Nobody can make it to their adult life without having studied a foreign language to some extent. After all, Spanish is the second most studied foreign language in the world after English.
There are plenty of great answers to the question ‘why learn Spanish‘, and the good news is that there are loads of different ways to learn the language of Cervantes. With a bit of practice, anyone can learn the language. It’s a great use of your time, and it will give you a valuable set of skills which could enhance both your social and professional lives.
If you’re planning on doing an exchange program in a Spanish-speaking country, you should at least speak the basics before you go. There are plenty of online Spanish resources and, while it’s difficult to achieve fluency by just learning Spanish online, a good level will help when applying for university and scholarships, as well as making your general studies much easier.
If you plan on doing an internship in another country, speaking the language will help you look for work directly without going through third parties and also give you a better change of reaching the interview stage.
Employers are also more interested in applicants with foreign language skills as more and more business is being done with international clients. learning business Spanish could help you tap into the markets in Latin America, which is one of the fastest growing regions in the world. So even just knowing basic Spanish might make that important Latin American company look more favourably on you than a yet another candidate who doesn’t speak a word of the language.
You can get more out of your vacation if you can speak the local language. Speaking Spanish will give you access to 20 different countries across Europe, Africa, and Latin America where the language is spoken and allow you to learn more about their cultures.
There are loads of benefits of learning Spanish. Whether its because you want to study Spanish at university, visit Guatemala, or live in Colombia, you’re probably going to end up learning some Spanish at some point.
Classes are the most traditional way to learn Spanish. (Source: pixabay.com)
Thanks to the Internet, we can now freely access thousands of educational sites and learning resources including videos, podcasts, books, movies, and music. Students can be in charge of their own learning.
Here are a few links that might help:
On YouTube, you should check out TioSpanish if you want to learn Spanish while having fun. It’s a good way to learn some Spanish before you go on holiday.
YouTube is also a great way to listen to Spanish songs con letras (with the lyrics) and watch videos with subtitles. We recommend watching movies with Spanish subtitles, then watching Spanish movies with Spanish subtitles, and finally watching Spanish movies without any subtitles.
Yabla offers language learning through videos and you can watch videos with subtitles in English or Spanish.
However, not all learning resources can help you improve your Spanish in terms of comprehension.
You can study vocabulary lists, grammar rules, watch a movie, and somehow still struggle when it comes time to say something. It’s almost as if the student has all the ingredients but not the recipe.
If you want to make the most of the time spent studying, you should find a balance between improving your comprehension and your production. You have to practice in order to better assimilate new concepts.
On the other hand, a student who only practises without studying will find themselves only remembering the most common terms.
That’s why you should use all of these resources together alongside Spanish classes if you want to improve. Learning Spanish at school is a highly recommended idea for the simple reason that it will put you ahead of the curve when it comes to needing language skills for university and job applications. So try to utilise these resources from a younger age to see the fruits of your labour earlier than most other people.
Taking classes as part of a group can be fun but the one-size-fits-all approach to teaching the language isn’t often as effective as getting a one on one tutor.
It can be difficult to stay motivated when studying on your own. (Source: snapwiresnaps.tumblr.com)
There are also ways to get “free” private classes. For example, you could be taught for one hour and then teach them for one hour. This could work in a sort of language exchange with a native Spanish speaker who would like to learn English, for example.
You can do this on sites like: mylanguageexchange.com.
These types of classes are good for practising. However, your tutor probably won’t have prepared a class or take the same pedagogic approach as a teacher.
They might not be able to effectively explain the difference between por and para and you might not know why we use a certain grammatical tense. We usually learn our mother tongue by copying people rather than studying the grammatical rules.
The tutor is there to teach you and adapt their methods to your learning style. There are plenty of different ways to learn, after all.
If the student wants to pass a test, they’ll probably focus more on writing than they would practising conversations whereas a student preparing for a job interview or who wants to learn Spanish to work abroad might need to study industry-specific vocabulary and practice asking and answering questions.
Students who want to travel to Spanish-speaking countries will practise conversational Spanish more than writing. In this case, the tutor can help the student in their classes as well as outside of them. They could put together a study schedule for them and help them to learn in a way that works for them.
