Spanish in Costa Adeje – my first day
Today was the first day of my Spanish course in Costa Adeje. It has been a great start to my holiday! Lessons usually start at 9am, but today we were asked to arrive 15 minutes early so we could register and collect our books before lessons began. Last week, I took the school’s on-line level test. This unsurprisingly determined that I had an A1 (beginner) level of Spanish.
I’ve been placed in a group with three other students. These friendly people were Henry, who is 41, Tekla, who is 57 and Chris who is 35 years old. Tekla and Chris are both German and studying Spanish in Costa Adeje as part of the German Bildungsurlaub programme. This entitles people working in Germany to receive paid educational leave! If you work in Germany and are interested in the Bildungsurlaub programme, just ask Apple Languages. We can give more information about the programme in Costa Adeje, or advise on other locations where Bildungsurlaub is available!
Spanish lessons begin!
Our teacher Laura explained that she is from Tenerife and lives in a town called Güímar. Güímar is located in the east of Tenerife, about 50 min from Costa Adeje. Even though we are not much more than beginners in Spanish, Laura introduced herself in Spanish and we are taught in Spanish from the very beginning. Before arriving I was concerned that I wouldn’t understand anything. However, Laura is excellent and made clear explanations in straightforward Spanish. I am surprised at how much I can actually follow.
We started today’s lesson watching a short film looking at words that are similar in many languages and are familiar to everyone in the group. It’s reassuring to start with something easy and Laura uses the film clips to focus on our pronunciation. For example, explaining in Spanish, if a word begins with an ‘h’ the first letter is silent, so we should say ‘otel’ rather than the hotel I would use in English.
When things do start to get more complicated, Laura has an excellent range of resources helping to describe vocabulary we aren’t familiar with. I particularly love playing the ‘what am I’ game. We stick cards with Spanish vocabulary to our foreheads and ask questions in Spanish to guess what we are. After many questions; am I an animal? do I live in the sea? It turns out that I’m a dolphin! 🐬
Taking a break in Costa Adeje
Every morning there is a 15-minute break mid-morning, when we can stop to get a coffee. As today is the first day of the Spanish course and lots of new students have arrived, the school hosted a welcome breakfast. Breakfast was really lovely as it was held on the balcony, overlooking the sea. Here, we were able to meet other students and teachers working at the school. We were also given information about the activities taking place during the week.
In addition to the welcome breakfast, we have the opportunity to join a dance class on Tuesday, a surfing lesson on Wednesday, a cultural talk on Thursday and beach volley ball on Friday! There is also an excursion to Mount Teide on Saturday, so something is happening pretty much every day!
Lessons finish at 12.15 and for me it’s time to hit the beach which is very conveniently located just 2 minutes walking distance from the school. I shouldn’t forget this is a study holiday, as have homework to complete for the next day. However, thinking of my colleagues at home in cold, rainy England, I can certainly think of worse things to do than homework on the beach in sunny Tenerife!