Learning individually is a perfectly fine means of getting to grips with Spanish, but when you return back from your place of study and interact with the people you live with, you're thrown right back into using English, hampering your acquisition of the language and slowing down the learning process overall.
If, however, you learn with a group of friends and family – preferably the people you spend most time with during day – then you can learn, revise and speak as a unit, bolstering each other's knowledge and becoming fluent as a unit. After all, if everyone you spend time with is communicating via Spanish, you'll force your brain to comprehend and have fun while you're at it.
Learning Spanish but don't have anyone to converse with? If you're craving study buddies, think about befriending some Spanish-speakers!
With the sheer number of forums, websites and language learning applications available these days, finding Spanish-speaking friends is easier than ever. Alternatively, head to Latin-flavoured bars, clubs and hangouts, or hop on a plane and generally get talking to people – this way, you could learn Spanish, experience Latin culture to a huge degree, and make some life-long friends too.
Getting a language cemented in your brain isn't easy. It takes a long time to become fluent in a language, and each and every learner's journey is different.
It pays to capitalise on this seemingly difficult process though, and by writing a blog or diary that focuses on your linguistic trials and tribulations you can do just that. Write about the things you learned during the week, those you found difficult, and how you went about dealing with issues – anything Spanish-related that mattered.
Write features about things you'd like to learn, make Spanish language guides to certain situations – whatever you write, in the worst-case scenario you'll make some useful learning resources, and in the best case you'll attract lots of readers to your blog, and maybe even gain some income.
Nope, we're not talking about eating paella and churros day-in, day-out (however wonderful such a diet might be). Instead, we mean taking a more laid-back approach to learning, by simply taking in Latin-language songs, TV shows, films, books and online articles. Forget anything that's produced for an English-speaking audience – for the time being, you should act like a native speaker and immerse yourself in the Spanish language. Immersion is key.
It's a way of learning that was suggested by the language theorist Stephen Krashen in his input hypothesis – learners gain language abilities through receiving messages that they partially understand, that are slightly above their current level of comprehension.
You almost certainly won't understand a fair amount of what you're taking in, but by surrounding yourself with Spanish and making it a key part of your life, you'll acquire the language subconsciously, constantly. This will manifest itself in an increased understanding of proper Spanish speech rhythm, as well as testing the grammar and vocabulary learned during your regular studies.
While you might be fine with going through vocabulary lists and textbooks in order to revise your Spanish, this approach requires you to put aside time each day to revise. What's more, it's pretty time consuming to create lists that incorporate images of the vocabulary, as opposed to the English equivalent – one of the best ways to learn.
To make sure all of these boxes get ticked, buy a pad of sticky notes and start labelling your house. Yes, place a note saying "nevera" on the fridge, place tiny "naranja" notes in the fruit bowl, and even stick one saying room "techo" on the loftiest surface in each room. You'll learn the language while going about your daily business without even thinking about it.
Gasp! While learning Spanish with traditional aids and resources, the process of cementing the language in our minds is constantly broken up, all thanks to our daily lives being surrounded by English.
A very easy option for the Spanish learner is to simply change the settings on your phone, thereby keeping you immersed in the learning process. By doing this, you'll simultaneously revise basic Spanish you've already touched upon in your studies, and learn technical vocabulary you'd never think about learning conventionally.
Learning Spanish – whether it's Castilian or Latin American – is an exciting process, but there are all sorts of ways you can study without having to pick up a textbook. Immersion is key, which is why Rosetta Stone focuses entirely on creating immersive learning environments for students – download the app and try our free demo for an all-encompassing learning package.
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