Category Archives: Spanish Tutoring

Top Five Tips for Learning Spanish in Puerto Rico

To make the most of your stay in Puerto Rico it is important that you make an effort to speak basic Spanish. To accomplish this, you can invest in any of the audio programs available or take classes designed to teach Spanish in a short time period. Many people learn basic terms and phrases this way, aiding their initial transition.

However, if you want to interact competently among Puerto Ricans, learning to speak Spanish like the locals is imperative. Those who already speak some Spanish upon arrival will likely discover that they are not understood and they don’t understand what others are saying either. Puerto Rican Spanish is not like other Spanish. That’s not a bad thing. It just means that you’ll have to work harder to communicate. But how do you learn to speak like the locals?

  1. Make the commitment: If you are going to learn anything in life, you have to make a commitment to learning it. Learning a language is no different. Consider how you learn best and go with that. If you are a visual learner, use flash cards. If you’re an auditory learner, get CDs that you can play in the car or download podcasts. If you’re a kinesthetic learner, try doing something active that allows you to immediately apply concepts.
  2. Get involved: Take classes, go to the gym, find a congregation, learn to salsa dance, or find another more suitable activity. Whatever your personal interest, feed it while getting involved in the local community. You can learn body parts during yoga class and watch what others do. Listening to the lead chef of a cooking class repeat words for stir, mix, or bake will amplify your vocabulary. Observe what’s going on around you. You’ll be amazed at how much you pick up after the first few weeks by getting involved.
  3. Make friends with the locals: Don’t be shy. Get to know your neighbors and others around you. They are a great source of information and you can practice your Spanish with them. Locals can keep you informed of upcoming events, tell you what’s new around town, and help you avoid unsafe places. It’s fine to make friends with non-locals as well, but try to balance between the two so that you get perspectives from both sides.
  4. Tour the island: Get out and see the island. Puerto Rico is a beautiful island with some priceless treasures. You can go surfing, play golf, ride a horse, and see ancient ruins all in the same day. The further away from San Juan you go, the less people speak English so this makes for a great way to practice and learn new words. Don’t stay holed up in your house. Go out and explore beyond the shore!
  5. Party: Yes, PARTY! Participating in the many festivities that take place year round is a terrific way to observe cultural customs and learn words for local foods and beverages. If you get invited, be sure to go. You may feel overwhelmed, but go anyway. Look for small opportunities to add to the conversation or simply listen to others and attempt to pick up a few words. It’s not easy, especially when music and seven simultaneous conversations drown out your immediate conversation, but keep at it. You’ll get the hang of it and have fun at the same time.

Overall, don’t give up! Learning Spanish will get easier. Take advantage of all possible opportunities to put yourself out there. You’ll be amazed at what you learn! Mistakes will be made, laughs will be had, but you’ll learn much more than vocabulary along the way. This is key to having the best possible experience you can on the beautiful island of Puerto Rico.

Don’t forget that we are offering FREE CONSULTATIONS for Spanish lessons for both adults and children until September 15, 2012. Contact Global Perceptions TODAY for an appointment! Visit www.globalperceptions.net or call 787.455.7764.

 

Is Spanish Necessary in Puerto Rico?

Depending on who you ask, posing this question can land you smack in the middle of a highly contested political debate. Is English enough? Should English be spoken at all? Should Spanish be the official language of Puerto Rico? Each of these questions can be answered in different ways. With that in mind, the ensuing post should not be construed as a political statement. Rather, this post is representative of the personal and professional experiences of Global Perceptions’ President since moving to the island in 2006.

The simple answer to whether or not Spanish is necessary is “Yes!” The complicated answer is that the extent of Spanish necessary depends on where you live, what you do on a daily basis, your sense of adventure and interest in local culture. Many foreigners decide to live near other non-natives, forming an English-speaking enclave in which they can function. These English bubbles offer support and advice for newcomers and provide a sense of home away from home. Being a part of one of these groups is critical for most newcomers.

