Learning a new language seems to be very difficult for many people. According to information I gathered from my language students on italki.com. Spanish is one of the most difficult languages to learn because of its extensive vocabulary, grammar, idioms, and pronunciation patterns. Focusing on those details, I started thinking about how to help my students to overcome those language barriers more effectively. I decided to ask many of my colleagues in university for some effective tips that can help make learning Spanish much easier for language students. We have come up with five effective tips that will definitely help you on your way:
1. Be Patient
Many Spanish teachers agreed that students expect to learn Spanish too quickly and as a result, they usually get disillusioned when it doesn't happen that way. The best you can do is to be patient, take your time and do not expect to be perfect right away. Learning a new language is a process that should be attempted in small, manageable steps. Define small goals and how long they would take you to achieve them. By doing this, you will be focused on completing a small step that will take you closer to your final goal which is learning a new language.
2. Learn Spanish Abroad
Many Spanish teachers definitely recommend language students to be surrounded by native Spanish speaking people. The best way to find you in a situation like that is to study abroad. Colleges and Universities nowadays have many programs for language students, including those that allow students to study a semester in another country so they can practice the knowledge they’ve learned in classrooms. Teachers have noticed that their student’s Spanish has improved significantly more quickly because of lessons combined with using what they learnt in the classroom in practical situations. Some other students have said that it is easy for them to practice their Spanish with people in the supermarket or any other store where native Spanish speakers usually go.
3. Actively Involve Yourself with Spanish Literature
Reading is the best way a student could improve his or her Spanish. It does not have to be a whole newspaper everyday or a complete book, but it is good to read an article or essay once in a while. A piece of advice that Spanish teachers also give their students is to read a whole chapter from the book they prefer in Spanish and highlight the words they do not understand, then look up the meaning of those words in a dictionary and try to read the chapter once again, this time knowing what those words mean in a sentence. Students can also find in many academic articles, idioms or phrases that are commonly used in Spanish, as well as information that will help them to understand the language better.
4. Organize Your Work and Yourself
This is probably the most important aspect of learning a language. There are so many useful resources out there and there is a real danger of getting overloaded with paper, notes, books and go round in circles. After every lesson take some time to review everything you were learning in class and understand it. Then, do it again and try to use that information in a practical situation. Afterwards, organize everything in a way that is easier for you to understand.
5. Use Flashcards
Many students and teachers say that flashcards provide a great way of memorizing practical words that you may come across during the day. Sometimes, it is very difficult to remember what word to use in a specific situation. Therefore, it is good idea to write down the words that you do not remember easily on a piece of paper and create sentences with each of them. Here is a tip: If you keep hearing a word in your native language while you are out (and you consider it is important), write it on a card, look it up in a dictionary and create a few sentences using that word in Spanish. This will help you focus your efforts on perfecting your Spanish in the key areas you need the most. Not to mention, this is an awesome way to start thinking in Spanish!
Learning how to speak Spanish is not as difficult as it is to think in Spanish. Both of these skills can be developed over time. Don’t forget to practice the language in a fun and exciting way that will help your mind adapt to new vocabulary. My advice for you is to keep in mind these five easy and effective tips that will help you to develop confidence while speaking Spanish and achieve your language learning goals. They may be hard at the beginning but you will see amazing results at the end. Never give up on learning!