The official language of Ibiza is Catalan with a local dialect of Ibicenco, but, dependant on where you choose to stay you can probably get by speaking English. But for many of us it is important to learn Castellano or Catalan.

I have been learning Spanish for over a year now, and I am going to offer an overview on two different language learning options that are available here in Ibiza.

Instituto De Idiomas Ibiza

A well respected language School in the heart of Ibiza Town which offers a variety of courses. As a private school it can seem a little pricey- but keep your eyes open they sometimes offer 2 weeks for the price of one during winter months, offer discount accommodation options during low season and offer a 25% resident’s discount all year round.

Before you start your course or on the morning of your first day you are required to do a language level assessment; this comprises of a standard multiple choice test (here is an example of one you can take online) and a short conversation. This is standard for most language schools and allows you to be put in a class that is appropriate for your level, however when the school is low on enrolments you may be placed in a slightly higher or lower levelled class).

When I took the course here, there was a few elements which I had already learned but there was not enough students for the class I needed and the one above was two sub levels higher which was too difficult for me, which meant some of the lessons were at a pace too slow for me.

The school offers a structured breakdown of the standard European Levels, for example level A1 has two module books, A2 has 3 module books and so on. This allows structured learning and you can continue your learning when you complete your course as you have the book and audio to complete in your own time. As each level is broken down into various classes, you are sure to be able to find a class to suit your level.

Prices from 205e a week (20 group lessons @ 45 mins per lesson = 13.67e/ hour)

Price per week decreases when booking multiple weeks at once.

40e enrolment fee (includes 1 course book) additional course books 15e

Pros

  • Structured learning- great if you are wanting to take language exams
  • Able to practice with other students
  • Having two teachers allows different accents to be heard

ABLA Street Spanish

This option allows you to learn and practice your Spanish skills at a pace and place which suites you, you can take the course with a friend (of a similar level) to decrease the cost. Prior to starting the course you are required to select options online to explain why you want to use Spanish and where your current skills lie. For example if you wish to work in a shop you can practice phrases which will be most useful to you. ABLA is not restricted to classrooms and you are able to gain a practical understanding of the language.

When I took the ABLA course, I took part in many activities including; word games such as taboo, making stories up using images and doing role play to increase my confidence of when I will be using Spanish in practice.

With ABLA you don’t follow a strict timetable, you can request areas you wish to practice and this allows for complete personalisation.

Prices 200e for 4x 2 hour lessons (25e/ hour) OR with a friend  150e each (18.75e/hour)

Pros

  • Complete personalisation of learning
  • You can choose time and location of the lesson
  • Plenty of practical help

Overall, I found that they were both great ways to learn the language and it’s difficult to say which is better as they both have their strengths and everyone has different learning styles. For me, it worked to take some formal classes first to acquaint myself with the rules and grammar and then get specific practical help in a relaxed setting to increase confidence.

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