I’m moving to Mexico #BaseLangStories

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Meet Aliza, a New York native who used the time in quarantine to explore the idea of learning Spanish online.

#BaseLangStories series puts the spotlight on BaseLang students – asking them about their motivations for learning a foreign language, what impact learning Spanish has had on their lives, advice they have for fellow students, and more.

So, can you tell us a bit about yourself?

Hi, my name is Aliza and I was born and raised in rural, central New York! I’ve recently been planning to move to northern Mexico and have been polishing up on my Spanish using BaseLang. I’m almost 50 hours of classes in and finding it so helpful!  To give you a bit of background, I have been learning Spanish since I was 18 years old and studied Spanish in college. The more I learn, the more I realize I have left to learn! I studied one year of high school, one year of college, and 6 months during an internship in Mexico and worked for a year in Honduras. I just can’t get enough of Latin America!

Why did you want to learn Spanish?

Learning and perfecting my Spanish has been a long term goal of mine; I love the language and the cultures of Spanish speaking countries and I love to travel. What I love so much about Spanish is that it connects me to a whole (diverse) group of people, many of whom I wouldn’t have been able to communicate with before!

In the past, what did you use to learn Spanish?

Even though I took a few years of Spanish in high school, I didn’t really learn to speak until I studied for a year in Mexico when I was 18, and then I had to out of sheer necessity. Since then I studied Spanish in college, and I often take trips to Mexico and other parts of Latin America to work or visit. Outside of those trips, I listen to music and podcasts primarily to maintain my Spanish.

Before BaseLang, which part of learning Spanish did you struggle with the most?

I struggled with always using the subjunctive accurately, remembering specific vocabulary that I don’t use often (specific body parts, the more uncommon animals, vocab from different fields of work, etc.), and always using the most natural grammatical structure in Spanish. For example, I can often say something grammatically correct, but it’s not always the most common way a native would express it.

Traveling in Mexico 🇲🇽

What obstacle would have prevented you from signing up for BaseLang before?

I think that if I had known I could pay for BaseLang on an hourly basis, choose my own schedule and teachers and that it is very affordable to do it that way – I would have signed up earlier! I also think I was more weary of online programs because I thought the curriculum would be very rigid or too basic for me. BaseLang is so flexible because the teachers can help you no matter what level you’re at. The best part is that you can choose teachers with similar interests as you or whose strengths match your needs well (grammar vs. conversation, etc.)

(note from BaseLang: the hourly subscription mentioned above is available as a downgrade option to all Real World students)

What did you find as a result of signing up to BaseLang?

Wow, first and foremost I found out that I LOVED speaking with native speakers. It’s engaging, challenging and all of the teachers I have had have great training, are inquisitive, and very professional. I had initially thought I would take two classes a week using the hourly method, but turns out I loved it so much I sign up for 3-5 classes a week.

What specific feature did you like the most about the Real World program?

I really enjoy the fact that I can structure classes based on my interests and needs and sort of take charge of my learning. At this point in my Spanish journey, that’s what I need. I enjoy using other sources with my teachers to improve my Spanish, including reading articles to improve my vocabulary, reading comprehension and pronunciation. Sometimes I want to speak for the first thirty minutes about certain topics or ask specific questions from TV series I’ve watched in Spanish.  Other times I want more of a formal learning experience by reading, doing language exercises, etc.

How has learning Spanish impacted your life?

I have many Spanish speaking friends, listen and watch media in Spanish almost as much as I do in English, and now, within a month, I will be moving to Mexico to work long-term! God has used learning Spanish and travel to Spanish speaking countries to greatly impact and guide my life story. I feel like learning Spanish has given an extra dimension to my life and made my life a lot richer. It’s an area of interest I’ll never grow out of.

Would you recommend this course, if so, why?

I would absolutely recommend this course to anyone who has a passion for learning Spanish or anyone who feels the need to learn Spanish for the “real world”, whether it be work, travel, or speaking with Spanish speakers in your community. Outside of traveling and living in a Spanish speaking country, this is the next best resource.  You have the attention of a native speaker for 30 minutes, a full hour, or more to pick their brain, use a curriculum, ask questions, practice your conversation, etc. Not only that, but the teachers are professional, fun, kind and you’ll find yourself wanting to take more and more classes with them!

Anything else to add (advice for other students, what you wish you had known beforehand) etc?

During your first class, make sure you let your teacher know that it’s your first class and what you’re hoping to get out of the program.  This will change depending on what level you are at and if you’re learning for the first time or polishing up your Spanish like me.

It took me a few classes to get into a rhythm for what my time would look like.  Now, I like to have questions beforehand or topics I want to chat about. Sometimes I will want to use one of the BaseLang sets of vocabulary to polish up my ordinal numbers or vocabulary on geography, etc. Other times I want to read an article online or discuss a Spanish movie I saw.  I would recommend you do things in your own time that add to what you can talk about during your lessons. Watching movies and listening to music, interviews, news, sermons, and whatever interests you (from makeup to sports) in Spanish are all great supplemental resources that really will enhance your BaseLang classes and just Spanish learning in general. Enjoy!!

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This blog is presented by BaseLang: Unlimited Spanish Tutoring for $149 a Month. Learn more here.