Las Aventuras Alicantinas – Part 2: La Hora de Clase

Enforex Spanish school

My flatmates – Giorgio and Veronika – and I left bright and early to start our first day of Spanish school at 8:30. It was a casual fifteen-minute walk downhill to the school, which was on a busy palm-tree-lined avenue and pedestrian promenade on the edge of the marina. The walk took us through town, down La Rambla, a bustling shopping street by day and a lively strip of clubs and bars by night, which was crossed by narrow, winding alleys of the Old Town.

The school was small, yet modern, and as soon as we arrived, we sat a placement test to determine our level of Spanish. The first part was grammar exercises – my strong point, great! The second part was an oral test – my weak point, not so great! Despite slipping in the odd subjunctive in the speaking part, the two tests balanced out to place me at level B1 (the European language proficiency levels being A1, A2, B1, B2, C1 and C2 in ascending order).

Veronika, Giorgio and me on
the beach – for the record,
I no longer own that hat

Classes were to be a demanding five hours every weekday with the first three weeks being from 14:30 until 19:30 and the final three weeks from 09:30 until 14:30, and I found myself in a class taught by Laura, a softly-spoken lady from Argentina, and Pedro, an energetic Spaniard, (both in their late 20s/early 30s). I was put in the same class as my flatmates and eight other students from Germany, Japan, Italy, France, England, Belarus and Russia.

As school was in the afternoon, we had a few hours to explore the city, but after a five-minute stroll, we found the hectic city beach, where we set up camp for the rest of the morning.

Back at school in the afternoon, we started off with talking about Spanish customs and comparing them to our own. It wasn’t just grammar drills we did in class; it was more practical than university classes. We learnt Spanish recipes; Pedro even gave me his family’s paella recipe, which my flatmates and I tried out. Talk about deliciosa.

My class at Enforex – that was only
window in the room so we weren’t
distracted by the beach

We learned about Spanish card games, Spanish hand gestures, Spanish idioms and Spanish dances, like the flamenco. It was very culturally oriented – the ideal way to learn a language – and at the end of each day, I’d come home with a sheet of A4’s worth of vocabulary.

At the end of the six weeks, I came away with a certificate with my “marks”. Although there weren’t any formal exams, the teachers had naturally been keeping an eye on our progress, and it was quite emotional when I finished at Enforex Alicante to read the certificate with Laura and Pedro’s comments saying how promising Spanish would be for me…

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