We asked
Spanish tutors

How do you weave in Spanish culture in your Spanish beginners course?

Kieran Ball Read full interview Jennifer Corralizza Read full interview Octavio Olenik Giaccaglia Read full interview

Kieran Ball

Language and culture go hand in hand. There are ways to say things in English that are very different to how you would approach them in Spanish. Even things as simple as saying please and thank you are very different in Spanish-speaking countries. If you were in a restaurant in England and you said to the waiter, “Listen, give me a glass of wine”, they would consider you very rude and impolite. However, this is exactly how you would say it in Spanish, and nobody would think you rude in the slightest. I find these differences very interesting, and learning about them helps us to understand the people much better.

Jennifer Corralizza

Integrating Spanish culture is a fundamental aspect of my course, as it adds depth and authenticity to the language learning experience. One of the primary ways I accomplish this is by incorporating Spanish music throughout the curriculum. Music serves as a cultural bridge, allowing students to immerse themselves in the rhythms, melodies, and lyrical nuances of different Spanish-speaking regions. The musical component, in particular, offers a unique gateway to delve into the products and practices of each culture. This immersive experience allows students to engage with not only the linguistic aspects but also the artistic and social dimensions of Spanish-speaking communities.

Why is this important for beginners? Culturally enriched language learning goes beyond mere vocabulary and grammar. It empowers students to engage more meaningfully with the language, fostering a sense of connection and respect for the people who speak it. This not only enhances communication but also nurtures cultural sensitivity and global awareness. By embracing Spanish culture, beginners are better equipped to communicate authentically and navigate intercultural interactions with confidence and respect.

Octavio Olenik Giaccaglia

I integrate Hispanic culture through music with an active approach, news articles, films, YouTube videos and similar stuff. A cultural approach is important as it makes the whole process way more engaging and enjoyable. Moreover, one of the most beautiful things learning a new language gives the student is the access to a whole new world of content, information, outlooks and cosmovisions. That’s the most interesting part of learning a new language, having sudden access to a new world of resources to discover and explore.