The purpose of this group is to get together and speak in Spanish whilst having a great time. There is no set agenda at the meetups, we just chat in Spanish. If you are a new member or are thinking of joining the group could I ask you to read through this Q&A and also draw your attention to the difference between regular monthly meetings which are hosted and other events which are not hosted and therefore may not be suitable for new members to attend alone.
All levels are welcome, from beginners, to native speakers, however it is a Spanish speaker's group
How do I join
All you need to do is to open a profile on Meetup.com and join Birmingham Spanish Speakers. Please ensure that you register with a real name. This can be a nickname if that is what people normally call you. But please use the name you are normally called when you meet people face to face. Birmingham Spanish Speakers is not a virtual group so anonymity is not acceptable. Because we meet together in person to share language and conversation you need to be prepared to share your name at the very least. Therefore it is not appropriate to register with a screen or user name as you might for a on line community.
When are the meetups?
Our regular monthly meetings ( they are scheduled as Monthly Meetup - xxxx ) are usually on a Saturday or Sunday afternoon, once or twice a month. An organiser or a designated representative will be on hand at these events. We are always pleased to welcome new members to the monthly meeting. All you need to do is RSVP yes, turn up and chat to anyone you choose. We also publish the details of other events in our calender. For more information about these please see below
Where are they held?
In Birmingham city centre or local surrounding areas, usually at a bar in a reserved seated area and with space for standing. Feel free to move around during the meeting to meet other people.
How will I find you in the bar?
The meetings are usually in a reserved section of the bar and I put the address details in the event description. I would encourage new members to arrive earlier rather than later after the start time. I try to stay near the front of our reserved area for the first hour to look out for new members. Later on it gets busy and it is harder to spot a new face arriving in the group.
What if I come alone, how will I meet people?
Most people come alone, so everyone knows how you feel. We are all in the same boat. When I arrive I usually don't know anyone either! We may all appear to know each other but each meeting brings a new mix of people. We do have a number of regular members who form the backbone of the group but very few come to every meeting and when they do they too are meeting new faces for the first time each time. My advice is to take a deep breath, clench your buttocks and say hello to someone. After that it is easy. Or come and find me as you arrive and I will introduce you to some people.
When do people arrive? How long do the meetups last?
Most people arrive at the start time, others arrive a bit later. Roughly half the people stay on for about 2-3 hours. You are welcome to come and go when you please.
Do I have to be able to speak Spanish to come to the meetups?
Yes, but you don't have to speak it well. All levels are welcome. However it is a Spanish speakers group and we meet with the primary purpose of speaking in Spanish. So a basic conversation level is required in order to make the best of your time and effort and enjoy these meetings.
These meetings are not designed for teaching Spanish although inevitably learning goes on. But even if you just speak a little Spanish, you are still very welcome. There is a school of thought that believes that as much exposure to your target language as possible is beneficial when learning a new language. The theory is that even if you only listen to Spanish speakers you develop your 'ear' for the rhythm and patterns of the language and probably pick up some vocabulary too. Everyone is patient, so feel free to join in or just tell others you just wish to listen.
What is the typical level of Spanish of the people who attend the meetups?
It is a mix of nationalities and levels. There are learners of Spanish, people who have lived in Spanish speaking countries, and native Spanish speakers.
What is the topic of conversation at the meetups?
There isn't a set topic. It's just left to natural interaction to get conversations going and practice Spanish. It isn't like a class or lecture, rather more like a group of friends meeting up who just happen to be speaking Spanish. Its a bit like going to your local pub or bar or a party and mingling socially except that the conversation is in Spanish.
How much does it cost?
There is no cost involved, only what drinks you choose to buy at the meetups. However we do ask everyone attending the meet up to make a small donation towards our costs. Although the organisation is done on a voluntary basis we do have to pay to use the Meet Up web facilities. At present we do not charge a subscription to be a member of the group but I would ask those attending meetings to throw a little loose change into a jar (say 50p) to help pay for the service.
What can I do to help the group without giving too much of my time?