So you are off to your new job in Mexico. With all the excitement of moving, you may have one worrying thought on your mind, you can’t speak any Spanish. “Hola” and “una cerveza/margarita, por favor!” is probably the limit of your knowledge. Is learning Spanish necessary, you may be asking yourself when working in Mexico. In some of the major tourist locations such as Cancun, Puerto Vallarta and Cabo San Lucas you can probably get away without using Spanish, but the best way forward is mix with the locals and you will surely pick up the language more rapidly.
Tips for learning Spanish when working in Mexico
There are many ways to learn Spanish subject to the levels you want to achieve.
The best way to study Spanish when working in Mexico is to place yourself within the Mexican community amongst the local people and away from any influence from your expat mates who will be probably be only speaking in English. Join in with the local charities, help the older residents or at the library, attend art and other events and mix and make sure you speak as much Spanish as you can. You can enhance your learning by taking part in yoga, zumba or gym classes and even getting a Spanish maid with little or no English will help you to improve your language skills.
Forget about getting it right.
If you are considered to be “good at languages” or not, the key to learning is your ability to accept that you may get it all wrong. One of the biggest concerns when speaking a foreign language like Spanish is the worry of getting your tenses mixed up, using words from other languages or trying to speak with Spanish accent. You need to eradicate the need to get it right and use all the words you know in any order that comes into your head. Speaking Spanish or any language is not all about using the correct grammar, but the willingness to listen to what is being said to you and expressing yourself with your reply.
Take a Class.
Learning Spanish in private, as part of a group, from the internet, or from books or CD’s can make all the difference to your confidence in the language, both in vocabulary and grammar. Small groups, if you are a complete beginner, are the best way to go in Mexico. The rate of teaching is slower but you are also able to learn from your classmates. If a quicker rate of learning is required, you may consider hiring a private tutor, but it may be more expensive. A private class may also be easier to coordinate if you are working in Mexico.
Private Tutors in Mexico.
Private tutors offering Spanish classes are readily available in Mexico. You can find a suitable tutor by advertising on Facebook or other social media forums, or consulting your local language school. Make sure you use a reputable one though as sometimes a good local Spanish speaker does not necessarily mean they are good teachers. Sometimes a quiet conversation over coffee with a Mexican friend can improve your Spanish no end.