Learning any new tongue is a challenge that can open up your mind to new perspectives and help you connect with all types of people across boundaries of land and language. The reasons to learn Spanish are especially true. Here are just a few of the reasons why spending time learning Spanish is a great idea:
Picking up a new skill can help you express your creativity, stimulate your mind, and discover new sides of yourself along the way. Learning a new language like Spanish is no exception! Here are just a few of the many ways learning Spanish will have a positive impact on your life.
You might already know that there are a few differences in Spanish vocabulary across the distinct varieties of Spanish spoken in Spain, Mexico and other parts of Latin America where Spanish is an official language. But just how significant are these differences? Does it matter whether you learn a form of Latin American Spanish or European Spanish?
Spanish is among the most studied languages in school systems and universities around the world. Classroom learning is the most popular option for learners in grade school or university settings. It allows more intensive, regular study with feedback from teachers who know the language and can correct mistakes as they happen and teach content in an interactive way. Having other students who are learning Spanish to talk to and practice with is a valuable resource for a learner of any language.
But the often steep costs of such individualized instruction can be a barrier to many learners. Well trained master tutors often charge high hourly rates for their lessons, so finding a top-quality, budget-friendly option can be challenging.
There are many top-notch, expert-designed online Spanish courses and programs that run from reasonably priced to very expensive. These Spanish courses allow you to learn on your own time and are often more interactive and engaging than many free Spanish courses and resources. Plus, many of the best products out there are constantly updated with new, fresh material, so you can get the most relevant learning experience available.
All of the above options have one thing in common: they cost money. For those learners who want to be more conscious of their budgets or are okay to spend more time finding and working with more cost-effective content, there are still plenty of options!
Using books to learn Spanish is a great way to sharpen your reading skills and to understand how the Spanish language is used in a whole wide range of contexts, from historical fiction to fairy tales to personal essays to collections of short stories to nonfiction and everything in between. Reading books in Spanish helps you move at your own pace, and you can stop to consult a Spanish dictionary if you need extra help along the way. Keeping a language journal of unfamiliar words and expressions helps you build your vocabulary. Plus, you can get some extra speaking and Spanish pronunciation practice by reading the book aloud.
There are lots of pre-packaged learning materials you can find online or as a physical resource to help you practice Spanish words, phrases and expressions. Among these are Spanish flashcards, which can be found on learning websites like Quizlet and can be downloaded to your phone to take and practice wherever you go. Spanish flashcards are great tools for boosting your memory retention of the terms you want to remember most.
Similarly, Spanish phrasebooks are a great way to learn the Spanish phrases that real Spanish speakers use in their everyday lives. They will help you practice some of the most important expressions for meeting new people, ordering at restaurants and bars and finding your way around unfamiliar places. You can carry around a pocket Spanish phrasebook with you while you travel to make your experience more seamless or just to have as some light reading while you commute to work, for example.
Learning a new language is an endeavor of many dimensions. It takes a lot of skills and patience to learn how to start speaking on the spot, to write a text to a friend, or to translate dialogue you hear from a TV show in your target language.
At the conclusion of the Specialization, learners will prepare a written travel plan that will take you to a pre- or post- Columbian Spanish speaking nation for an extended period of time for either business or pleasure travel.
How quickly you learn Spanish depends on your goals and your study schedule. Learning to speak conversational Spanish in preparation for an upcoming trip, for example, takes less studying than becoming fluent. But regardless of your goal, the more you actively use the language, the more likely it is to stick.
Connecting with a native speaker to practice your grammar and vocabulary is a good way to reinforce your learning and expand it beyond exercises done in class or online. You may be able to find practice partners on web forums like the language exchange community on Reddit or through people from your chosen learning method.
All other things being equal, people spending three hours a day will learn three times as fast, whether they attend class or not. I would even say that they will learn more than three times as fast, because the increased intensity of learning delivers additional benefits.
Similarity can apply to vocabulary, grammar or pronunciation. Portuguese is very similar to Spanish in terms of vocabulary and grammar, but somewhat different in terms of the sounds. Greek is very similar to Spanish in terms of pronunciation, but quite different in terms of vocabulary and grammar. Spanish speaking people will learn to understand Portuguese quickly, but may speak with a heavy accent. They would take a much longer time to learn Greek, even though they can acquire good pronunciation almost immediately.
The greatest advantage comes from the degree of similarity of vocabulary. Spanish and English share a lot of vocabulary. Most of the words are of common Latin origin. Acquiring new vocabulary is the most time consuming part of language learning. It simply takes a long time to get used to new words. When we begin a language, the new sounds and the new combinations of sounds, seem strange to us. Spanish has fewer sounds than English and it can seem as if all these Spanish words resemble each other. For the brain to get used to this takes time. However, as a speaker of English you have a head start.
It also takes time for our brains to get used to the structures of a new language. We can read explanations about Spanish tenses, or the fact that the personal pronoun is often omitted, but the explanation is by no means enough. You simply need to hear and read enough Spanish to enable your brain to get used to these new structures. If you have already learned another language that shares some of these patterns with Spanish, your brain will get used to Spanish faster.
The more you can answer yes to these questions, the faster you will learn. Language learning engages many parts of our brains. Your emotional commitment to a new language not only influences how hard you study, but it also influences the efficiency of your learning.
There is nothing quite like being thrust into an environment, a real life situation, where you need to use Spanish. The sheltered environment of the classroom is not as valuable as a real life Spanish speaking experience. You may well be quite reluctant to use what you have learned when confronted with real Spanish speaking people. However, if you can force yourself to overcome this shyness, you will take a big psychological step forward. Real life exposure also lets you know where your gaps are, and sends you back to your various Spanish learning activities with renewed determination to improve.
There are many resources available on the Web such as Unlimited Spanish and LingQ that will get you started. LingQ allows you to select words, phrases and whole sentences to translate. These translations are then added to your Spanish dictionary and you learn them through exposure in future lessons and vocabulary activities. LingQ is also available for both Android and iOS. The Spanish mini-stories are a great place to start. They are available in both European and Latin American Spanish. There are 60 stories that depict everyday situations. Common structures in Spanish are repeated and there are questions with answers at the end of each story.
Your attitude will have a determining influence on your language learning progress. Your determination to succeed and your commitment to staying the course will depend largely on whether you can visualize yourself achieving fluency, even before you achieve.
In fact, when you begin your learning, you should have a clear picture of the end result. Imagine yourself conversing freely with Spanish speakers, and enjoying books, movies and television programs in the language. Once you are able to engage in these activities, however imperfectly at first, your Spanish language skills will just take off.
Although no single trick holds the key to learning Spanish fast, three simple principles of language learning are vital: you have to dedicate a lot of time to the language, immerse yourself for a few months at least, and study using efficient techniques.
Reading in a foreign language might seem challenging, but if you find stories or articles at your level, it can be a huge help. In his top tips to learn a language fast, polyglot Ollie Richards suggests starting with short, simple dialogues that you would find in any textbook.
Do you have Siri, Cortana, Google Assistant or Alexa in your life? Switch them to the Spanish version for a very patient (although quite robotic) speaking partner. As a general rule, try to make sure you have some contact with Spanish every day. The greater the amount of time you invest, the faster you will learn!
Check out our ultimate guide to planning your language study time; it includes a template for a high-intensity learning plan. In summary, you need to set yourself an objective to achieve in a specific time frame. For example: 041b061a72