Ibiza is truly rich in multiculturalism, boasting citizens and tourists from every part of the world. Although you can certainly get by with the English language, learning Spanish is important to consider if you are looking to stay on the island long term and also if you would like to broaden your career prospects.
The official languages of the Balearic Islands are Spanish and Catalan, and in Ibiza the local dialect of the latter is named Ibicenco. Other than these languages and English, you will often hear whispers of Italian, French and German as many citizens of these countries have immigrated to the island.
Being multilingual certainly improves your chances of finding work, but most importantly obtaining the Spanish language can allow you to truly integrate yourself into the community. Everything is easier in Ibiza with Spanish – from doing simple things such as paying a cheque into your bank account to more complicated processes such as communicating with your local doctor about a particular health concern. Many people make the presumption that everyone will speak English here, however this is not the case. Do not forget that we are in Spain, and many locals will be impressed by your respect of their culture and community if you do speak Spanish to them.
There are several different ways to learn Spanish on the island, and in this article we take you through the methods which are the most effective.
1 Home Learning
There are several applications you can download on your mobile or laptop which can be a good introduction to learning Spanish. Moreover, there are a plethora of books available to buy both on the internet and in the book shops in Ibiza. These cover grammar, pronunciation and vocabulary and are always useful to have as a reference.
It is important that if you choose this method of learning, that you make time in your schedule to study. Learning independently requires motivation, patience and the ability to encourage yourself alone. Sometimes you may feel like giving up as you are without a teacher or friend to keep you motivated or advise on how you are progressing with your studies. Another downfall is that this method will not always start you with the phrases you need to get by in Ibiza. For example, it may be more important to know how to ask where the sugar is in a supermarket, over how many children your brother has! However, the biggest advantage of home learning is that you are able to learn in your own time and at a rate that suits you.
Private Tuition – One to One
There are many teachers and Spanish language pros who offer private one to one classes, whether at their home or yours. A good teacher will know the language inside out and be able to explain all aspects of grammar with clarity and in a style that will progress your language studies effectively. This can be very advantageous as you are given individual attention, and unlike in a class of other students, you will work at a pace cantered around you. The downfall is that private tuition can be expensive, but it is proven to be one of the fastest and most effective ways to learn a language – so overall this may save you money and put you in a better position for finding employment on the island.
Schools – Group classes
Although a relatively small island, Ibiza has some very good independent schools to learn Spanish in. Many schools can be found in Ibiza Town, Santa Eulalia or San Antonio, and some are even funded by the Spanish government so are relatively inexpensive.
For some people, learning in groups can be more advantageous as motivates and inspires you to push yourself with your studies. Usually, you will be allocated to a class that is at the same level as you so it will not be such a daunting experience. The downfall is that the teacher must share their time with all of their pupils, so you are not given the same individual attention as you will find in private tuition.
Friends and integration into the community
This is perhaps the most fun way to learn Spanish and will provide you with the most common phrases that you need in day to day living in Ibiza. It is also helpful to hear the pronunciation, and time spent learning this way can be productive and the most enjoyable! The biggest plus is that it may not cost you anything more than a conversation over dinner or wine!
There are many Spanish people on the island who would also favour a language exchange with you – helping them advance with your first language and vice versa!.