4 months of Intensive Spanish in Madrid (Update)

Hi all,

Just wanted to update my post where I mentioned that I moved to Spain to learn Spanish. You can view the post here: https://www.reddit.com/r/learnspanish/comments/g8b4mz/my_experience_with_moving_to_spain_to_learn/

I’ve been officially taking intensive classes and started in July!

Started off at: B1.1 (6 weeks)

B1.2 (6-9 weeks)

Currently at: B2 (9 weeks)

Schedule: 4 hours a day / 5 days a week of Spanish.

When I first started off at B1.1, it was an in-person class with 4 other students (max 6). I was definitely the worst student (speaking wise) in class due to not knowing many vocabulary words and having spent the least amount of time in spain.

I remember my teachers begging me to participate and speak more during class. I’m not a shy person by any means, but it was really hard for me to make sentences even in present tense since I had focused so much on conjugating verbs in the very beginning.

In B1.1, we learned conditionals, imperfect (which I have trouble with).

The test to pass on to the next level, B1.2 was extremely hard for me. We had to write a story in Spanish (a fairy tale), the differences between indefinido and imperfecto (extremely hard though I got a 100% by luck), have a speaking portion where we looked at a photo and had to describe what was happening and then a regular speaking portion where we spoke about our reasons for learning spanish.

I passed barely with a 70%, and two other students failed and had to retake B1.1.

——

B1.2 was completely different. The class was moved online and I only had one other student in my class.

I definitely see the pros of having a class online, we worked off of Zoom so the teacher wrote what we were saying and fixed us right then and there. My teacher also had a closer relationship with me since it was just another student in class.

I began to speak and understand things more easily, because we used indefinido so often (and sometimes imperfecto) I began to get used to certain phrases so I could speak without stopping to think.

I also began to realize that some phrases just sound “right”. For example, “lo que” I never knew how to use that but after listening to daily conversations, I just began to place it and it just began to “click”.

Afterwards, the other student stopped the program so for the last two weeks I was basically in a private class with the teacher.

For B2, we moved into an in-person class but I have the same issue, many of the students are just taking the course as a “refresher” so I am reverting back to being more shy though my knowledge of subjunctive is higher than some of my classmates – but I realize that speaking is so much more important (to me at this point).

In terms of grammar, I still have many issues but what happened after starting was:

  1. I have much more confidence. Since I had to speak spanish for four hours a day, I just am so used to speaking.
  2. I can actually have a hangout all in spanish (basic stuff). Before, I used to speak in all English with my spanish friends, now I can speak in Spanish and understand everything they tell me.

____

Things I learned:

  1. Conversation is the most important. My friends and I would bury our heads in books but when it came time to speak, we couldn’t speak. Since starting intensive, I stop obsessing over which verb tense someone is using and just speak.

  1. Some days it’s hard and some days it’s easy. I don’t know why – somedays I can hold a conversation in spanish and other days I can’t.

Confidence is everything. Don’t be scared to speak.

On this note, I will be reaching out to the school to see if I can start just taking two hours of private class a day instead.

4 hours a day is extremely hard and it’s difficult for me to retain the information that we learned in class.

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