Entries in the Category "Spanish"
Why learn Spanish in Mexico
As the point where the United States and Latin America meet, Mexico is just as accustomed to having Americans cross its borders as vice- versa. The high frequency of cultural contact that has resulted from both business and personal connections between Mexicans and Americans has made Mexico into one of the most attractive destinations to learn Spanish. In addition to enjoying the high quality that comes with experience, students have a multitude of options of places to study because of Mexico's large size - from one of the world's largest cities to laid back provincial towns.
Spanish lessons in Mexico can vary in price from as little as ten dollars or less an hour for informal instruction to study abroad packages that cost upward of two grand. The type of school that a student selects should balance quality with affordability, but one thing students won't have to worry about too much is the cost of living. The cost of living is relatively low in Mexico, although American travelers get markedly less for the increasingly devalued dollar than they used to. Even so, however, studying in Mexico is much more affordable than in Spain.
Learning the Mexican Accent
For Americans, learning Mexican-accented Spanish can be a great asset. The conquest of Mexican-claimed territory during the nineteenth century coupled with the mass immigration of Mexicans to the United States in recent years means that the Mexican accent is by far the common variety heard within American borders. Since Americans are most likely to practice their Spanish with Mexicans once they return home, it makes sense to speak like them. Europeans may be reluctant to learn a non-continental variety of Spanish, but the lexical differences are so minor that it presents no barriers to communication. There is no stigma associated with speaking in a Mexican accent.
The biggest challenge that Spanish students studying in Mexico will face is that the local accent is so chock-full of slang that learning it all can seem a daunting task, particularly since there are not a lot of books available on the subject. Mastering Mexican slang involves asking friends for definitions and explanations over and over again. This tiresome process pays off and should be considered a challenge rather than a burden.
English Is Widely Spoken
One possible drawback toward studying Spanish in Mexico is that English is widely spoken. Many Americans either reside in or travel frequently to Mexico, meaning that students will likey run into native speakers of English. Proximity to native English speakers provides a temptation to avoid practicing Spanish. In addition, most Mexicans with a strong education or frequent contact with the tourist industry have a good command of English. Beginning students who feel intimidated may feel the urge to avoid developing their language skills and instead speak English out of convenience or shame.