Where to Practice Speaking Spanish on Holiday

by Chief Spanish Learner on June 20, 2011

In my last post, I talked about improving your Spanish pronunciation and confidence speaking Spanish. While the methods I listed are good, a MUCH more fun and effective way to practice speaking Spanish is to do so by traveling to Spanish-speaking countries, hopefully while on a nice vacation.

I’m not exactly a globe-trotter, so when Jess Whitworth said she could write about her experience in Tenerife, I had to ask, “Where is that?” and of course, the response, “the Canary Islands”, left me Googling my way to discover that the Canary Islands, while part of Spain, are actually located closer to northwest coast of mainland Africa.

Here is an arial picture of Tenerife and Jess’s advice,

Arial View of Tenerife

When learning a language and holidaying abroad in a country that speaks this respective language, surely this should be your prime time to put your skills into practice? Well this is not always as easy as it should be. There are often issues to do with confidence – are the locals going to tolerate a slightly shady accent or mispronunciations? Or are you not going to be given the chance to try out your skills as everyone speaks English? It could benefit you to do a little research before you go. Here is a little guide for those of you who are wondering; what is the best Spanish speaking country to practice your Spanish? Well the answer lies in Tenerife.

In Tenerife the case generally tends to be that even the most ‘English’ populated areas still have many Spanish people, who appreciate the smallest amount of trying when it comes to speaking Spanish. Most people will usually appreciate an effort to communicate in their mother tongue. Obviously it depends on the situation, where exactly you are, how laid back the environment you find yourself in is, but if time is not an issue – then just pluck up the confidence to give it a try.

Some of the smaller places in Tenerife like Los Abrigos near Golf Del Sur Tenerife, (a small Spanish fishing village that has very, very good fish restaurants!), mainly speak Spanish but will speak English when required. Places such as Los Abrigos are often keen to help you with your Spanish pronunciation.

Some of the more heavily tourist dominated resorts such as Playa de Las Americas on the other hand are very English. It can be difficult to find somewhere to practice your Spanish here due to the fast paced, simplicity of the resort and the fact that the locals know that the majority of holiday makers visiting such places will not be able to speak a work of Spanish, or even try.

If you go out of the main tourist areas and travel up the mountain slightly (Mount Teide the largest volcanic peak in the whole of Spain), to Valle San Lorenzo, San Miguel or even to the centre of Santa Cruz, you can find some lovely areas to visit, eat, play and also practice your Spanish in comfort. However in some parts of Santa Cruz and La Laguna in the North, it may be difficult to get around if you do not speak any Spanish, but if you do try they will normally help you out either way.

The Canarians are generally very good in helping and encouraging visitors to speak Spanish but sometimes there may be occasions where you may want to practice your Spanish and they will want to practice their English, particularly in the more remote areas. This can work out rather nicely for you both as you can learn and help each other, and this mutual bond may put you at ease and help you fall into more relaxed conversation.

So when thinking about a nice place to holiday, with plenty to do, that has a wonderful culture, ambience and a great place to practice your Spanish, then look no further, choose a holiday in Tenerife.

Bio: Jess Whitworth is a travel enthusiast who has recently returned from an exhilarating round-the-world trip. She now works for lowcostholidays, specialising in all things Spanish, with the current focus on Tenerife. She adores the Spanish language and is keen to speak Spanish fluently someday.

1 comments
                Vakantiehuis spanje
Vakantiehuis spanje

While we make visit to any country. The most important key to get acknowledged with the language of that country. I love to read your post here. It will help us to learn Spanish when we will go for any trip to Spain. Thanks

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