When thinking of learning how to speak Spanish and taking Spanish classes abroad, the first thing that comes to mind is Spain. People sometimes forget that there is the whole Latin American region where all the nations speak Spanish and Spanish classes are offered in several schools. Old history teaches us that Spanish explorers have colonized a huge chunk of South America with the goal of colonial expansion, world trade and the spread of Christianity.

While there may be slight differences in how the people from Spain and Latin America speak Spanish, it is basically the same. While some of the customs and traditions in Latin America may have evolved differently from that of Spain, there is still a lot of common thread between the two places. So taking Spanish classes in any Spanish-speaking country would just be as good as taking them in Spain.

Selecting Spanish Schools

Some people claim they did not have a pleasant experience taking Spanish classes in Latin America. But students can avoid this by ensuring that they conduct proper research on the country as well as the language schools and the Spanish classes being offered. One can do this over the Internet as most of these language schools would surely have a presence online. Pay close attention to the courses being offered and their lengths. Check out the facilities. Make sure that the school is located in a safe place and that it is easily accessible to the place you are contemplating on staying in.

The key to finding the right Spanish classes to take is to make a self-assessment of your needs. The right questions to ask yourself would be how much Spanish you will want to know, what you wish to learn, what type of Spanish classes you can take with your schedule and if you plan to study continuously. You must then find a course that will match your requirements. If you are already in the country, visit the school first and talk to the administrators to determine if the school is equipped to meet your goals and objectives. Know about the teaching methods and the materials used and find out whether there would be practical activities where you can try conversing in Spanish.

There are schools that allow students to pay on a per day basis. If you have this option then you should take advantage of it. If you are paying daily then you can discontinue the course anytime you wish if it appears that it is not meeting your requirements. If one has the resources, they should check out the one-on-one courses where you can hire the services of a private tutor. This will give you more freedom to see some of the country as you learn Spanish.

Studying Spanish in Latin American countries will yield good benefits particularly in advancing your learning how to speak Spanish. Your advantage here is the constant opportunity to practice your language skills even outside of school. You would be forced to speak the language in your daily dealings with the locals.

Learning Spanish Numbers

People learning how to speak Spanish will easily realize that it is possible to memorize Spanish numbers in a straightforward way. Some may find it a bit confusing to use for the first time though. Spanish numbers like their English counterpart are made of many parts and they sometimes change based on the gender of the nouns they are referring to.

Spanish Lessons in Numbers:
Learning to count is Spanish is probably the first thing a student can learn completely when they take Spanish language courses. Spanish numbers are pretty similar to English numbers but with some variations. Students who are able to learn Spanish numbers would find it even easier to learn the entire language. The knowledge of Spanish numbers is quite useful in most every situation as people always deal in numbers in everything they do. It is a good thing that it is easy to get the hang of Spanish numbers though there are some counting rules that students need to keep in mind.

Simple Spanish Number Rules:
The number one or “uno” and all the numbers ending in “uno” get shortened to “un” if they immediately precede a masculine noun. The stand alone hundred or “ciento” is shortened to “cien” before it precedes a noun of either gender. The longer form or “ciento” is used within longer numbers. As an example, we say “un lapis” for one pen and “una pluma” for one pencil and we say “cincuenta y un lapices” for fifty one pencils and “cincuenta y una plumas” for fifty one pens. For hundreds, we say “cien lapices” and “cien plumas”. For hundred thousands, we say “cien mil lapices” and “cien mil plumas”.

“Uno” is used in counting only and accent marks are used as needed to ensure correct pronunciation. The hundreds portions of Spanish numbers change according to gender even if other parts of the number go before the noun. As an example, we say “un coche” for one car and “una casa” for one house. Then, “doscientos coches” for 200 cars and “docientas casas” for 200 houses.

The periods and commas in Spanish numbers are usually the reverse of how they are used in English. There is also an old way of spelling Spanish but they are read the same way as the new spellings. Another thing to remember is that the “y” or “and” does not apply to separating hundreds from the rest of the numbers so one hundred and sixty-one is read as “ciento sesenta y uno”. The mil or thousand is not pluralized in numbers so that they are read as dos mil or two thousand.

The years are pronounced the same way as cardinal numbers. The year 2012 is pronounced as “dos mil doce”. In English, we would normally say twenty twelve instead of two thousand twelve as the Spanish would. When it comes to the millions, some confusion may arise. The Spanish follows the British standard for counting in the millions so that a trillion is a thousand billions. The Spanish says “mil millions” for what the U.S. English would read as one billion.