It wasn’t until I was over 30 that I found I could actually learn Spanish and have fun doing it. What worked was taking one-on-one lessons from native-speaking expert tutors in Guatemala.
Today, you can get that same experience through live online lessons. My wife, Cindy, and I created a non-profit organization, Speak Shop, to make it easy for everyone to take face-to-face Spanish classes and to generate better working opportunities for professional Spanish teachers in Guatemala. Thousands of people around the world have used Speak Shop to learn Spanish online via Skype at speakshop.org.
Here’s why learning Spanish online is easy:
1. It's All About YOU
Do you want to use Spanish for travel? Do you need to learn special vocabulary like medical or legal terminology for work? By meeting with an online instructor you can cut to the chase and learn exactly what you need. You can build on what you already know and move on to what you still need to learn. It will accelerate your progress by leaps and bounds over group lessons. Websites like speakshop.org feature certified instructors who can tailor vocabulary for your needs.
2. There's No Commute
Imagine taking a Spanish lesson in the convenience of your kitchen or during your lunch break. All you need is a computer and Internet access. Forget driving and gas. Meet with a Spanish tutor online via Skype and save yourself time and money. You can even take a free trial and skip the lesson fee your first time around.
3. It Fits Into Your Schedule
Saturday afternoon is the only time you still have free? Your schedule varies from week to week? No problem! Whether you want to reserve the same times each week or skip around, learning online offers the flexibility you need. Just like booking a plane ticket, sites like Speak Shop let you scroll through instructor availability online and reserve your lesson up to a day in advance without last-minute booking fees.
4. There Is a Real Human Being on the Other End
One of the biggest reasons people quit studying Spanish is they lose motivation. Group lessons can be fun, but they can be too slow, software can’t replicate speaking with a real person, and flashcards and tapes are boring. Language is about connecting meaningfully and communicating with another human being…and learning Spanish can be fun! An online Spanish tutor will encourage you through the highs and lows to keep it engaging and to keep you from quitting.
Choose your teacher based on any number of things such as past student ratings, number of lessons taught, or expertise in specialized vocabulary. Try several teachers to see what fits for you. Picking someone you click with will help you stick with it.
5. Experienced Local Instructors Teach Far More Than Language
You can speak English, but can you teach it? The same is true of Spanish. You need a Spanish speaker who can teach. Unless you are advanced enough that you just need to practice chatting with a Spanish speaker, look for experienced instructors who live in-country. They will teach you grammar, pronunciation and vocabulary and can even use their video camera to give you a glimpse of the culture, food, and fun of the place.
Guatemala is known to have some of the best instructors and purest Spanish accent anywhere, and you can find highly experienced teachers through websites like speakshop.org, which enables Spanish teachers to earn a better living while you learn to speak Spanish. The teachers do not work for Speak Shop – they work for you. By setting their own rates and hours and being evaluated by student reviews, they are motivated to wow you.
Speak Shop has delivered more than 35,000 hours of lessons since 2004. Online teachers are supportive and eager to help you learn -- the rest is up to you.