Our Experience Of Studying Spanish in Delengua
It is with a bitter sweet feeling that I write this post. Tomorrow is our last day at Escuela Delengua, a Spanish language school in Granada that has been our home for the past 5 weeks, and we will miss it very much.
We took intensive language classes there to provide us with a solid base for Spanish and to help us learn more when we get back to Puerto Rico.
First, let me remind you why we decided to study Spanish in Spain. There were two main reasons: the cost and location. I already wrote about this in a previous post, see my post Why Study Spanish in Spain, Instead Of…, so in short, it is much, much cheaper to study in Spain than in Puerto Rico and even many other Latin American countries. But also, we wanted to see Spain. I mean if you’re going to study a language where better than to study it at its source? Yes, we knew there are some differences but there are differences in each Spanish-speaking country.
Delengua’s Location Is Excellent!
So, we decided on Spain, but then we had to decide on where in Spain to study. Originally, we thought we’d study in Barcelona but after some research, we discovered that Catalan is widely spoken there, and we didn’t want to be confused any more than we already were. So, we wanted to find somewhere where the Spanish is similar to Puerto Rico. Granada was a good choice because the dialect here is not unlike in Latin America and it’s a college town, so there are lots of schools to choose from.
Again, we did more research and read lots of reviews and we finally settled on Escuela Delengua for our studies. I cannot tell you how happy we are that we did! Delengua turned out to be an excellent choice for us.
It is inexpensive, comparing to other schools even in Granada, it is in an excellent location right in the heart of Granada and the Albaicín neighborhood, and it is a fantastic school!
We only had five weeks there but we learned so much!
Delengua Is Inexpensive!
We took both group and individual classes. Group classes in Delengua are relatively small; no more than 8 people and sometimes as few as 4 students. It just depends on the class and level. The lower levels tend to have more students.
We enjoyed the classes a lot. We met all sorts of students, from all sorts of backgrounds, ages, and countries. We even made some friends – what a great experience!
Each group class at Delengua consists of 1.5 hours of grammar in the morning and 1.5 hours of practice in the afternoon. Each session is taught by a different teacher and they rotate about once per month. Group classes were where we learned some of the tenses and basic grammar that we needed as a foundation to build on and we got a little braver in speaking.
We also each took individual lessons, which were 45-minute sessions one-on-one with a teacher from the school. They provided us the individual attention we needed, were tailored specifically to our needs, and we got lots of practice.
Delengua’s Teachers Are Excellent!
Our teachers were excellent! Very knowledgeable in language teaching techniques and very patient with newbies like us. Everyone in the school speaks very clearly and slowly to help foreigners understand Spanish and no one switches to English. I believe this is crucial in learning any language, it needs to be taught in that language, otherwise you’re just learning the concepts and not the getting any practice. Immersion is key!
We really liked that there was a good mix of ages in our classes. One thing that was a concern for us was that we’d be the oldest folks at the school with only 20-somethings studying there but we were pleasantly surprised that there were many others like us and even older, all trying to learn Spanish.
The school also organized daily evening activities, anything from going for tapas to visiting the Alhambra as a group, and even weekend excursions to other towns. We took advantage of it all and learned sooooo much about the country, the culture, and the people. Fantastic!
Delengua’s Cultural Activities Are Fun!
The gentleman that provides weekend trips is Juan and he is a fantastic guide! Super knowledge, very funny, and amazingly patient. He also speaks very slowly and clearly for the benefit of the students – yes, it’s all in Spanish! Our favorite trip with him was to the Alpujarras but we also liked Córdoba a lot. I highly recommend him, if you get a chance to study in Granada.
Last but not least, I want to do a shout out to our favorite teachers: Alegna and María José! You guys are awesome and both Tim and I appreciate all your hard work and patience with us. We promise we will continue to study and practice what we learned and, who knows, we may even return next year 🙂
So, we got some of the basics. Clearly 5 weeks is not nearly enough to learn a language but we will keep at it and I’m confident that with what we learned in Escuela Delengua, we will improve our Spanish even further when we return to Puerto Rico.
Muchas Gracias Delengua!