Learning a new language is never easy. However, as you get older, the ability to pick new things up seems to deteriorate. Continue reading for 10 easy ways to improve your Spanish language.
- Spend time in a Spanish-speaking country
Taking time out of your usual routine to spend time abroad in Spain or South America, for example, is a fantastic way to learn more Spanish. Spending time with people speaking their mother tongue is a great way of picking up new words and phrases. Be sure to engage in conversation with as many people as possible. Museums are a great place to practise the language. You will be able to read the information in Spanish and chat to staff members and other visitors too.
- Watch Spanish films and TV programmes
It can be challenging to find Spanish films and television programmes to watch. However, there are often options for English-speaking films to be dubbed into a foreign language. If this is possible, why not try watching a film you know you enjoy, but in Spanish instead? This will mean you know the gist of what is being said, but are experiencing it in a foreign language rather than your mother tongue.
- Listen to Spanish podcasts
Podcasts are becoming increasingly popular, so there is no better time than now to find a Spanish one. Listen to it on a regular basis and have a notepad next to you while you do. Note down any unusual words or phrases that are unknown or new to you. There is such a wide variety of options open to you: from comedy to current affairs, music to sport. You are bound to find one that holds your attention.
- Find a friend
Put out an advert for a native Spaniard who is looking to improve his or her English. Arrange to meet in a local café and practise both languages. This reciprocal arrangement could be perfect for both of you and you may well make a lifelong friend from this.
- Read regularly
Pick up a Spanish newspaper or novel and set aside time to read it. Always have your trusted notebook with you to write down unknown and new words. Reading in the target language is so important. It is much easier to pick up the spoken language, but understanding the grammar and spelling can be much more of a challenge. Your local library will probably stock foreign newspapers and novels if you wish to avoid spending too much. Alternatively, visit Spanish newspaper websites and catch up with the latest news online. Try not to get too jealous about their warm climate though!
- Listen to Spanish tunes
Recently, a Latin flavour seems to have hit the UK charts and so it won’t be too difficult to find some Spanish songs. Be sure to download a copy of the written words to ensure you are getting the words right.
- Don’t hold back
Whenever you get the opportunity to speak Spanish, make sure you do. It can be really difficult to step out of your comfort zone, but a missed chance would be far worse than making a mistake. In fact, errors usually lead to learning. Ensure the people you are talking to know that they are free to correct you and explain where you went wrong.
- Hire a tutor
For some of us, self-study limits the extent of our learning. It is much harder to understand a grammatical concept, for example, when there is no one in front of us to explain it. Therefore, seeking private tuition could be a good option. Paying someone who is suitably qualified and who has vast experience in language teaching may well be the right route for you. That does not mean that the rest of the points on this list are useless to you. Quite the opposite in fact. It is vital to combine many different things to ensure your learning is optimised.
- Find a class
Evening classes and language schools are fantastic options if you learn best in the company of others. Structured sessions tend to work well for those who excelled at school and who feel comfortable learning in that sort of environment. Having the support from peers who understand the requirements of the course and who are aiming for the same end goal can be intrinsic to your success too.
- Little and often
Spending ten hours one day reading Spanish journals online and then not revisiting the language for another six weeks is far from ideal. The little and often approach is perfect for language learning. There are many apps, freely downloadable, which can send you regular reminders to encourage you to hone your skills on a daily basis. Why not try one of those? Alternatively, create a timetable for yourself and try your hardest to stick to it. Although learning how to conjugate irregular verbs can seem dull, it is a vital skill.