If you are considering learning Spanish or have just started out, then these10 tips are designed specifically for you! It would be great for you if you could use all of them but if not, pick out those that you can use and implement them.
1. Mental Preparation:
Too many people think that they will be able to just grab the first Spanish course off a shelf and within a few weeks be able to hold down a full blown conversation in Spanish…nothing could be further from the truth! Learning Spanish is tough and anyone who says different is either expanding upon the truth a little or, a qualified linguist, which does make them an expert in their field I guess! Being prepared mentally for the challenge ahead will always be a key ingredient in your success online radio spain.
Do not set yourself unreachable targets, like being able to speak Spanish fluently in 6 weeks! There is nothing that is more likely to make you give up your quest than consistently failing to achieve your goals so you should always be realistic.
2. Physical Preparation:
There are hundreds of different Spanish courses out there many of which are expensive, but when it comes to learning Spanish, cost does not always equate to quality.
Do not be deceived by top branding and course materials that are of a quality finish, sure they look and feel nice, heck, they may even smell nice, but what really matters is the quality of information contained within the course, or more to the point, the methods of teaching.
Look for courses that let you try them out first, go online and find forums or chat-rooms to see what other people are using and like and make your decision based on what feels right for you… not the price tag. The best course isn’t necessarily the most expensive!
3. Choosing the RIGHT Spanish Course:
If you have done some research on different courses and have a shortlist… you need to cut lose all those that are not aimed at teaching you conversational Spanish as a priority.
That isn’t to say that learning grammar isn’t important, but so many people get weighed down trying to learn and memorize grammar rules that they lose sight of why they wanted to learn Spanish in the first place; the enjoyment that being able to speak and understand Spanish can bring.
You will enjoy learning Spanish much better and be much more successful at it if you are able to put a few sentences together within a week rather than being able to successfully memorize the indefinite article, subject pronouns and whatever else your first week of grammar study throws at you.
Once you are up and running and speaking Spanish confidently, grammar will become much easier to learn and it will just be a case of tweaking what you already know.
4. Post Notes on EVERYTHING!
Sounds funny I know, but buy yourself a block of post-its and stick them on everything in your home with the Spanish word for that object written on them (with the exception of your spouse, children and pets, although tortoises are ok!).
You will be amazed at how quickly you will pick up the vocabulary for everyday objects…’Everyday’ being the important word here. I am never surprised any longer by the vocabulary that Spanish courses ask beginners to learn…I mean, how many of us are going to use the words bullfighting or donkey in everyday conversation!
5. Tune in to Spanish TV and Radio:
Watching Spanish speaking TV or listening to Spanish radio stations will help you get a feel for spoken Spanish as well as keeping you up-to-date with subjects that Spanish speaking people could be talking about.
Television would be better because it is easier to understand what is being said if you have accompanying pictures.
If you are busy around the house you could always adopt a method of learning I like to call ‘subliminal Spanish’. Turn the TV or radio onto a Spanish speaking network, turn up the volume, and then get on with your chores. There is no need to pay any attention to what is being said.
Over time you will start to pick out certain words without even concentrating as well as becoming used to hearing how Spanish is spoken.
It is a good idea to start with news type programs first as the pronunciation is usually a lot clearer and understandable. However, sport is not a good choice as the commentators do tend to get a little excited and speak very quickly, although it is enjoyable to listen to!
6. Make Your Own Flashcards:
I would suggest that you make some flashcards to help you learn vocabulary, rather than buying them. I suggest this for three reasons:
- Why spend unnecessarily when it’s simple and cheaper to make them yourself!
- You are able to create cards using words that are most useful to you
- The process of actually making them will help you remember them, in fact many of the cards you make could well be redundant before you even use them!
7. Become Involved in your Local Spanish Community:
For those of you that live close to, or within, a Spanish speaking neighborhood, try to mix as much as possible into their social activities, use the local Spanish speaking supermarkets or 24/7, join in with your Spanish speaking neighbors whenever possible.
Not only will this benefit your studies but you will receive a lot of help and encouragement as well as making many new Spanish speaking friends.
8. Use Online Resources:
If you don’t have a Spanish neighborhood close to you, or you cannot receive Spanish TV or radio networks, then the next best thing is to utilize the internet. There are many resources such as chat-rooms, open forums, podcasts and PCTV networks that are all easily accessible online and can all be used to practice your Spanish…so get surfing and use them!
9. Use a Spanish Verb Trainer:
Learning Spanish verbs is probably the most difficult part of learning Spanish and also one of the most important. Using a verb trainer that will help you do this more efficiently is a wise move. If there is one area that is often overlooked by many students it is the correct use of verbs. Verbs are important as they make sense of your sentences and in Spanish they are doubly important as they also indicate who is performing the action.
The best way to learn a verb quickly and effectively is to use a verb conjugator or a verb conjugation training program. A good verb training program will allow you to select the verb you want to learn and in whichever tense you choose and then provide the drills to train you. The aim is to make learning Spanish easier and a verb conjugation trainer will do that.
10. Total Immersion:
If money and time are not a problem for you, then the best way to learn Spanish is to invest in a total immersion course located in a Spanish speaking country.
Not only will you learn the local language but you will also be immersed into the culture and customs of your hosts as well as the local way of life. Immersion courses are not as expensive as they once were but, are still beyond the reach of many.
However, irrespective of price, they are, without doubt, the quickest and most enjoyable way to learn Spanish…if you can afford to go on an immersion course…do so, you will never regret it.