“Language is the road map of a culture. It tells you where its people come from and where they are going.”
Rita Mae Brown
Survival Spanish for Travelers over 50 Workshop
People over 50 learning Spanish often have different needs than younger people. We are often frustrated in classes where everything is in Spanish or classes that emphasize too much grammar.
Perhaps more than anything else, many younger teachers don’t understand that it has been years since we were in school and many of us carry emotional scars left over from previous fruitless efforts to learn Spanish.
The two-week Basic Survival Spanish for Travelers over 50 workshops will give students with little or no Spanish language background enough Spanish to function in simple, daily situations.
The workshop is available in a group or individually in my house (maximum size: 5): Casa Los Dos Gallos in Merida, Mexico, or online individually (minimum: 20 hours).
At the end of the course, you should be able to:
- Form basic sentences (without much grammar)
- Learn between 200-400 words and expressions, depending on the participants’ needs and wants, related to subjects like public transportation, ordering food from a restaurant, buying souvenirs, making friends, and describing things (adjectives), colors, numbers, and time.
- Know false and real cognates. (Words that are almost the same in different languages. For example, every word that ends with ¨-tion¨ in English ends with ¨-cion ¨in Spanish (pronunciation (English)= pronunciacion (in Spanish).
- Know more about Latin American culture,
Most of the class is in English. The course also includes a city tour and cooking class if you take the class in my home in Mérida.
At the end of the class, you will receive a brief individualized plan for continued Spanish studies that you can use at home (including suggestions for conversation practice with locals). You will also be able to call me (or your teacher) once every month to check on your progress and receive further recommendations (optional)
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.
What is the Polyglot Method?
My Spanish classes 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.
- Every student has different needs and desires. While most students need or want to become sufficiently fluent to operate in most daily situations, many students either need a jump start or intend to just need some basic phrases while mostly operating day to day in English. My “How to Teach Yourself Spanish classes” provide students with the necessary jumpstart to began their journey toward fluency. The Basic Spanish Survival Class allows students to learn enough for basic conversations in daily travel or expat life. It works best when the student(s) either intends to continue to study or doesn’t need (or want) to use Spanish outside of a few basic situations.
- 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.
Want to Learn More Tips For Learning Basic Spanish?
Additional Posts About Fifty Plus Nomad Seminars and Workshop
- Fifty Plus Nomad’s Survival Spanish for Travelers Over 50 WorkshopIntroducing Fifty-Plus Nomad’s “Basic Survival Spanish Workshop” in my home in Merida, Mexico or online. Come learn enough Spanish to help you travel long-term in the Spanish-speaking world.
- Fifty Plus Nomad’s Exclusive Expat Retiree Survival Spanish WorkshopCheck out Fifty-Plus Nomad Spanish classes in my home in Merida, Mexico or online. In this three-week workshop, I will help you learn enough Spanish to survive daily expat experiences in the Spanish-speaking world.
- Fifty Plus Nomad’s Exclusive “Find Your Ideal Place to Live Abroad Over 50” WorkshopWant to live in Latin America or Europe but don’t know where to start? Take my one-on-one, one-week workshop,, and let me help you find your ideal place and then map out a plan to successfully live abroad.
- Fifty Plus Nomad’s Exclusive 1-on-1, “Ultimate Long Term Travel Planning Workshop”Benefit from my eight years of experience traveling around the world. Spend a week at my home in Merida, Mexico and learn what you need to know to successfully and joyfully travel long term, around the world.
- Fifty Plus Nomad’s Exclusive 1-on-1 Traveling and Living in Mexico WorkshopAlways dreamed of traveling or living in Mexico but don´t know where to start? Take my one-on-one, one week workshop at my home in Merida and learn what you need to know to make your Mexico-bound dreams a reality.
- Fifty Plus Nomad’s Exclusive “How to Teach Yourself Spanish Over 50” WorkshopLearn how to study Spanish or English on your own using the same techniques used by polyglots to become fully conversational in multiple foreign languages.
- Learn Spanish Over 50 Through Fifty Plus Nomad’s Exclusive 1-on-1 ClassesIntroducing Fifty-Plus Nomad Spanish and English classes in my home in Merida, Mexico. Come learn Spanish or English using the same techniques used by polyglots.
Additional Posts About Language Learning From Fifty Plus Nomad
- Fifty Plus Nomad’s Survival Spanish for Travelers Over 50 Workshop
- 7 Little-Known Ways Polyglots Use to Learn Multiple Foreign Languages
- 45+ Best Language and Travel Quotes
- Fifty Plus Nomad’s Exclusive Expat Retiree Survival Spanish Workshop
- Fifty Plus Nomad’s Exclusive “How to Teach Yourself Spanish Over 50” Workshop
- Learn Spanish Over 50 Through Fifty Plus Nomad’s Exclusive 1-on-1 Classes
- 25+ Best Learning and Travel Quotes
- 12 Creative Tips for Learning a Foreign Language Over 50
- 3 Tips For Finding the Best Small Foreign Language Schools Abroad
- The Best Long-Term Accommodations: Homestays (Staying with Local Families)
- My Complex Language Learning History
- Expat Life in Merida: Contentment with Friends and a Dog Despite Coronavirus