t necessarily depend on how good (or in my case bad) you are!
I spent, intermittent, time self learning and never speaking, although I looked to go! Doubts were in my mind (lack of confidence).
I found it helpful, and you can always email the organiser to see if a particular group suits you!
It helped me!
 

Leibniz

Peregrina
Camino(s) past & future
Frances from Astorga (2018)
Frances/Invierno from SJPP (2019)
Cool! Sounds great. I really want to practice so I’ll be a bit more proactive in finding and joining one. :)
 

Bristle boy

If not now...when? If not you...who?...........
Camino(s) past & future
2019
Good for you! It is supplementary and cost effective! I have the other problem that I work strange hours that to engage in a formal course is impractical for me! I can choose when I can go with this method of practice!
It’s only my way!
 
Camino(s) past & future
2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017,2018, (2019)
I’m not in London, so I can’t address directly the OP’s question. That said, I have a private tutor for German lessons ahead of a pilgrimage walk in Germany (Görlitz to Vacha) this April. The cost for me is £20 per hour, which is more than I’d pay ph in a group class, but it is well worth the extra on three counts: 1) I get to choose the times we meet; 2) I get the tutor’s undivided attention; and 3) the course content is 100% bespoke to my perceived ‘survival’ needs on a long walk through the rural countryside, where English is less commonly spoken by the people I expect to communicate with on a daily basis.
 

Kitsambler

Jakobsweg Junkie
Camino(s) past & future
Le Puy 2010-11, Prague 2012, Nuremberg 2013, Einsiedeln 2015, Geneva 2017-19
Having walked across great swathes of non-English-speaking Europe, and learned from painful experience that preparation was indeed necessary, I can relate to your concerns. I had wonderful success in French and in German with the Michel Thomas course (available as smartphone apps), and he also has a Spanish course. https://www.michelthomas.com/learn-spanish/ The terrific aspect of his method is that I actually learn to think in the new language: he teaches short bits which you then must assemble into longer constructions. I had some college German 30 years ago, but no previous instruction in French whatsoever. And I still use those courses for review before current travels. Very highly recommended!
 

D74

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Walked Frances 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019
Walking Portuguese from Porto 2020
Having walked across great swathes of non-English-speaking Europe, and learned from painful experience that preparation was indeed necessary, I can relate to your concerns. I had wonderful success in French and in German with the Michel Thomas course (available as smartphone apps), and he also has a Spanish course. https://www.michelthomas.com/learn-spanish/ The terrific aspect of his method is that I actually learn to think in the new language: he teaches short bits which you then must assemble into longer constructions. I had some college German 30 years ago, but no previous instruction in French whatsoever. And I still use those courses for review before current travels. Very highly recommended!
I've started on the Michel Thomas course and I am enjoying picking up useful phrases and words. There was a Groupon offer the other week for some of CD language packs.
 

Helen1

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
London to Santiago (2014)
Narbonne to Oloron (2015)
Camino Portugues (2016)
Sentier Cathar (2017)
Thanks everyone for your input. A meetup group might work well for me. I had a go a studying German after work many years ago and after about half an hour my brain was full/tired so I don't think I'm going to get a lot out of an hour plus long class - plus my heart sinks at the thought of formal language classes.
 

jamestuk

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Not yet!
Hi
Hi All,

I'm lucky to live in central London so I have a overwhelming choice of places to learn beginner Spanish after work e.g.
  • The Cervantes Institute course is £325 per term + books, but the classes are 2.5 hours long !?! (this is the one people tend to recommend on camino forums)
  • Various universities run classes which are around £300 per term, with 1.5 hour classes
  • CityLit classes are £179 per term + books, with 1.5 hour classes
  • Spanish House classes are £165 per term + books, with 1.5 hour classes
  • Stripey Spanish courses are £390 including 3 activities like cooking classes [These classes look good fun]
  • Local council course £120, with 1 hour classes
  • A Spanish tutor is £20-£40 per hour. (A term is 10-12 weeks, so works out as a similar price to a course)
I've had a go with courses like Pimsleur and Duolingo but they don't give me the confidence to actually speak Spanish. So looking for something where I need to talk to real people. Does anyone have any other recommendations/thoughts? Are the more expensive courses likely to be significantly 'better'?

Thanks! Helen
Hi Helen,

We offer Spanish classes at all levels at Battersea Spanish in South London. We have beginner to pre-intermediate classes for those starting out in Spanish, as well as more advanced levels. Our classes are small and supportive, and our teachers will help you get the most out of your time at the centre.

Take a look at our Spanish courses starting soon and let me know if you have any questions!

James
 
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