Here is an article about our unique teaching method:
WHEN my husband and I decided to move to Mallorca seven years ago we diligently
went to Spanish lessons.
I remember thinking: I don’t want to be an
immigrant and not bother to learn the language. So we went to night school. The
spirit was willing however, but the flesh was weak: we learnt virtually
My ability to speak Spanish didn’t immediately
improve after we’d arrived on the island, but poco a poco we started to
pick up words, and I understood más o menos what was being said. We went
to some lessons, we picked up a little more, and by making Spanish friends we
picked up a little bit more. When all else failed, I fell back on the age old
language of pointing and smiling, it got me a long way anyhow.
What I wasn’t prepared for was how frustrating and
isolating it would feel to be unable to have a quick gossip with the guy in the
corner shop, or stand up for myself in an argument or how fearful I would
become about making a telephone call in Spanish.
I’d start a conversation and then get stuck in the
middle of it, and then I’d feel stupid. I wonder if we’ve all endured that
moment when a Spaniard who speaks English asks with incredulity ‘HOW long did
you say you’ve been living here?’ (I translate that to mean ‘I can’t believe
you’ve lived in Mallorca so long and you STILL can’t conjugate a verb’).
I could converse, but only in the present, I just
didn’t understand how to change the tense. I’d joke about wanting to be
in the film, The Matrix, and getting a rebooted brain with Spanish installed
into the back of my skull.
So the course ‘Spanish for frustrated beginners’
pretty much summed me up. Run by the 3PHASE Lingua Group,
their teaching method promised I would increase my Spanish (they also teach
French and German) vocabulary by 500+ words in three days. Imagine being given
the key to a locked door behind which lays a vast opportunity to communicate,
that is what happened to me last weekend.
The three day course (which was hosted at the Bodhana Wellness Centre in Puerto Portals) is a
combination of traditional teaching, physical exercises and word games,
conversation, practice, repetition, lots of laughs and (my favourite bit) lying
down in a darkened room. It didn’t really feel like learning, it was too much
actual fun to be learning, surely? Then something amazing happened, the penny
dropped. Just like that I suddenly got it.
I was Eliza to our teacher’s Higgins. I was
gobsmacked, how could it be so EASY? The knowledge hit me as if it was the rain
in Spain falling on dry cracked earth and I drank it in. There I was speaking
in the past and future tenses, and making complete sense. Nothing short of a
So, if you’re stuck, or a beginner, then don’t give
up, if I can do it, then so can you, it IS possible to improve. Now I’m
thinking, well, if I can do Spanish, then let’s give German a go... Today
Mallorca, tomorrow the world!