by Ben Moller-Butcher
Thinking about taking the plunge and learning Spanish? Want some useful advice on the best way to improve? ViaSpanish Language Schools have asked some of our qualified and experienced teachers for their top tips and advice to help you learn Spanish. We have listed their top five tips below to help you on your way.
Nearly all our Spanish teachers advised us that students expect to learn Spanish too quickly and subsequently get disillusioned when it doesn't happen. Take your time and don't expect to be perfect straight away. Learning a new language should be attempted in small, manageable steps. Congratulate yourself on progress made and try to steer clear of making unrealistic targets.
It's common knowledge that students learn quicker when they are exposed to the language on a regular basis. Our students have told us that their Spanish improved significantly quicker because of lessons combined with using what they learnt in the classroom in practical situations. It's also very rewarding seeing your hard work paying off!
We're not saying you should attempt to read an entire newspaper every day. However, by attempting a couple of small articles regularly you can pick up common words and phrases that you will need to get to grips with quickly. Our Spanish teachers say that newspapers and magazines can help students pick up key phrases and gain more confidence in their writing and reading ability. Reading a foreign newspaper will also make you look intelligent!
We have all heard this before but it's probably the most important aspect of learning a language. There are almost too many useful resources out there and there is a real danger you get overloaded with paper, notes, books and go round in circles. After every lesson make sure you review everything you learn and understand it. Then do it again. Afterwards, organize everything in a way that you understand. There is nothing more frustrating than consistently searching for the vital piece of information in amongst hundreds of sheets of paper. Trust us, we know!
Students and teachers alike say that this is a great way of memorizing key words that they come across each day. For those of you who don't know what a flash card is, it's simply a small piece of card that you keep with you during the day and can refer to quickly and easily. So, if you keep hearing a word while you are out and about, write it on your card. Also, if there is a word or phrase you constantly forget, write on your flashcard. You can then focus your efforts on perfecting your Spanish in the key areas you need. Simple.
Try to remember, learning a foreign language can be challenging and frustrating. Progress will depend on the effort you put in and the resources you have available. But it can also be fun, rewarding and worthwhile! Our students and teachers share a common thought – if you really want to learn Spanish, and we mean really want to learn, then you have to put your heart and soul into it. One hour here and there never really works. Watching the odd Spanish film will not do. You need to set out a plan and stick to it. Learning in our language schools throughout Latin America will give you the best chance of success. Using the various online tools will resources will also help – the more exposure you get, the better chance you have of learning. Buena suerte!
Language Schools Throughout Latin America
Free Online Spanish Dictionary
Latin America Guide