First of all, know this: you are never too old to learn a new language! In fact, the practice helps to keep your brain active, which has all kinds of health benefits, including longevity.
The blog Two Expats Living in Mexico provides free, short videos taking you through basic Spanish. Click this link for Spanish for Retirees (Lessons 1-10).
I took one five-week summer Spanish class at a community college before moving to Mexico. In high school and college I took German, not Spanish, and because I haven’t practiced the German for so many years, I’ve lost most of it because I’ve been focused on learning español. Oh, well, c’est la vie—which is about all I remember from my elementary school French class.
You can learn to speak and understand Spanish any number of ways:
- Take a course, or a series of courses, in your hometown or in Mexico.
- Buy audio CDs or downloadable audio courses.
- Read Spanish language-learning textbooks and do the exercises.
- Spend time each day with free online learning tools.
- Immerse yourself in a community where only Spanish is spoken.
- Listen to Spanish-language music and learn to sing karaoke in Spanish.
- Watch Spanish-language movies.
- Read side-by-side books (English and Spanish on facing pages).
- Volunteer to teach English to kids whose native language is Spanish.
In San Miguel de Allende you’ll find well-reputed schools that specialize in teaching adults whose native language is English. I’ve taken courses at three of these schools because they all have different teaching techniques, and I’ve enjoyed them all! Here is a list in alphabetical order.
- Academia Hispano Americana
- Centro Mexicano de Lengua y Cultura
- Habla Hispana
- Liceo de la Lengua Española
- Warren Hardy Spanish
If you’re hesitant about your ability to learn Spanish, these links may help.
- Spanish they don’t teach you in class by Anne Nicolai
- Am I Too Old To Learn Spanish? Q&A in About.com Education Forum
- Funny video: One Semester of Spanish love song
- Another funny video: Spanish For Your Nanny