When the government in the UK imposed its third, and hopefully last! National lockdown on 4th January this year, the hotel chain that I work for as a junior manager in the UK put me on furlough (this means the government pays me 80% of my salary but I get to keep my job), for the third time in less than twelve months! Rather than hang around the house like a loose end looking for things to do to keep my brain alive (there’s only so much daytime TV a person can watch before going completely out of their mind), I decided to put my time to good use by enrolling on an online Spanish course at AIL Malaga.

I’ve always wanted to learn a second language but the school I attended in the UK didn’t offer language options and up until now I’ve frankly never had the time. Studying Spanish online to reach a proficient level for a person who works in tourism will open a handful of job opportunities and hopefully also personal adventures!

el espanol util para trabajo en turismoWhy should I learn Spanish? I hear you ask. Well, the hotel I work for in London welcomes huge numbers of Spanish visitors every year, at least in ‘normal’ times, and I thought it would be extremely useful when I do get back to work properly again, sometime this Spring (fingers crossed) to be able to speak to our Spanish guests in their own language! Lo que has propuesto está guay, pero esto está muy bien también. Es cercano y parece una historia real. La idea aquí es cambiar lo mínimo para que esté alineado. No queremos dedicar tiempo dos veces a escribir. Ya me contarás, seguro que lo has pensado por algo. 😉

So, what are virtual Spanish classes like? Truth is, I can say without hesitation that AIL Malaga’s Online Spanish classes are FANTASTIC! As I spoke absolutely no Spanish at all prior to enrolling, I naturally signed up to the beginners’ class, where I found myself placed in a small group of students none of whom spoke much Spanish either, much to my relief! I was told AIL Malaga are very diligent about placing students of similar levels together and sure enough this proved to be the case. And it’s a truly international blend of students too, which means I’m not only studying  Spanish but meeting people from all over the world too!

clases de espanol en videoconferenciaThe virtual classroom is just like being in a normal classroom, sort of! This ‘weird new normal’ that we’ve all been getting used to since the pandemic hit means that I’ve learned to adapt to pretty much any new circumstance that’s arisen, and the AIL Malaga  live online Spanish classroom is just so easy to use. My routine is pretty simple, I flip open my laptop from home at 9.00am every morning, Monday through Friday, and off we go! Easy as that. I signed up for the Intensive online Spanish course, which means I have twenty classes per week. The classes last 50 minutes each, leaving me plenty of time to fit my usual daily routines around them. AIL Malaga use Zoom for its online Spanish training, which as far as I’m concerned can’t be faulted. The sound quality, visuals and connection are excellent and perfectly tailored for learning.

actividad ELE para practicar espanolLive Online Spanish classes are a combination of academic learning and fun exercises, both of which have helped me greatly with the learning process. It came as a bit of a shock when I discovered on day one that all lessons would be conducted in Spanish, but I needn’t have feared as everything has progressed at a perfect pace that suits me just fine. After initially being introduced to the basic fundamentals of the Spanish language, our learning has focused on four main areas: speaking and oral comprehension and writing and written comprehension. It’s clever and a lot of fun too the way that AIL Malaga then enable us to practice our learning in real-world scenarios and fun games. The other day, for example, the class played ‘Who wants to be a Millionaire’. One of the questions I got right was putting the right pronoun to fit a sentence from a choice of four options. I won 32,000 euros for getting that right. Shame the euros were only virtual!

Anyway, summing up, I can say with complete honesty that the entire experience of studying Spanish online in a virtual classroom has been great, and after a little bit of getting used to, I’m finding the lessons hugely enjoyable, informative, and educational. It really helps that we have a real teacher in the classroom with us at all times and I’ve loved sharing my learning with real classmates from all over the world. We really bounce off each other and this helps me learn faster too. The interaction between us all is a very enjoyable and the learning material is all delivered digitally. We are set regular homework, which is never a chore, and the feedback is fast and helpful. I’m so proud of myself to be studying  Spanish and can’t wait to try it out on our Spanish hotel guests when the day job eventually resumes!