Interested in some tips for learning Spanish? Here is the most important one: be ready to stay in it for the long haul.
See, learning another language isn’t something that you can do in a fortnight. It takes a lot of listening, speaking, reading and writing to master a language. Of course, participating in creative activities can help keep you engaged.
In that regard, Spanish is no different than any other language. Sure, it’s technically the most popular second language in the United States. Still, the vast majority of people never reach a level where they can communicate in Spanish.
If you want to learn how to study Spanish, we can help you out!
Here’s a list of 10 Spanish learning tips to get you started
Write a Grocery List in Spanish
Don’t fancy yourself a list maker? Now would be a good time to begin.
Before going to a grocery store, write down the foods you’re planning to buy — in Spanish, of course. Getting into a habit can be a big help with learning a language, and grocery shopping fits the bill.
Now, grocery lists are a good start, but why stop there? If you’re using to-do lists or a daily planner, try writing them in Spanish as well. If someone asks you about some of the items on the list, you get a bit of extra practice by translating them.
Start Watching Telenovelas
Hearing other people talk is still a key element of learning a language. Spanish radio is an option here, but watching telenovelas is more fun.
What’s the main appeal of telenovelas? Simple: you’re quite likely to get addicted. These soap operas are flush with epic storylines, melodramatic acting, and interesting characters.
Needless to say, these qualities make telenovelas perfect for binge-watching. The more you watch, the more you’ll get the hang of Spanish. If you’re not sure where to start, Maria la del Barrio is a prime example of the genre.
Interview Yourself in Spanish
This suggestion might seem a bit out there, but hear us out.
If you don’t have a private tutor, you may have trouble evaluating your speaking skills. After all, we all need some objective feedback once in a while. One easy solution would be to start interviewing yourself in Spanish.
The process is quite straightforward: sit down in front of a camera, and answer the questions you’ve prepared in advance. This shouldn’t take too long, so try to do it when you’re alone. For best results, repeat this exercise once a week.
Come Up With a Realistic Study Plan
The early stages of learning Spanish are always exciting. Still, will the same be true in week four or five?
If you feel your motivation waning, it can help to fall back on a study plan. That way, you’ll always know where you should be at and what’s next on the agenda.
Now, this only works if your study plan is realistic. If you’re trying to reach an intermediate level in several weeks, you’re already doomed. Take care not to overcommit yourself, and your studying should go much smoother.
Keep a Spanish Journal
Keeping a diary is not for everyone, but it’s a perfect tool for learning a language.
For starters, this is an excuse to write Spanish daily. Also, a diary allows you to write Spanish in your own style. Compared to generic textbook exercises, keeping a journal can seem far more involved.
Not sure what to write about? Start by describing your day in a few sentences. Then, write about your current thoughts, feelings, and plans for the future.
Read Spanish Books and Magazines
This one will seem obvious, but books and magazines are a great resource for learning a language.
Specialized books and e-books can help you expand your vocabulary. If you have some time on your hands, this is an excellent way to spend it. For some theme-appropriate Spanish books, view here.
If you only have 5-10 minutes to spare, stick with magazines. There are many Spanish publications online, so pick something that strikes your fancy. Try to read one article in full each day.
Play Bingo and Scrabble in Spanish
Contrary to popular opinion, testing your language skills doesn’t have to feel like homework.
Instead, try to bring Spanish into your daily life. By playing bingo and scrabble, you can have fun and test your Spanish at the same time. In fact, the time pressure element of bingo can really bring the best out of you.
One nice thing about this exercise is that you don’t need other people. If there aren’t any Spanish speakers nearby to test you, you can play these games by yourself.
Visit Multilingual Museums
For more listening practice, head to your local museum.
Chances are that you’ll find at least a couple of audio sets in Spanish. Pick one up and stroll through the museum while listening to it. Revisit the museum until you’re sure you’ve got the gist of it.
As this is an advanced exercise, it’s possible you’ll struggle with it at first. If so, don’t be afraid to stick to one section of the museum for as long as necessary.
Join a Language Exchange Group
Though Spanish is not a difficult language to speak, you still need some confidence for it.
In a way, this is one of the hardest parts of learning a language. Many people put this off until the last moment, which is not a good idea. If you need to order food in Spanish, you’ll be glad you got some practice beforehand.
Language exchange groups are a perfect opportunity to hone your skills. Most people go there for the same reason as you, so you should have a good time.
Change the Language on Your Devices
Did you know that you can immerse yourself in Spanish from the luxury of your home?
Actually, this exercise is easier than it seems like. If you’re spending a lot of time on your computer, change the language to Spanish. Do the same for your other devices, and leave them like that for at least a week.
This won’t help you as much as actually moving to Spain, but you should be able to notice the difference. For extra credit, use Chrome’s Language Immersion. This neat add-on converts some parts of every website you visit into Spanish.
Other Tips for Learning Spanish
Hopefully, these 10 tips will help you realize that learning a language can be fun. As long as you keep practicing, you should have no trouble reaching your goals. And remember: keep it realistic.
Interested in more tips for learning Spanish? Want to know more about the various learning and education programs? Take a look at our blog!