As helpful as these enclaves can be for establishing connections, they should not be the only connections that you make. Living in these spaces may be ideal in the beginning; however, you should work to branch out into the local community as well. This is where Spanish becomes increasingly important. Many people you meet have some English skills, but they much prefer to speak Spanish. To put gas in your car, answer the guards when they call your home with a delivery, make a bank deposit or get a haircut, you need to speak basic Spanish. If you have the time before your arrival to learn Spanish, do so. If not, make it a priority once you arrive. Look for an instructor or program with a positive track record that focuses on local conversation skills. You live in Puerto Rico, not Spain or Mexico. Learning to speak like Spaniards will only help you on your vacation there. It won’t help you much here.

Once you have basic skills learned in a classroom setting, put them into use. Make an effort to use your Spanish even if it’s not very good. Local people will appreciate the effort and will be more apt to help you as well. If you really want to practice, make sure you keep speaking Spanish even if they switch to English. They want to help you, but you can’t learn if you don’t practice so stick with it. If you truly have the desire to learn, you will. If you don’t make learning Spanish a priority, you will never make the leap and will miss out on a lot of the experiences you could have had.

If the idea of learning Spanish seems intimidating, consider private classes with Global Perceptions. We focus on teaching students to interact in the local community and function on a day-to-day basis whether as executives, students, military personnel, athletes, or accompanying partners. Our custom-designed materials are innovative and interactive for all ages.

 

FREE consultations for adult and youth Spanish tutoring sessions are being held until September 15, 2012. Contact us TODAY for your FREE appointment! Call us at 787.455.7764 or visit our webpage at www.globalperceptions.net.

 

It’s all about Relocation, Relocation, Relocation!

 

Relocating internationally is never easy, but the thought of leaving the frozen north for the sandy beaches of the Caribbean may make the process more enjoyable. Imagine yourself resting peacefully in a hammock, sipping a refreshing beverage while the salty ocean breeze passes over you. Sounds good, doesn’t it?

 

 

Unfortunately, everyday life in the Caribbean is not quite that simple. Wherever you come from, relocating to Puerto Rico can cause major culture shock. If you have no real understanding of the culture or history and don’t speak Spanish, it can be even more challenging. But you’re in luck! Following is some advice from a professional relocation company to help you prepare for your relocation journey in Puerto Rico.

1. The relocation process will take much longer than you anticipate in Puerto Rico. Even the most organized person will find that everything moves a little slower here. This is largely due to antiquated policies left in place from Spanish rule and a generally laid-back approach to life. Add on extra time to whatever you plan to do no matter if it’s get the groceries, pick up the kids from school, catch a movie, or pay a bill. And don’t be surprised if you don’t accomplish everything in one day, even if the same activities would have taken you only a couple of hours back home.

2. Be prepared for the traffic and driving techniques. If you come from a place where a traffic jam consists of more than three cars at the one red light in town, it can be a major shock! Driving in Puerto Rico requires one to be creative as well as watchful. Stop signs and red lights are merely suggestions, any lane can be a turn lane, turn signals are rarely used, speed limits are posted but not followed, and the slow people
tend to drive in the left lane. It takes some adjustment, but you can do it!

 

3. School curriculum may also be different from what you or your children are accustomed to. Even at the English-language schools that cater to newly-arrived families, there seems to be much more focus on reading and writing than creative thinking or problem solving. Additionally, daily homework in most classes is a reality and many projects require parental supervision if not participation. This is not necessarily bad, but is something parents should be aware of as they go about selecting schools.

4. Legally Puerto Rico is part of the United States. Culturally, it is far from the same. Do not expect your experience at McDonald’s, Home Depot, or Sears to be like that of any other experience. First, you are likely to find more people shopping on any given day. Second, employees will attend customers in more of a triage fashion than an “I was in the line first,” fashion. Third, the checkout lines are bound to be longer and slower. It doesn’t seem to matter where you go. Plan for such an experience; look at is as part of your cultural initiation and learn from the situation.

