Thinking about learning Spanish? Want some useful advice on the best way to improve? ViaSpanish Language Schools asked some of our qualified and experienced teachers and their students for their top tips to help you learn Spanish. These tips will help you on your way to Spanish proficiency.
- Be Patient
Don't expect to learn Spanish too quickly. You may become frustrated when this doesn't happen. Take your time and don't expect to be perfect straight away. Learning a new language should be attempted in small, manageable steps. Congratulate yourself on progress made and try to steer clear of setting unrealistic goals.
- Learn Spanish Abroad
You will learn fastest when you are exposed on a regular basis to the language you are trying to learn. You will find your mastery of Spanish will improve significantly if you combine what you learn in school with practice in practical, everyday situations.
- Actively Involve Yourself With Spanish Literature
You don't have to read an entire Spanish newspaper every day. However, by attempting to read a couple of small articles regularly, you can pick up common words and phrases. Reading newspapers and magazines can help you gain more confidence in your Spanish reading and writing ability.
- Use Flashcards
Using flashcards is a great way to remember important Spanish words you come across each day. If you keep hearing a word while you are out and about, write it on a flashcard. Also, if there is a word or phrase you find difficult to remember, write it on a flashcard. Review your flashcards frequently.
- Watch Spanish Movies and Television Shows
This is an easy and fun way to learn Spanish. Try to get as much exposure to Spanish film and television as possible. Also, watch English-language movies that have Spanish subtitles. Try to match the words spoken to the words written on the screen. This is particularly helpful in picking up different accents and trying to comprehend the Spanish language when spoken at a faster pace.
- Label Your Surroundings
Buy a pad of stickies and go around your house and stick a Spanish label on things. Every time you go near a labeled item, say its name out loud. You will never forget the meaning of 'el baño' (the bathroom) again.
- Learn With a Friend
Studying and learning Spanish can sometimes be a frustrating and lonely process. Your motivation may drop from time to time. The best way to overcome this is by finding friends who will support you when progress seems elusive. Learning Spanish with a friend also ensures that you have an opportunity for practical and oral learning outside your classroom. Homework usually only involves reading and writing.
- Join a Spanish Learning Community
Online, or in your local community, you will find a surprisingly large number of people trying to do the same thing as you. Sign up for online support and guidance and attend and participate in local Spanish group meetings. We live in an age where information and guidance, if you want it, is easy to obtain. Take advantage of these resources.
Overall, remember that learning a foreign language can be challenging and frustrating. Progress will depend on the effort you put in and the resources you have available. But the learning can also be fun, rewarding, and worthwhile! To learn Spanish, you have to put your heart and soul into it. One hour here and there never really works. Watching the odd Spanish movie will not do. You need to set a plan and stick to it. Remember - the more exposure you have to Spanish, the better chance you have of mastering this language. Buena suerte! (Good luck!)
This article was contributed by Ben Moller-Butcher of ViaSpanish.