Learning in the country of your chosen language?

Hello everyone I always find myself coming back to lingQ as I think it is the best place to get advise and speak to other people like myself who want to learn a language, anyway!

I have made the decision to move to Spain not sure where just yet somewhere where they don’t speak a lot of English! as I have tried to teach myself Spanish using the Assimil book 2016 I think (which I plan to take with me to Spain) but ended up losing interest quickly due to not having the need to learn Spanish I suppose? living in a country where their language is English and being surrounded by people who only speak English! well in the most part so I am currently in Australia and becoming very jealous and envious of all the Europeans speaking their language in my shared house I thought that is it I am going to go live in Spain and immerse myself in the language I am planning to live there for about 4 months then move to another country where they speak french as I want to learn that too! so I think put myself in situations where I will have to speak Spanish and not having to worry about any kind of audio or reading material and so on as it will be surrounding me!

And I think I will learn the language a lot quicker!!

so my question is any advise for me to pick up the language as quickly as possible and any self study methods of routines while in Spain? I was thinking of using my Assimil book for 30 minuets and then 15 minuets of writing sentences in Spanish with a grammar book and reading the book for 15 minuets a day and speaking as much as I can baring in mind I will be in Spain so that will not be a problem, or should I try and start earlier before entering Spain or just wait untill I am there and just go in as a complete a1 beginner

Look forward to everyone reply as everyone helps me a lot!

Thank You!

oh and while im at it any idea of any kind of work in spain for an English man?


as for myself I would surely start before going to Spain. So that when you get there you would know already at least some basics.


Immersion in the country is great but I think an important thing to note is that you won’t just ‘pick it up’. Many monolingual people assume that, but it isn’t true. You still have to put in many hundreds of hours yourself. Being in the country gives you more access to the language and to its speakers but many people in that situation still learn nothing of the language without putting in the effort.

As Sarka said, start as soon as possible. The more hours you put in before you go, the better.


+jungleboy is completely right, you still must study the language. Assimil is great to start with, after you finish do use lingq.
Besides that, just make sure you get immersed in the culture. Don’t worry about people talking to you in English. If you contact with normal everyday people, they’ll talk to you in Spanish. Just avoid getting caught in a bubble with expats, other students of the language, etc.
One possibility is to join some group that does something you find interesting. For example, I regularly go rollerblading with a club in my local city. There are quite a few foreigners riding along. You can be sure that they speak Spanish with us

How about teaching English? That’s what many of my English acquaintances in Spain seem to do

Wow, rollerblading! I remember when people used to do that. Some day I’ll work up the courage to start it again.

1 Like

what would you recommend for a routine that I should do daily while I am in spain or even before I enter spain?

what would you recommend for a routine that I should do daily while I am in spain or even before I enter spain?

what would you recommend for a routine that I should do daily while I am in spain or even before I enter spain?

I already told you: read and listen something every day. Go through an Assimil lection or two a couples times a day. When you finish Assimil, I do recommend you lingq

Your routine should be to use as little English as absolutely possible. Everybody I have ever spoken to who has had success learning a new language in an environment of immersion had the drive to actually learn that language. They couldn’t speak their native language at all either. Be sure to keep that in mind. DO NOT USE ENGLISH! Figure out what works for you. Get a phrase book, study on LingQ for a while, and when you sort of getting used to the basic material try to get a basic understanding of the grammar and do not, I repeat, do not be too shy to speak in Spanish. You will make mistakes, but that is normal. Guess what, we make mistakes in our native language all the time. The trick is to practice as often as you can with native content and native speakers. Many people out there have had success using many different means. Steve likes to spend most of his time reading and listening to content that he finds interesting, before he decides to speak, and that works for many people. But, if you really are concerned about speaking, then go out, and focus your time on speaking and listening. Get a feel for the language. Did I say, “Don’t use English and be sure to speak with native speakers” yet? Okay, lol, I am sure you get the point. In all honesty, I have complete faith you will do great, and be very proud of yourself once you start feeling comfortable with the language. Best of luck my friend, and it is okay to make mistakes, just don’t be shy about them.

-Cody C.

P.S. Also, don’t forget to learn phrases, and don’t focus on just words. Phrases are natural ways for us to learn grammar along with giving us a natural context for the words that we are using. It makes the language feel a little bit more natural. Sorry, if this happens to repeat in any of the other comments, by the way, I haven’t read any of them yet.

wow, absolute fantastic reply! I really appreciate it :slight_smile: since you gave me such a good reply any advise on a language learning routine before I go? I was thinking about just pure reading and listening I want to get exposed as much as I can to the language before I go and once I have finished my assimil book prehaps start inporting a spanish book into lingq to learn more words and to enhance my listening then start to speak and look over grammer book!?

Any kind of routine would be great I work 9-5 btw :slight_smile:

The question is how bad do you wish to learn the language? Only you can answer that, and you also have to answer yourself honestly, how busy are you? If you wish to learn the language there are dozens of tools. You need to set time aside in the day that will allow you to learn the language. This can be done, by waking up an hour earlier and spending that time eating a good breakfast and practicing the language. Maybe on LingQ by reading a new article and also reviewing a previously read article. On your way to work listen to the article that you read. On your lunch break review your LingQs, and do a lesson on duolingo. On your way home listen to either new content or the same article you read that morning (preferably the same so you can pick up more of what was said along with your extra practice from your lingq reviews).

You will probably have your brain worked fairly hard at that point in your day from the language training, but if you wish to you can always do more work in the evening when you get home. But, if you think about the routine above, recognize by the time you get home (I don’t know what time you would be home) but you would have listened to a fair amount of your target language (Spanish) read a couple of articles and reviewed the pertinent vocabulary.

I can’t necessarily recommend the best way to learn a language because everybody learns differently. I have multiple ways that don’t work for me, and contrary to most people on LingQ, I need grammar practice, but that is me. Start off, by following your Assimil program, and after a couple of weeks of some diligent work on it, consider reading some Intermediate level content on LingQ. Remember, find things that interest you, and don’t be afraid to import new items for yourself or everybody. When you get to the stage you wish to read a book, import it, and try to find an audio version of it as well. So you can read half or a full chapter, and listen to the chapter on the way to work. This is just what I would do. But, different strokes for different folks.

I hope that helps my friend. Best of luck with Spanish, and be sure to keep everybody posted on your progress.


P.S. Don’t buy a grammar book in the language. Try to get a basic grasp of the grammar by looking at some regular textbooks, and don’t waste your money on a reference grammar. Those are more for academics who deal with linguistics or those who wish to teach Spanish. Unless you wish to do that in the future, it would be a waste of space on your bookshelf. There are many tools online you can use to just search the grammar that happens to be confusing you. Hint: A good one happens to be LingQ. You will probably get more use from it than any ole reference grammar.

Thank you so much for the advise! I am currently in Australia and have asked my mum to send over my assimil stuff as getting hold of assimil outside of europe is quite difficult!

Again thanks for all the advise!!!

Muchas Gracias!

Two daily routine ideas since you have asked about it:

Listening: Notes in Spanish (podcast) - 10-minute audio chunks including an ‘Inspired Beginners’ level. Listen and re-listen to as many episodes as you have time for in a day. Purchasing the transcripts (plus exercises, discussion questions etc) will really help too.

Reading: Laura Gallego writes adolescent, fantasy-type books that I highly recommend if that sounds like something you’re interested in. The first chapter of each of her books is offered on her website so you can import them here and see if you like them, how the level is etc. I’d start with the two ‘Aventuras por casualidad’ books since these are really for kids: http://www.lauragallego.com/libros/sagas/aventuras-por-casualidad/

Good luck!