Although the idea of learning a whole new language may seem daunting, it is easy to do if you go about it the right way, and often fun too.
The learning process can be started at home by looking up everyday expressions in a dictionary, online or in a glossary at the back of a travel guide. Glossaries tend to contain full phrases as well as single words, and this will give you a basic understanding of present tense grammar and simple vocabulary.
Then try to make a habit of listening to Internet radio stations and reading online newspapers in Spanish to get an idea of how the language is spoken and written today. The amount you do really depends on how much you want to learn.
After you arrive
If you are living somewhere where you know there is a strong community of Spanish speakers, you could advertise for a language exchange, either on our website in classifieds, or in groups on the various social media sites, just to start the ball rolling.
Following on from that, you should get into the habit of practicing by speaking to locals and asking questions. This will give you more confidence and you’ll be surprised how quickly you become capable of holding a conversation. On top of that, if the vocabulary differs to the Spanish you have learnt, which is often the case for Peru, talking to natives will help you to become familiar with the dialect and understand differences. Listen to the pronunciation and intonation of their speech and try to adopt it for yourself.
Don’t worry about making mistakes - it’s all part of the learning process and will only help you improve. In some areas Peruvians speak very quickly, but don’t hesitate to ask them to speak slower.
Furthermore, while it’s much easier to make friends with expats who speak your native language, try not to make a habit of it because it may hamper your progress. Of course, you want to have friends who are similar to yourself, but try to find as many native Spanish speakers as you can and make the effort if you want to become more proficient in your target language.
Spanish language schools in Peru
There are numerous language schools in Peru with language courses that you can take to learn Peruvian Spanish. Larger cities tend to have more schools and programmes, but small towns have Spanish schools too of course.
Here are some examples of popular language schools in Peru:
- Lingua School in Cusco offers a friendly atmosphere where students can freely communicate with teachers and school staff and help themselves to the free computers and library.
- LanguageCourse.net is a good website because not only will it locate a language school for you, but it also gives you the option to choose the length of course and whether you want accommodation tied in with that too.
- El Sol is located in the capital city Lima and specialises in Spanish language courses for international students from all over the globe. It teaches individually or in groups of no more than six students, and organises a variety of social activities.
These are just four examples among a large number of language schools in Peru - you can find out about other language schools online.
You can find detailed information about international schools in our Education section for Peru.
The DELE (Diplomas de Español como Lengua Extranjera, Diplomas of Spanish as a Foreign Language) are the official accreditation of the degree of fluency of the Spanish language. The exam consists of grammar, vocabulary, conversation, reading and writing tests and encompasses the different levels from A1 to C2 in accordance with the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages.