Updated: Jun 23
By: Carla Bongiovanni. Online Spanish tutor.
Here are 5 tips from New Way to improve the way you learn Spanish.
1. Find out what motivates you
Why do you want to learn Spanish? The right motivation is the most important thing to learn a new language. Be clear to yourself about why you are doing it? what do you want to do with your new skills? and how it is beneficial for your personal and professional life?. Think about all the new people you are going to meet and speak with!
2. Enjoy the process
So, I’m sure you know: learning a language is a long process. There are different phases within this process. The key is to alternate them, so you never get bored. When you start to feel overwhelmed by all the grammar, change the focus, for example, read a short text online, or listen to a song. Relax and think that all the time you are consuming some cultural products in Spanish, you are also learning.
First, you are going to be able to speak a little and understand nothing. Then, you are going to be able to understand more than you speak. And finally, all those words you heard sometime will start to come up in your speech. Be patient and keep ongoing.
3. The conversation is the key
You were all expecting this. Yes, of course, the conversation is the key. And for sure is going to be awkward. You are going to make a lot of mistakes at first, but gradually you will start to get used to all those new words and they are going to sound good in your head. After having any conversation with a native, in the street, the subway, or your favorite restaurant, you will feel great.
My advice is to look for conversations in Spanish everywhere you are. If you can’t find it in your city, you can try online.
4. Don’t be afraid to ask
Most native speakers aren’t conscious of the difficulties of learning their language. That’s why they would use complicated words when speaking with non-natives. To improve your understanding and your use of Spanish, learn these few very useful phrases, and use them every time you need them.
¿Qué significa ...? - What does it mean ...?
No te entendí. ¿Puedes repetir más lentamente? - I didn't understand. Can you repeat slower?
¿Puedes traducir ...? - Can you translate ...?
Also, you will find yourself a lot in the “I don’t know how to say this” situation. Don’t be shy to ask. Normally, people are glad to help!
¿Cómo se dice...? - How do you say …?
5. Make it part of your day
Find content in Spanish you are interested in. The World Wide Web makes it easy. Find music, podcasts, TED talks, TV series, magazines, or blogs. Even an Instagram account in Spanish is enough to keep your brain in touch with the language, you can follow us @onthenewway to practice and learn new vocabulary.
If you are bold enough, you can change the language on the operating system in all your devices and apps. If you are nerd enough, you can put a post-it with the name in Spanish of every object around your house.
Or you can check places in your city where you can be surrounded by the language, like these 5 Latin American spots in Boston.
Which of these tips have you put into practice? Share your thoughts in the comments!