When I meet a new student, I like to get to know them. I also want to know, why they want to learn English? Have they taken any classes before? What are they struggling with? What is the ultimate goal?
Keep in mind, most of my students are from Mexico. Some, have been lucky enough to take English courses before. Some others weren’t as lucky. Regardless of their background or past I like to see it as a clean slate and start from zero.
What concerns me is that some believe, “English is very hard to learn.” Yes, there are some things that are hard but for the most part I believe English is a lot easier to learn than Spanish. Here is why:
1. We use the verb “be” almost all the time. Verb “be” in Spanish is: “ser”, “estar” and in some cases “tener”.
I am sad. Yo estoy triste.
I am Mexican. Yo soy Mexicano.
I am hungry. Yo tengo hambre.
This means that we have 3 different verbs in Spanish but we only use one in English. Now, how would you explain an English speaker trying to learn Spanish? How are they suppose know when to use “ser”, “estar” or “tener”?
2. It’s very easy to conjugate regular verbs in English.
Ex: WORK- TRABAJAR
I work - Yo trabajo
You work - Tu trabajas
He works - El trabaja
She works - Ella trabaja
They work - Ellos/Ellas trabajan
We work - Nosotros trabajamos.
As you can tell the word “work” does not change very much. He, she, or it, do require an -s, or -es at the end of the word. (Keep in mind that there are exceptions to the rule but they are very easy to learn.)
If we look at the Spanish part you can see that the verb “trabajar” ends with -o, -as, -a, -an -amos. If you are a Spanish speaker, you know that we had to conjugate the verbs every single day while in elementary. That is why is so easy for us but I can assure you, it’s not so as easy to English speakers.
3. Now, the “acento”. Ohhhhh my worst nightmare. English does not require an accent, so if you are learning English, be happy. If you are learning Spanish, good luck. I still have issues with “acentos.” That is all I am going to say about that.
Let’s move on.
4. Spanish words have genders? Yes!
The table - La mesa (F)
The pencil - El lapiz (M)
The book - El libro (M)
The window - La ventana (F)
If you are learning English, guess what?! You don’t have to worry about genders! Woohooo! Everything is “the”. Plain and simple. Now, if you are learning Spanish, you have a lot to learn. :)
Now, I am not trying to scare anyone trying to learn Spanish. The good thing about Spanish is that most of the time you pronounce the word as it’s spelled. Unlike English, it might be spelled one way but pronounced different.
Anyways, I recommend not to see a new language as hard or impossible. Everything is possible with a positive attitude.
Have a good day!