Can I learn Spanish in one summer?

There are so many possible answers to this question, and it really comes down to two factors: how experienced you are with the language already, and the opportunities you’re exploring to improve your Spanish during the summer.

Teens who have studied Spanish since middle school can fall into a wide spectrum of language competency, so someone who did all their assignment but hasn’t really spent time outside of the classroom engaged in conversation in Spanish may not have the vocabulary or grammar yet to quite learn a whole language in one summer. However, a high school student who is already semi-fluent and who continues to participate in conversational Spanish over time can be well-prepared to bring his/her language skills to true fluency in a shorter span of time.

One of the biggest reasons GLA offers Spanish immersion programs for teens in countries where Spanish is the native language - such as Costa Rica - is that immersive learning can motivate students to learn how to understand the language versus just knowing how to construct a sentence (but not knowing how it applies in context). Being in a situation where you can use your Spanish to create community, and make your way through a marketplace bargain or casual conversation with a local really helps to foster the skills that makes mastering Spanish that much easier.

Even if your current skill level is beginner or intermediate, GLA’s high school Spanish immersion programs do provide valuable ways to improve your Spanish language skills, so active participants can come back from their programs speaking more fluently than ever before. And if you’re already on your way to fluent Spanish speaking, a trip to Costa Rica, Guatemala, or Peru can enhance your already-advanced language skills to the point where you feel confident in talking to your high school Spanish teacher without a speaking word of English.

If you’re still unsure, give yourself a quick quiz. Ask yourself how well you can speak Spanish already. Then check if you can watch an entire Spanish language program on TV without subtitles and make out all the dialogue between the characters without breaking a sweat. Either way, the important thing to remember is that learning a second language is a lifelong endeavor, but each step you take to becoming a better speaker will bring you closer to true fluency in another language.

And below, you can explore what GLA language programs can mean to your Spanish proficiency.

I want to learn Spanish this summer