Meg Johnson is currently living here in Ronda whilst home schooling herself in order to get her A level in Spanish – an A-level in England is a qualification that people usually need to go to university. In England it is legal to home school, and therefore some parents decide that this the best option for their children; due to reasons such as learning difficulties or situations like Megs, where home schooling is the most preferred option. As part of her studies she has chosen to help her learning by taking lessons with us here at Entrelenguas. She is going to explain why she chose to study Spanish in Spain and is going to give us the lowdown on what living abroad and home schooling is like!
Lauren: Can you explain your situation? For example why are you home schooled? Why do you live in Spain?
Meg: My family and I have moved around a lot throughout my life. I was born in England but soon moved to France and lived there for ten years. Then, we moved to America. And after four years, here we are in Ronda! We moved to Spain because we used to come here on holidays when I was a baby, and we had always thought that it would be a lovely place to live. When we moved here, I had studied a bit of Spanish before but I was nowhere near good enough – or confident enough – to attend Spanish school, which is why I’m home schooled.
L: Who teaches you?
M: I mostly teach myself from the course book that I am sent at the beginning of the school year, but I also have a tutor (based in England) who I can contact at any time – via email or skype – with any questions, concerns, etc. And, because I’m studying Spanish, I have regular phone calls with my tutor so that we can do oral assessments.
L: What curriculum do you follow? What are you studying for? Which exams?
M: I’m following the Oxford Open Learning Spanish A Level curriculum, which I’m going back to England to sit exams for in May and June.
L: Do you like home schooling? Why?
M: Yes, I really do. Not only do I never have to get up early for school, but also the feeling of getting to the end of a course knowing that you taught yourself all of the information and put in all of the work is really rewarding, and some of the skills that I’ve learnt will be really useful later in life.’
L: What is your favourite subject? Spanish?
M: This year Spanish is actually the only subject that I’m studying, having done Psychology and Sociology last year but, out of those three subjects, Spanish is 100% my favourite, I really love it!
L: Do you think, for you, that it’s better for you to be home schooled instead of in a Spanish school?
M: Absolutely! When I arrived here, my level of Spanish was nowhere near good enough to go and study alongside native Spanish speakers; Spanish school was never really even an option. Also, because I knew I wanted to go to university in England, doing A Levels and studying in English made more sense. The fact that I get to study Spanish in Spain means that I get a lot more practice of the language than I would do back in England.
L: Would you recommend home schooling to others? Why?
M: That really depends on the person. I think that to do well in home school, you need to be quite well organised as well as disciplined with your time and self-motivated and that if someone wasn’t like that I think that they would find it quite difficult because you don’t have someone constantly reminding you to do one thing or another, you have to take the responsibility on yourself. But, for me at least, it’s been a really positive experience.
L: Why did you choose to study at Entrelenguas? Would you recommend Entrelenguas?
M: I chose to start classes at Entrelenguas to learn Spanish because I wanted to meet new people a few months after moving here, and also because I wanted to improve my Spanish. I would recommend Entrelenguas to absolutely anyone. The classes are amazing (whether you do them alongside other studies or not), the people are so nice and welcoming and – with all the different activities – you’re bound to find something fun to do (hikes, movie nights, tapas nights…) For me is is the perfect place to study Spanish in Spain.
L: What’s your favourite thing about Ronda?
M: I love how friendly the people are here! When you’re learning a new language, talking to locals can be especially intimidating, but I’ve found that the people here are so appreciative of you speaking to them in their native language and encourage you to keep trying, regardless of any mistakes you might make. Also, the food is pretty great.’
L: What are you going to do after you finish your exams?
M: I’m going to go to university in England to study Spanish and Chinese.
As you can see, living abroad and studying Spanish is completely possible! Especially when there are places like us here at Entrelenguas where you can meet people whilst improving your Spanish!