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Old 10th December 2007, 10:27 AM   #47
Super Forero
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Costa del Sur. England
Posts: 116

Originally Posted by Culebronchris View Post

Does anyone know though how high profile, non Spanish speaking, personalities are coached in Castellano when they first arrive? I'm particularly thinking of the football players and trainers who seem to do pretty well remarkably quickly (with the odd Beckham like exception). Is there some language tutor to the stars with an infallible confidence and language building technique?
I'm always suspicious of people who give the impression that they have mastered the spanish language in double quick time. Beckham is no exceptiion, just exceptionally honest about his abilties. The broadcasts that you might have seen of apparent rapid mastery of a second language have more than likely been previously prepared. I have yet to see Gary Lineker in a genuine spontaneous situation that would convince me of his fluency , although like many in this forum, has probaly mastered reading writing and listening to an advanced level. I recently came across a local college spanish teacher and I asked her (in spanish) if there were any conversational classes coming up. Her reply " Sorry I'm Italian, I don't speak spanish , I just teach year one spanish".
I have come across many people claiming to be fluent in spanish but when challenged their speaking level was barely above touristy phrases, but they probaly had a degree in spanish. Players and managers speaking english is a different kettle of fish, apart from pronounciation, english must be childs play.compared to spanish.

I'm no expert but I have broken the enormous barrier between so called advanced student (according to online tests !! ) and the pathetic beginnings of conversation at level 0.1, but it wasn't easy, and I don't believe spending a fortune on so called immersion classes would have made any difference. In fact my main motivation to keep going is not spending any money. No need with all the free material available. Sitting back comfortably and waiting for it to soak in is not an option either, as Richard Vaughan implies below.

Richard Vaughan, an American, is a respected english teacher based in spain, founder of 'pueblo inglÚs' . I have seen him on video teaching english to a small group of spaniards, he must be the best there is and obviously doesn't come cheap However he claims he can only help with 20% of the task. What he has to say about adults learning a second language must be unquestionably definitive about any adult learning a second language.

10 common mistakes Spaniards make , By Richard Vaughan
1.Spaniards think that with 300 hours of class they will have mastered the language enough to get by. The real figure should be around 3,000 hours, including classes, home study and real-life practice.
2 Classes are not the only solution. At best they solve 20% of the problem. It is absolutely essential to study alone (40%) and nip all language-related fears in the bud in real-life situations (40%).
3. Spaniards cannot accept that there is a tedious part: mastering oral agility of the grammar.
4. They assume that if they can understand their teacher, they will be able to understand in real communication situations.
5. They link progress to accumulating grammar and vocabulary. When we do focus on oral and aural confidence-building, they complain about "not progressing".
6. They leave learning English until after their degree.
7. They are not persistent in their efforts to learn and become easily disheartened.
8. They refuse to accept that attaining a good level of English requires a heavy investment of both time and money.
9. They aspire to a perfect mastery of the spoken language which is impossible. Listening should be their priority.
10. They think that they can learn English simply by going abroad. This is not usually true unless they live there for years.
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