Learning a new language... by Sonia Mendes - Online English Teacher

Learning a new language...

We have a word in Portuguese that doesn't have translation in any language, that is "saudade".
Saudade is what I feel when I remember the years that I lived in Madrid.

Saudade~is a Portuguese and Galician word that has no direct ...

I was so lucky to be able to live abroad.
Twenty years ago unexpectedly me and my husband started a new adventure in the neighbour country.




First thought? What am I going to do now? I can’t speak Spanish.
I quit my job in Portugal and I wanted to start working but for that I had to be fluent in Spanish.

I graduated from International Relations so languages were not my problem, I knew English and French and Spanish is quite similar to Portuguese, so I went for it.
But learning a new language from scratch is demanding, and because Portuguese “looks” quite similar to Spanish it’s even worse, you make mistakes every time. For example the words "milk" and "sea", that in English don’t have gender masculine or feminine, in Portuguese are masculine and in Spanish are feminin – too crazy I know…

I would like to share with you what were my strategies then:

  • I Went to a Spanish language academy to learn the basic grammar rules and to practice speaking;
  • I started to read a lot of Spanish books/magazines/newspapers;
  • I saw a lot TV shows to learn/practice the pronunciation and accent;
  • I went to the cinema to watch Spanish movies;
  • Then started practicing in real life: shopping is one of the best ways to practice and getting out with new friends is great.

After a couple of months I was ready to enjoy Madrid as my home town.

Twenty years later, I recommend exactly the same strategies to learn or improve any language.
lthough there is a big difference now: internet and smartphones. With these tools, today it’s much easier than 20 years ago.

  • You can book a class online with a language teacher, what it’s not only safe in this covid age, but also convenient because you don’t wast time commuting; 
  • You can “take your teacher everywhere”, as you can use your smartphone to connect to classes;
  • Schedules are much more flexible, learning online allow you to choose a class time that can meet your availability.

Unfortunately 2020, that was supposed to be a lucky year (at least according to chinese rat year :(…), brought us nothing but big problems such as diseases, economy disasters, big social issues, and living or studying abroad were put on hold for a while.

However please bear in mind, that we have to think positive and hope that better times will come soon.
Why don’t you book a trial English class so you are ready when time comes?

I’m waiting for you ;)!

09 April 2021

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