Some students are visual learners while others are auditory or kinesthetic learners. A good tutor can help put together the right resources for each student:
Visual: vocabulary lists, grammar rules, reading materials, movies, etc.
Auditory: audio vocabulary lists, grammar rules, podcasts, movies, etc.
Kinesthetic: rewriting vocabulary lists, doing grammar exercises, writing, etc.
During your Spanish courses, your Spanish tutor can help you express yourself, correct your errors, improve your pronunciation, give you the vocabulary and grammar you need. They can also suggest activities that will help you improve the skills you want to improve. You might read a text, give a presentation, improve your comprehension, or learn to writer better, for example.
There’s also a psychological side to learning a foreign language. We often think of languages as black or white. You either speak them or you don’t. Thinking like this has made language learning in schools and whole language learning process less enjoyable.
A teacher can have around 30 children in front of them and have to plan a class that works for every one of them. This can be even harder when the students don’t even want to learn. After 5 or 10 years of studying a language, students can leave school without being able to even hold a conversation.
A tutor can help a student overcome this and stop them from being scared of making mistakes or not understanding anything.
The most important thing when speaking a foreign language is making yourself understood and understanding the other person.
Spanish is widespread due to its history, and it is subsequently spoken in many places around the world. But how can you learn it?
More often than not, this process can seem long, boring, and difficult. We often think of our time spent at school doing boring grammar exercises.
Vocabulary and grammar are just a part of learning a language. Practicing, speaking, listening, reading, and writing are all skills you need to master, too. If you don’t use a word, you’ll forget it.
Visiting Spanish-speaking countries is a great way to improve your Spanish. (Source: Adrianna Calvo)
500 words are enough to start speaking to people in a language. However, it obviously depends on which 500 words you learn and how useful they are. You should make a note of 10 useful words a day and go back over them regularly until they’re second nature to you.
For a lot of people, learning a language means spending a lot of time when they don’t really have that much free time to begin with. If you’re smart about it, you can minimise how much time it takes. Instead of watching a movie in English, why not watch a Spanish movie with English subtitles or an English movie with Spanish subtitles?
Instead of twiddling your thumbs on the way to work, you could put some Cuban music on and practise the lyrics a couple of times a week. Instead of going to your usual bar, why not look for a bar with more Spanish speakers?
2 months should be enough to start speaking in Spanish: 20 minutes of practice a day and 2 hours of private tutorials per week.
Remember, there is an enormous amount of reasons to learn Spanish. Therefore the question isn’t whether you should study it or not, the question is what is the best way to learn it.
It makes a lot more sense to get lessons from a native tutor even if they don’t speak your language.
People will usually speak in the language that is better spoken by both people. If Juan from Chile speaks English better than John from Boston speaks Spanish, the two of them will inevitably end up speaking in English. In a private tutorial where both the student and the teacher are native English speakers, it seems a bit stupid and fake for the two of them to have a conversation in Spanish.
If you get on well with your online tutor, you could even arrange a trip to where they live. (Source: pixabay.com)
With a native tutor, speaking in Spanish won’t seem silly anymore and you can even learn more about their culture. Even if Juan does still speak English better than John, it’ll feel more natural in class for both parties to speak Spanish during a tutorial. If a student already knows the basics, they can demand that their tutor speak to them exclusively in Spanish.
Even the interactions are different because the tutor’s from a different culture with its own norms. It’s like you’re travelling before you’ve even packed your bags. You can discover more about another culture, get recommendations for music to listen to and movies to watch, and learn more about a specific country’s history and society.
And when you consider where Spanish is spoken, you only problem you’ll have is choosing one of the many great destinations for you to go to.
You can also learn Spanish to help improve your career. Online classes are a great way to make the most of your time and tutors are available most hours of the day. They are more cost effective since you can find tutors from countries where the cost of living is less and therefore so are their rates.
Generally speaking, private tutorials are over Skype and the activities and content is shared using Google Docs. This allows the student and the tutor to read and write simultaneously on any given document. The tutor can copy the exercises and images straight onto the document. This can save a lot of time.
They can also immediately see any error the student makes and correct them. This allows the student to focus on important things like interacting.