1. Make learning a fun experience!
First and most important of all, do not make learning Spanish a chore for yourself. People are more likely to learn, remember, and enjoy themselves when they find studying and practice fun. It’s the same way with cleaning: it doesn’t have to be a huge burdensome task, but when you see it as this big insurmountable obstacle, you end up not enjoying it, or not doing it at all.
Figure out how you study best and what makes an enjoyable study session. Do you like writing, or are you a meticulous note taker? Do you prefer to read things to yourself until you memorize them, or are you the flashcard user? Are there ways that you can implement Spanish in a fun way, like a game, or a task that you see as rewarding?
Keep it enjoyable. Take breaks. Try not to be consumed with self-doubt and fear that you aren’t improving. You’ll get there, even if it’s not immediately.
Above all, be kind to yourself.
2. Read, read, read!
Reading may not be for everyone, but for those who enjoy it, reading is probably one of the best resources you can find. There are books on everything, and published books tend to be less full of errors than someone’s post on social media. But every little bit helps!
Books are great resources because they show you how the language is being used – either at a specific time period, or now – and they show you the words that people actually use. Seeing the language in action is also a great help. If you’re not sure how to use subjunctive, keep an eye out for how the author uses subjunctive. If you’re not sure if it should be preterite or imperfect, see how the author does it and take notice.
Depending on the book, you might end up learning a lot of vocabulary. Recipe books have plenty of food and cooking vocabulary, a sci-fi book will likely have some scientific terms, a book on pirates has nautical terms, books on animals have animal vocabulary, and a mystery novel will teach you plenty of emotions, gestures, or even words for “alibi” and “motive”.
Take note of the words and expressions, and maybe look them up as you go or once you’re done. Now you’ve got your own vocabulary list![vc_row][vc_column][vc_gap height=”40″ hide_under=””][vc_message color=”custom” tcolor=”#333333″ bw=”1″ br=”5″ close=”” bgc=”#ffff99″ bc=”#e5e597″]
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3. Use every occasion as a chance to learn
Studying Spanish doesn’t have to be something you just in a classroom setting. There are plenty of ways to learn Spanish as you go about your life.
A trip to the grocery store or a department store might serve one practical purpose, but you can also use it as a chance to practice. Many food or product labels come in both English and Spanish (in the USA). You can find out the names for things or read instructions in Spanish.
If you’re going to watch TV or Netflix, or listen to music, you might try finding some things that have Spanish options. Whether watching a program in Spanish or with Spanish dubbing, or watching something with Spanish subtitles, you can sit back and listen and enjoy but also learn.
Studying doesn’t have to be all about books. You can procrastinate productively.
4. Practice your Spanish on the regular
Your Spanish isn’t going to get much better if you only use it when you have to. If you’re only using Spanish in the classroom, you’re not really going to progress that much. What happens if you’re not in school or it’s the summer? How do you continue your education?
It’s best to make use of your Spanish as regularly as possible. Every day is advisable, but not always practical. Nowadays you can find plenty of resources and books to help give you something to do to further your education. You can find a penpal or join a group or club that uses Spanish. You can look into Spanish-speaking media like the radio, or Spanish-speaking television and movies.
Consistency is key here. Use it or lose it!
5. Consider more formalized education or tutoring?
While learning by yourself might be cheaper or easier in some ways, it isn’t always the best way to learn. If you feel like there are gaps in your education, or you don’t understand things about Spanish, then it might be time to try checking out what classes or tutors you can find.
Learning with a professional teaches you how language should be done, and what the rules are. They teach you how to use the language and in what ways the language is used.
They tend to be one of the more reliable and fully-immersive options that you can find, so it’s always a good idea to find one if you think you could benefit from it![/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/1″][vc_gap height=”40″ hide_under=””][vc_message color=”custom” tcolor=”#333333″ bw=”1″ br=”5″ close=”” bgc=”#ffff99″ bc=”#e5e597″]
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