30 Apr Learning Spanish at theHUB.Ibiza with Jimmy Valencia
I’ve wanted to learn to speak Spanish for several years. I´ve tried a few methods over the years but didn´t find a way that really worked for me. I bought the Michelle Thomas language audio programme and signed up to various online courses. I downloaded a range of the best apps for languages. They were all good and simple to use, but I still couldn’t string a sentence together after trying these methods.
I needed to build confidence and get real-life experience of talking in real time with real people. A group environment felt better for me to get the support I needed to learn and to get past my blocks of speaking a new language. I heard through a friend about the courses run by Jimmy Valencia from Abla Ibiza at theHUB for beginners and I thought I´d give it a go.
I thought Jimmy looked like a cool guy – and he is, as it turns out. I signed up to his Beginners Course and committed to taking part in a 10-week introductory course running twice a week.
Our group was great – a small group of 8 people, all living on the island and in the same boat of wanting to learn. All of us were committed and wanted to get better with our spoken language. For most of us, we were starting from a near-zero base of knowledge of the Spanish language.
The group was made up of people from across the creative industries. None of us knew each other at the start and quickly became bonded, offering encouragement and support to each other to keep going. There was a dancer, a designer, a child-carer and a writer in the mix – and the group was a good mix of European nationalities. The classes were fast-paced and fun. Every session we seemed to be laughing a lot and enjoying the time. There was a lightness to the sessions, mixed with focus and a good pace to cover the ground. I felt I was really learning a new language for the first time. We had to talk to each other, ask questions to each other and practice what we’d been learning with one another.
Jimmy’s style is endearing – intelligent, upbeat, positive, warm, supportive and fun. There was a bespoke app that supported the curriculum and gave us vocab lists to learn at home. The app is really well laid out and I am still using it. It was used as the basis of homework each week.
At the end of the course, Jimmy asked us to present to the group on a specific theme of our choice and that made us learn our material well and get well versed on our topic of choice.
I loved doing this course. The most important take out for me, apart from loving my group, was that I can now understand so much of what is said to me in Spanish. I can make myself understood and I have the confidence to put together sentences in daily life. There’s also a focus on digging into the Spanish culture to experience film, music, media and local TV on the course and Jimmy put the learning into a wider cultural context of Spanish life in general.
Jimmy Valencia is a great teacher. He is inspiring, supportive and really cares about his students and the process. Give it a go. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain. If we are going to live in this beautiful place and learn to fit in, you really need to learn how to talk in the local language and not expect everyone to meet us in our native language. How rude is that expectation!
Next 10-weeks intensive Spanish course for creative people starts in May, with only a few places left! It’s suitable for all levels, with books and mobile apps provided to enhance your learning experience. Please contact Jimmy at Abla Ibiza for more information or apply directly www.ablaibiza.com/group