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Seeking recommendations for language school in Madrid

sjdaotearoa

Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Primitivo (2018)
Camino del Norte (2023)
Hola peregrinos. I'm seeking recommendations for a language school in Madrid. I'll be post-Camino del Norte. Probably 2 weeks, early August, reasonably intensive. I'm at A1, occasionally A2 (or Unit 1 Section 3 on Duollingo). I'm mid-50's and looking for some social activity options as well. Preferably homestay with central location overall. I'd love to hear from anyone that has personal experience along these lines, particularly post-covid (as I'm mindful some businesses have changed a lot in the last few years). Also, I've seen a couple of reviews that suggest 2 weeks is not really worth it as you don't learn enough. Any feedback on that? I've read the other posts on this topic and am looking for a bit more specific info. Thanks in advance. Sara.
 
The one from Galicia (the round) and the one from Castilla & Leon. Individually numbered and made by the same people that make the ones you see on your walk.
We have attended school a few times in Spain. My husband went to this one when he had a week to kill a few years ago. He enjoyed it and there were a lot of activities. He stayed in a shared apartment and his housemates were slobs though. A bunch of young adult men who never washed their dishes...

We both attended language school in Santiago twice as well. It was much less expensive and plenty of cultural activities offered.
 
We have attended school a few times in Spain. My husband went to this one when he had a week to kill a few years ago. He enjoyed it and there were a lot of activities. He stayed in a shared apartment and his housemates were slobs though. A bunch of young adult men who never washed their dishes...

We both attended language school in Santiago twice as well. It was much less expensive and plenty of cultural activities offered.
Thanks for those recommendations! I hadn't thought of doing on in SdC. Great idea :)
 
3rd Edition. More content, training & pack guides avoid common mistakes, bed bugs etc
I did an "intensive" 3 week (3 hours per day, 5 days per week) Spanish course in México, extending it by another week and was in a homestay for three of those weeks.
I wouldn't do it again.

Coming close to 50 I really, really struggled to get back into "school" mode. I couldn't concentrate for long bursts, I became very tired and one on one the whole experience was too intense - there were no other students to benchmark myself against and no break at all.

Also, I was in a very beautiful and tranquil part of the world - this proved to be a major distraction when I should have been studying. :) Madrid could be like that.

Furthermore, I did not enjoy the homestay with a couple. She was hardly there, he talked way too fast, refused to slow down and was openly critical of my (lack of) progress. Pretty demotivating.

I left with a handful of phrases, a skeleton of structure but without any flesh to add and more aware than ever of how much I didn't know.

The school was great and flexible, the teacher was lovely. The issues were all my own.

I've since vastly improved my Spanish by adapting Duolingo (the fora are great but Duolingo Spanish is designed for the Americas) recording vocabulary to test myself while doing something else and using youtube, Netflix, Podcasts etc. Short, fun 15 minute bursts work best for me.

It's interesting that you will be doing this after your Camino? I would have thought a couple of weeks in advance would be more beneficial?

Don't forget August in Madrid will be very hot and as many locals as possible will be out of town. It may not be the best of times in terms of teacher quality, homestay options or mixing with the locals. Also, learning in the heat can be tough!

Good luck!
 
We also take an online lesson with a teacher every week here at home. It will never be enough to make us fluent, but keeps our mind on the language learning. We have doing that now for more than 3 years.

I really liked Ira Flavia in Santiago. Phil went there for a month in 2018 by himself and we went together for 2 weeks in 2019. Both times a shared apartment. It was fun to "live" in Santiago and walk back and forth to school.
 
I was looking into something like this and saw a school in Olviedo; it had 4 hours a day M-F and option for a homestay. You could check it out as you walk by.

I did a one month course in Mexico back in my 40s and found it helpful. I chose not to live with anyone, but the school had morning classes and afternoon activities in Spanish so I was content. When I did a French immersion course in France a few years later (and it was total immersion), my head hurt every day. I could speak French before I started, but it was intense, and the progress I made was remarkable.

I guess the point is that the more immersive it is, the less you can speak any English, the more likely it is that you will learn.

Throw away any English-Spanish dictionary and instead buy a Spanish language dictionary that will give you explanations in Spanish and force you to keep looking up words until you understand. 🤓
 
Ideal pocket guides for during & after your Camino. Each weighs only 1.4 oz (40g)!
I'm sorry that you had a bad experience @Flatlander. I have taken a 2 week Spanish course in Barcelona that was geared to older adults and it was great. We had class in the morning, and in the afternoons (después la comida) we toured different parts of the city with our teacher, including a great your of La Sagrada Familia. I had a wonderful homestay.

