Hola¡ my name is Ben and I studied Spanish at VLLC. I decided to start learning a language for two reasons; firstly after spending some time in Spain, I returned thinking that I would have got more from the trip if I could have spoken the language. I want to go back to Spain, as well as travel to South America, hence my first reason to learn Spanish. The second reason is that my workplace now has an office in Chile and being able to speak Spanish may open up opportunities for me to work in this office or overseas. The VLLC program’s combination of online study and 1-1 tutorials is very enjoyable, the tutors are great teachers and I am finding that what I am learning is sticking, having studied a language at high school the approach of VLLC seems to work much better. I have tentatively tried out my new found Spanish skills in a few restaurants and with colleagues at work, to my surprise they have understood me! It has been very rewarding experience.
This month we are focusing on all things Spanish. Other than completing a few lessons in Spanish 15 years ago, and attempting to learn Latin dancing, I have had zero experience with the Hispanic culture. While I was learning Italian, my tutors kept telling me I was sounding like an Italian person speaking Spanish and I must admit that if I didn’t know a word, I tried an Italian one to keep the conversation going. It worked 50% of the time.
But in this holiday, we went to the beautiful city of Madrid and were wowed by the history and grandeur of this wonderful European city. We were amazed at how ‘alive’ the city was and as well as the small cobblestoned streets, there were wide, broad boulevards with lots of greenery and parks. We also couldn’t believe how late people (including small children) ate!!
The Royal Palace was larger than any I have seen in Russia (would you believe it) and we went into the oldest restaurant in the world which was founded in 1725. The history of the place (Botin Restaurant) is amazing and its specialty is whole suckling pigs (I have a photo but didn’t want to offend anyone!!).
But what amazed me the most was all the shops with jambon – Jamón Ibérico is considered the finest ham in the world.
Every second shop was filled with this delicacy and priced accordingly. Yes I did try a few varieties and it was best on fresh bread with butter (a bit like caviar!!) I’ve only seen a little part of Spain and nothing of South America – I’d love to hear some of your stories…
Here are some stories about VLLC' students and why they are learning a language