“The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.“
A polyglot is someone who knows or uses several languages. I consider myself a polyglot because I can communicate reasonably well in Spanish, French, Italian, and Russian.
Learn Spanish Over 50 Through 1-on-1 Personalized Classes
I am Convinced that Anyone Can Learn Spanish
Often Fifty Plus Nomads seem awestruck that I can converse reasonably intelligently in four languages in addition to my native English. (Spanish and French- advanced level; Russian and Italian- intermediate level).
While I have put a fair amount of time into learning these languages, I enjoyed most of the process and look forward to learning other languages in the future.
Most people tell me they have no skill in learning foreign languages. I don’t believe them. While I am lucky to be better than most language learners, anyone can learn if they have patience and desire.
About three years ago, I asked myself why are some people polyglots (like me) and others have so much frustration learning another foreign language. I began to understand that the difference between polyglots and everyone else is passion and discipline, not natural ability.
I also realized that people over 50 often learn Spanish differently than younger people. We are often frustrated by many younger teachers who don’t understand that it has been years since we were in school and many of us carry emotional scars from previous fruitless efforts to learn Spanish.
I am 56 years old. I have learned Spanish using almost every method out there. I know which methods work for me and which ones may work for you.
My 1-on-1 Spanish classes in my home in Merida, Mexico (or online), come from my studies about how polyglots successfully learn multiple foreign languages. and my observations about the needs of learners over 50. (I employ native Spanish speakers and teach them how to teach using my methodology).
What did my studies reveal? Namely, while some people have more language learning talent than others, anyone can learn Spanish if they accept the following precepts:
- It takes time to learn Spanish. The US State Department provides 600 hours of classes in Spanish to people that it wants to serve in a Spanish-speaking post. The level of skill the State Department requires is more than most people need. However, the US State Department hires people with a lot of academic preparation and skill. My experience is that most students become sufficiently conversational to meet their needs in Spanish after about 200-300 hours of practice, including time in the classroom and talking to natives.
- There is no one surefire way to learn a language. Each person needs to find a method that works for them. Finding this method is a matter of trial and error. In addition, you need to change your techniques periodically as you become more fluent.
- Many people advertise that you can learn a language in a few hours; however, this is just a marketing ploy.
- The more passionate you are about learning a language, the better. I learned Spanish because of my fondness for Mexico and my desire to explore the rest of the Spanish-speaking world. If you share a similar passion to learn, you will make progress fast.
- Effective communication involves more than just words. You can say something perfectly correctly in Spanish, and the listener can interpret it differently than you intended because Latin American and Spanish cultures are quite different than those in the US or Canada.
- You will never be as fluent in Spanish as you are in English. If fluency were easy, a computer could translate Spanish to English without difficulty, but in truth computers are worse at translating than most professional translators.
Based on these precepts, I encourage students in my 1-on-1 Spanish classes (particularly beginners) to devote, if possible, at least a couple of months (or at least 100 hours) to taking courses in my home in Merida or online.
I want my students to see noticeable progress, which only comes from dedicating as much time as possible to learning Spanish.
By coming to my house in Merida, you will avoid the distraction of everyday life at home, and we can concentrate on helping you achieve your Spanish-language goals and dreams.
Toward that end, the class cost per hour will be substantially less if you sign up for more than 100 hours of classes than the cost per hour for less than 100 hours of instruction. (My in-home classes last between 10-20 hours a week)
In addition, I highly encourage students to live with a local family, an option that I plan to offer students as soon as possible. Living with a local family (especially if you eat meals with them) has been key to my language learning success.
The cost of living in Merida is low, so you can take several months of classes and live with a local family (including some meals) for $80-$125 per day ($2400-$3750 per month). Less than most Fifty Plus Nomads spend living in the United States or Canada.
I will gear the class toward your needs. If, for example, you want to learn Spanish to live in or travel long-term around Mexico, we will learn about cultural issues between Mexicans and your culture that will affect communication and the Spanish language.
You will also learn to use the dialect used wherever you plan to live or travel. If you plan to live or travel in Yucatan, you will have the bonus of practicing the local dialect with native speakers during and after your classes. (Note: Most Yucatecans are also familiar with Mexican Spanish and can help you learn words and expressions used in other parts of the country as well).
If you are not able to devote so much time to learning Spanish. consider signing up for my other classes:
- How to Learn Spanish like a Polyglot (This is best for anyone with a little Spanish already under their belt)
- Basic Survival Spanish for Travelers or Expats (If you are a beginner).
Want to Know More About Your Teacher, Paul Heller?
I have devised the unusual and effective polyglot method to tutor students in one-on-one Spanish classes based on:
- Taking over 500 hours of Spanish classes using various techniques at schools in Mexico, Spain, Peru, Nicaragua, and Argentina. See my post: My Complex Learning Language History for a synopsis of how I learned Spanish and why the eclectic method, which is the base of my exclusive polyglot teaching method, works best for me.
- Three years of experience teaching classes and tutoring in English and Spanish to a wide range of students from diverse age groups, nationalities, and financial backgrounds.
- Completing twenty language teacher preparation classes through the University of California at Riverside and various online programs.
- Receiving a minor in Spanish from Macalester College.
- Spending nearly six years living and traveling in Spanish-speaking countries.
Want More Information on How You Can Learn Spanish?
Check out my posts: Top Proven Youtube Videos for Native English Speakers Learning Spanish and Unearth Little-Known Spanish Language Tips for Adults over 50.
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