Spanish experiment in Gran Canaria results

This time I consider the experiment somewhat successful, but mainly because I set very low expectations.

I was there with my 2 daughters and thus had little time to converse with people we met. I came in realizing I was not going to be getting a lot of good opportunities to have dialogues with people, knowing this and how most of the Spanish speakers you meet in this tourist area around Playa del Ingles are people working there, who don’t have all the time in the world.

The best opportunities I got to converse in Spanish were with taxi drivers who took us to different parks there. Some drivers are busy on the radio and telecom etc and not everyone is as talkative, but I did manage to converse quite a bit with two different ones.

Someone had predicted my understanding wouldn’t be much more than hello and goodbye and what is your name, based on my listening hours, but my understanding was pretty good and I could generally understand most or all of what the drivers said. I did find, however that I sometimes couldn’t remember very basic words, like “previous” and “next” although I could get them across in other ways. After failing to find certain words I would also look them up after the discussion and I felt that after doing that, I noticed them much more when listening to Spanish content on LingQ.

What I do a lot when I’m in another country and trying to learn the language there by conversing, is I also use LingQ and other mediums to learn when I am at my hotel or apartment. It helps me keep the language in my head and reinforce some things I learned through speaking.

I think I do need to look into Spanish grammar at this point. I have already learned a lot of words, which often do need reinforcing to pass from passive to active vocabulary, but I found I make a lot of errors in conjugations and I do not really know / hardly know how to use the past or future tenses at all, which can make it very hard to express your ideas. I am a big believer in not starting with grammar, but looking at it once you have some vocabulary in the first place.

I do not think I learned or progressed a whole lot on this tour, but I am happy with whatever progress I made. The tour was mostly about enjoying a vacation and making sure the girls had a good time, so I think I can be satisfied with what I got out of it. In other words, I think I can say I learned a lot for what little time I had to practice.