Several years ago in an attempt to improve my halting Spanish, I participated in a two-week immersion program in Costa Rica. I wrote on my program application that I really needed to practice speaking.
I think that the ability to speak is a sticking point for many people who are learning a second language. Reading, completing grammar exercises, and basic understanding all seem manageable. But, speaking is where people get stuck. For me, there was a significant delay between thinking about what I wanted to say, figuring out how to say it, and getting the words out of my mouth. Plus, I feared making a mistake and sounding stupid. As a result, speaking just never seemed to happen.
I finally began to see a real improvement when I started to visit Peru on a more regular basis. It was the countless little interactions that built my confidence to speak: ordering in restaurants, talking with the front desk staff at hotels, shopping at markets, negotiating fares with taxi drivers, and asking for directions—even if it was only to the restroom. My success with these interactions encouraged me to attempt more challenging situations, such as participating in business meetings in Spanish.
Based on my experience visiting Peru, I am partnering with ABC Languages to offer a Spanish Language Peruvian-Adventure. Rather than sitting in a classroom practicing verb conjugations and memorizing vocabulary lists, you’ll use your Spanish in the context of daily interactions with locals. A language facilitator will be with the group throughout the tour, facilitating conversation opportunities, correcting mistakes, and offering encouragement. You’ll also have the chance to see many sights in Peru, including Machu Picchu—one of the new seven wonders of the world.
So if you feel stuck when you speak Spanish, this revolutionary immersion trip might be right for you.