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Renting long term on the Costa del Sol is a dream come true for most foreign residents – the great weather, wonderful lifestyle, excellent facilities, laid back life and a family-friendly atmosphere, but there is one stumbling block for most of us – the language.
It’s particularly tricky here as there are strong foreign communities and lots of support in place for non-Spanish speakers, so the necessity isn’t there to really push yourself to learn. People live here for many years without mastering the language, but those that do make the effort, experience a much better level of integration with the community, get a wider understanding of the culture and are able to cope better with things like the medical system, schools and the service providers like electricity, phone and water companies.
There are lots of courses on offer, from subsidised courses put on by the local Town Hall which you can get access to if you are registered on the empadron, to intensive classes at language schools or private classes. Pop down to your local town hall or Casa del Cultura to find out what they offer there, or look through the local papers to find classes and schools near you.
One interesting option if you like to chat more than study is a new company just launched here called Club de Conversación Marbella which is bridging the gap between relaxed classes and unfocussed conversation by organising conversational Spanish classes from beginners to advanced. They have a qualified Spanish teacher who comes to a relaxed environment such as a bar or café and runs a class which is really practical and interactive and where the focus is useful conversational vocabulary that you can actually practice with.
We’ve also created a number of useful posts about learning Spanish which you can refer to and will be regularly updated for you to keep practicing.