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Success Stories - Spanish

student

Daniel Moore

Location: United Kingdom
Learning: Spanish
Classes: 23

Daniel joined Verbalplanet in January 2018 learning Spanish. Daniel's needs were quite specific as he was studying for his AQA GCSE Spanish exam in the UK. Despite getting top grades for written work and reading comprehension exercies, Daniel struggled with speaking and applying what he knew in live conversation.

With the oral and listening sections of the course forming 50% of his final grade, Daniel felt he could really benefit from more practice conversing with a native Spanish speaker to develop his vocabulary, fluency and confidence. Through Verbalplanet Daniel was able to book lesson time online with a native Spanish teacher who was familiar with the AQA syllabus, helping Daniel to focus on the role play exercies and free speaking section of his exam. The end result - top marks and a Grade A - well done Daniel!

It all comes down to confidence

I started to learn Spanish in year 7 at secondary school and had already tried German. It was a requirement for my GCSE exams that I took at least one foreign language and having found German quite difficult, I opted to choose Spanish as my modern foreign language. I was also studying Latin so I thought the vocabulary would be a good match.

Having a fairly good memory has always helped me with recalling factual information so I found picking up Spanish vocabulary reasonably easy. I used a couple of apps to help with this - Memrise in particular was a good one to use as there was a vocabulary list available specifically for the AQA GCSE Spanish course.

Apps were great for vocabulary and helped me with written exercies and reading comprehension when you have time to think, but they did nothing for my confidence when it came to speaking Spanish with my teacher or understanding a native Spanish speaker during a listening exercise. I knew I had the words in my head - I just couldn't seem to put them together or translate them quick enough during live conversation.

Spanish

A little help from overseas

I had about 4 months to go before my oral exam when I decided to try and get some extra help and found Verbalplanet whilst looking for native Spanish tutors online. I took a couple of lessons with a few different teachers just to see who would be a good fit and decided to go with Laura as she's a native Spanish speaker and I thought it was pretty cool that I could learn with someone actually in Spain. She knew exactly what level I was at and had loads of listening and speaking exercies which we could work on together.

It took a few lessons for me to get going and do more of the talking, so it was hard at the beginning, but I can definitely say it's exactly what I needed. I think it helps massively when you can have a conversation with someone about topics that you are interested in. I think you naturally want to try and have that conversation which helps you overcome your fear of talking.

I think one of the biggest advatages to having a language tutor is they can adjust the speed at which they talk to you. At the begining Laura was careful not to make me feel as if I couldn't understand anything. As my lessons progressed, and my confidence grew, Laura picked up the speed and I became more confident listening to a 'normal' paced conversation. This worked really well as I found that in my actual oral exam the speed seemed slower and I felt much more confident in my responses and that I had correctly understood what I had heard.

Apps were great for vocabulary and helped me with written exercies and reading comprehension when you have time to think, but they did nothing for my confidence when it came to speaking Spanish with my teacher or understanding a native Spanish speaker.
tutor

Meet Daniel's Spanish Tutor: Laura Campos

Location: Spain
Subject: Spanish
(1691) Lessons
100%      
 (311) Reviews
View full profile

Hello, my name is Laura Campos and I'm an online Spanish teacher with Verbalplanet. I am a native Spanish speaker and I have been an online language tutor since June 2016.

Daniel Moore has been one of my students on Verbalplanet, and to date I have taught 1691 classes and have 311 reviews from other students who have also been learning Spanish online with me. If you would like to improve your ability to speak Spanish I am sure I can help you progress and achive your language goals. My classes have an emphasis on conversation and oral skills so really help to boost your confidence. I'm also currently offering a discounted initial trial lesson at 50% of my normal lesson price for new students.

If you would like to find out more, please click on my profile link to get in touch and we can discuss how I can help you learn to speak Spanish with greater confidence and fluency.

I think it helps massively when you can have a conversation with someone about topics that you are interested in. I think you naturally want to try and have that conversation which helps you overcome your fear of talking.

A great result in the end

Overall I think learning a language online is a really effective method, especially if you need more conversation practice. My biggest problem with speaking Spanish was confidence and Laura helped massively with that.

It seems silly but for me, learning Spanish was all about being able to speak it, but that seemed to be the hardest thing to be able to practice. Taking Spanish lessons over Skype with Larua solved all of that as I could stay at home, get the conversation practice I needed and not waste time travelling to and from classes, so I could use that extra time studying for my other exams.

Before I started my lessons I was predicted to get a grade B by my teacher. Thanks to Laura's help both the listening and speaking sections of my Spanish exam went really well and I achieved an A as my final grade.

Quick Facts: Spanish

The Spanish language is an Iberian Romance language and part of the Indo-European family of languages. It is estimated that there are around 410 million people that speak Spanish, making the Spanish language the most widely spoken Romance language in the world. Spanish originated as a dialect in the Cantabria region of Spain; from that region, its use gradually spread to the kingdom of Castile, where it became the principal language of government and trade. It was later brought to the Western Hemisphere and other parts of the world in the last five centuries by Spanish explorers, colonists and empire-builders.

The Spanish language is spoken on all continents, most extensively in North and South America, Europe, and certain parts of Africa, Asia and Oceania. With mainland Spain and the Balearic islands being popular holiday destinations for many Europeans, the number of people choosing to learn Spanish online for leisure purposes has been increasing, making the Spanish language one of the most popular languages in the world to learn.

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