For more tips and advice on relocation in Puerto Rico, keep reading our blog! More relocation tips are soon to follow! We share what we know to help you through each step of the relocation process.  Feel free to comment and to share your experiences as well! We look forward to hearing from you!



Don’t forget that we are offering FREE CONSULTATIONS for Spanish lessons for both adults and children until September 15, 2012. Contact Global Perceptions TODAY for an appointment! Visit www.globalperceptions.net or call 787.455.7764. 

Cultural Training in Puerto Rico: Global Perceptions Offers the Whole Package

Are you new to Puerto Rico? Have you participated in a cultural training program yet? If so, your cultural training experience likely consisted of theoretical knowledge about one of the many cultural adaptation models, basic tourist information, and some highlights of the host country. When the adaptation program was over, did you feel any more comfortable or confident about living in Puerto Rico? Major corporations invest thousands of dollars in your adjustment process, yet most people walk away from those cultural training programs without the practical knowledge that they need to deal with the day-to-day life.                                      

What if there were a company that not only offered a more application-oriented cultural training program than that mentioned above, but also assisted you with establishing your phone, cable or electric service, getting your driver’s license or buying a car, finding service professionals like doctors, dentists, hair stylists or housekeepers, obtaining government documents, making appointments, and provided on-going coaching services? You’re in luck! Global Perceptions, your Puerto Rico Relocation Specialist, offers this and more. We don’t believe in leaving you high and dry post-cultural training. Instead, we are there to assist you through every step of the challenging adaptation process. Whether you need a little or a lot of help, our staff welcomes the opportunity to help you through this cultural transition.

Not a Spanish speaker? We can help with that too! Our innovative Spanish-language curriculum is custom-designed with the individual and his/her specific needs in mind. We help you get around town, make formal business presentations, and everything in between. You will learn at your pace from bilingual education professionals who are committed to your progress.

There you have it! Global Perceptions is your relocation solution in Puerto Rico because we offer the Whole Package. We will be there with you every step of the way!

If you have been through a cultural training program, but still feel lost in Puerto Rico, contact Global Perceptions today by calling 787.455.7764 or visiting www.globalperceptions.net

Back-to-school Spanish Tutoring from Global Perceptions

 

 

Help your child feel comfortable and confident with private Spanish tutoring from Global Perceptions!

 

 

It’s back to school time across Puerto Rico! It’s an exciting time for you and your child! If your child, however, has never attended a school in Puerto Rico, going back to school can be daunting. Your child may ask, “Will anyone be my friend? Where will I sit in the lunch room? What if I get lost? What if my teacher is mean?” These are normal responses. After a couple of weeks in the new school, your child will know how to navigate the system, where to sit, and will begin developing friendships with other students.

Once your child begins to adjust, you may still be wondering “How will my child communicate with classmates if s/he doesn’t speak Spanish?” This is an important issue and unfortunately requires much more adjustment time than your child’s other concerns. You may opt to avoid that issue altogether by registering your child in English-language schools. There students are welcomed by English speaking teachers, staff, and classmates. But even in those schools what happens between classes, at lunchtime or at recess? Many of native students in those schools grew up speaking Spanish at home and therefore, are accustomed to playing in Spanish. They speak English quite well in class, but when outside of class, they revert to Spanish or a combination of Spanish and English. In this crucially important social setting, how will my child fare? How will my child develop the friendships that s/he needs to adjust to this new school and culture?

The answer is simple! Enroll your student in private Spanish tutoring sessions with one of the bilingual education professionals at Global Perceptions. Our innovative curriculum can be custom-designed to fit the specific needs of your student no matter if s/he is 5 or 15. We offer age-appropriate study sessions, games, and crafts that help your student master basic Spanish skills needed to survive and thrive in everyday kid-friendly situations. Your child will have fun while learning about the language and culture of Puerto Rico!

 

Contact your Puerto Rico Relocation Specialist NOW to find out about back-to-school offers including FREE CONSULTATIONS until September 15, 2012. Visit www.globalperceptions.net or call 787.455.7764 TODAY!