I also spent 6 weeks at two different Spanish schools in Guatemala, staying with families at both, which was also a great experience - and a real bargain!
 
Throw away any English-Spanish dictionary and instead buy a Spanish language dictionary that will give you explanations in Spanish and force you to keep looking up words until you understand.
This is excellent advice; as is that from @J Willhaus - practice, practice, practice.

I have Spanish radio on at home whenever MrsHtD is out. (Madrid Cadena Ser)
 
The focus is on reducing the risk of failure through being well prepared. 2nd ed.
I'm sorry that you had a bad experience @Flatlander. I have taken a 2 week Spanish course in Barcelona that was geared to older adults and it was great. We had class in the morning, and in the afternoons (después la comida) we toured different parts of the city with our teacher, including a great your of La Sagrada Familia. I had a wonderful homestay.

I also spent 6 weeks at two different Spanish schools in Guatemala, staying with families at both, which was also a great experience - and a real bargain!
@trecile what school was that with?
 
I also spent 6 weeks at two different Spanish schools in Guatemala, staying with families at both, which was also a great experience - and a real bargain!
My brother-in-law did that 20+ years ago then spent a year travelling through South America. He was already very fluent in French and was almost immediately moved to an intermediate class. He absorbed the language like a sponge. By the end of his trip he was fluent in Spanish. He then moved to Italy for research at universities in Sicily and Trieste and within a year was teaching Physics to undergraduates in Italian. He has lived in China for a lot of years now and is fluent in Mandarin too. Deeply jealous of his facility with languages and his application to learning! :cool:
 
The focus is on reducing the risk of failure through being well prepared. 2nd ed.
Hola peregrinos. I'm seeking recommendations for a language school in Madrid. I'll be post-Camino del Norte. Probably 2 weeks, early August, reasonably intensive. I'm at A1, occasionally A2 (or Unit 1 Section 3 on Duollingo). I'm mid-50's and looking for some social activity options as well. Preferably homestay with central location overall. I'd love to hear from anyone that has personal experience along these lines, particularly post-covid (as I'm mindful some businesses have changed a lot in the last few years). Also, I've seen a couple of reviews that suggest 2 weeks is not really worth it as you don't learn enough. Any feedback on that? I've read the other posts on this topic and am looking for a bit more specific info. Thanks in advance. Sara.
Visit Madrid, but go to language school an hour train ride away in the beautiful village of Toledo. I've been there a couple of times and attended the Aula Toledo school...fantastic experience. Several AirBnBs available as well to stay in. They have immersion courses from one to several weeks. You can walk everywhere as well. Lots of museums, great restaurants, and little bars and cafe's, and very safe. Check it out!
 
My brother-in-law did that 20+ years ago then spent a year travelling through South America. He was already very fluent in French and was almost immediately moved to an intermediate class. He absorbed the language like a sponge. By the end of his trip he was fluent in Spanish. He then moved to Italy for research at universities in Sicily and Trieste and within a year was teaching Physics to undergraduates in Italian. He has lived in China for a lot of years now and is fluent in Mandarin too. Deeply jealous of his facility with languages and his application to learning! :cool:
That might be too much for me. Mrs H May not be happy if I go and live in China.
On the other hand……:oops:
 
Technical backpack for day trips with backpack cover and internal compartment for the hydration bladder. Ideal daypack for excursions where we need a medium capacity backpack. The back with Air Flow System creates large air channels that will keep our back as cool as possible.

€83,-
He was already very fluent in French and was almost immediately moved to an intermediate class.
Both Spanish and French are Romance languages plus something I have experienced and think is common...

If you have already learned a first language, through study and, if lucky, immersion, you unblock mentally when tackling another language. By that I mean your brain doesn't challenge the target language's word order, verb conjugations, tones, etc. It doesn't gravitate to fretful questions about "Why isn't this language the same as mine?"

In 1967 I arrived in Paris after two years in Thailand where I was eventually able to speak conversational Thai close to fluently. In Paris I was lucky to get a seat in a beginning French course that used the same dialogue method that had been used for my Thai language training. The rest of my classmates came from all over the world. There were no other North Americans in the class. Like your brother-in-law @Bradypus , I just shot forward. I am not kidding when I say that a couple of South Americans thought I was some form of savant. Probably just like your brother-in-law.

I have made the following recommendation earlier on this forum, but I will do it again here. If you possess an intermediate level of language competence, consider a language exchange partner. The possibilities are out there in abundance. And like dating apps, you can search using criteria like age and interests. I happened to randomly select the site below but there are others. I have had two long-term partners and I look forward to again seeing one of them, along with her husband, in Paris next year.

 

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