Learning Calendar

In life, love and learning Spanish some people have all the luck. If you are 18 and Brazilian, congratulations, you have won the lottery of life. If you're not, well, you might have to run at the thing a little harder. But it's a nice "harder". This means reciting verbs in your head as you are walking along a beautiful street on a sunny morning; or trying to figure out the headlines and the stories in the newspapers while dunking churros into hot and sticky chocolate; or wondering why everyone on Spanish Big Brother 76 calls each other "uncle"; or stammering, flame-cheeked, those first sentences in Spanish because something, after all, is better than nothing, to find that the person has actually understood you! If you come to lessons and, apart from doing your homework, have a go at engaging with Spanish outside, and have an average to good talent for languages, then there is a good chance this learning calendar fits you..

Learning Calendar

weeks from zero. You can get by with your survival Spanish expressing basic feelings, asking for things in shops, restaurants, asking for bus or train timetables, giving "profile" information about yourself and asking someone else the same and understanding their replies if they speak slowly.

weeks from zero. Your 1500 vocab words and past, present and future tense mean that you have the building blocks to talk about something that happened or a plan that you have. How easily the sentences come will depend on how much you practise them.

weeks from zero. You are now using your past tenses with more accuracy and competence which means your speaking is more elegant and understandable. Your vocab count is up to 3000 words which means apart from your making for better sentences also improves your understanding of native speakers.

weeks from zero. You have started to learn about concepts such as the conditional and the subjunctive which means that your Spanish sounds more Spanish and less translated. You can watch the news and summarize stories, and so understand Spanish spoken at a moderate pace.

weeks from zero. Your Spanish comes out naturally now, you can speak fast, use advanced structures and argot (careful with your swearing!) and understand almost everything that is said to you, and about half of overheard conversations. The challenge now is to "clean your Spanish up".

weeks from zero. You are incorporating the subjunctive mood and its nuances fairly successfully into your speech, even if sometimes hesitantly and can pick up a lot of what is said directly to you, even if speech is at native speed. You can write short letters and memos in passably correct Spanish, take telephone messages and are thus employable.

weeks from zero. Your Spanish is very good now. All the grammar you will have learnt will have fallen into place so your speech will be accurate and peppered with appropriate expressions and rich vocabulary. You have had enough exposure to Spanish to understand it without needing to concentrate.

weeks definitive fluency. You can speak at the speed of a native, making few mistakes of gender, tense or voice (indicative vs subjunctive). Your writing is elegant and expressive and you have no difficulty in understanding Spanish of all registers, accents or countries even when not being directly spoken to.