“Oh, you’re learning Spanish? Well, in that case, get a Spanish girlfriend! You’ll pick it up in a couple of months!” That was advice from my friend Maria, given to me soon after moving to Valencia. It took me over a year (sniff!) to manage to follow through on her advice, and I have to say that Maria wasn’t wrong. I was pretty competent in Spanish by that time, but hooking up with a Spanish girl definitely put me on turbo charge.
Within a couple of months, I felt I had improved as much in that time as I had in the whole of the previous year. My speaking was much more fluent, and I seemed to understand pretty much everything with no problem. But why was that? What was it that helped me improve so much in that time? Everyone assumes that if you start seeing a Spanish speaking partner, your Spanish will automatically sky rocket. But it’s not quite that simple! Here, I look back at my own learning process during that time.