One of the most frequent questions that arise among my students is this one. In order to explain it, we’ll dissect this topic into 3 different parts:
Two main questions come up at the very beginning of our learning: should I get a teacher or do it by myself?
- Get a teacher: Here we go with the easiest solution to start studying Spanish, and the most recommended for those who are starting to learn this beautiful language. At the beginning it’s always great to count on someone, specially if that person is a native speaker, plus he/she’s got structural knowledge about his/her own language.
- As soon as you get a teacher, he/she will know exactly what to do, so your sole worry will be just to attend the lessons and do exactly what you’re asked to.
- Self-study: Oh là là, we’ve just came from the easiest way to the toughest. Without any intermediate point. Upon this question we’re going to be working throughout the following two parts.
Great, you’ve decided already that self-studying is your way to do it. Congratulations! First step has been accomplished without any major difficulty. What’s next?
Since we’ll be alone during this long (very long) trip, I highly recommend you to have into account an internal division of the language. If we could do it somehow, we’d split the language in three main parts:
- Grammar is the nemesis of many. A Giant monster trying to stop you from progressing. Maybe. Just maybe.
- Indeed, grammar has nothing to do with that. On this section we will be covering the internal structure of Spanish in order to understand how sentences are done and why.
- Recommendations to start studying grammar: Get a book.
- Our online free course
- Полный курс испанского языка (for Russian students)
- Nuevo Español 2000 (for English speakers)
- Another tough task to perform. Another big difficulty many students all over the world have is not learning enough vocabulary. They get stuck using just the few words they know, and for the rest they use their native language. That’s a profound mistake.
- Recommendations to start learning new words: Get a dictionary.
- Every time you see a new word you should look for it in the dictionary and automatically search for an antonym and a synonym. This way you’ll be getting 3 words for the price of one.
- Put this words into practice, force them into your speech, it doesn’t matter if you look crazy in front of everyone, spelling ancient words and white powder coming out of your nose. A typical situation.
- No, seriously. It’s very important that you use these words in your speech, put them into your conversations, play games with these words, there’re hundreds of words games. Don’t feel that you’re losing your time, it’s always better to study 10 minutes Spanish than doing nothing and complaining about your Spanish. Don’t expect it to rise magically. It’s not baking powder.
- Here we are. First words are ready to come out of your mouth, after so many practices, so many days repeating that hateful word (how the hell can Spanish pronounce “ascensor”? So crazy). Pam, it comes out and it’s not what you expected. You may feel defeated by its large well known conspiration made by Spaniards, so you can’t speak their language. Or maybe it’s just your imagination.
- Recommendations: Read adapted books, talk with people, make compositions, listen to music and watch films.
- The truth is that at the beginning we all suck trying to speak a new language, and there’s nothing to be ashamed of. That guy you know speaks better than you? Well, what can we do? Practice. Don’t feel ashamed, don’t be overwhelmed by so many rules and exceptions. One of my teachers in university said once in university a very important sentence to all of us:
In order to work in a big project (ie learning a language), we need to start from this very little.
- It’s very important to start working in a small goal, in the future we’ll make another goal, but for now “let’s not build castles in the air” as we say in Spanish. And that’s how we get to our last and final step of learning Spanish.
On this last part we’ll be covering an essential moment of our process: the planning. There’re out there many opinions related to the planning; what we’re questioning if it’s actually that important. Well, my answer is simple: it’s up to you.
- Planned system
- Short term goals: 1 week goal.
- Long term goals: 1 month-3 months goal.
- Non-planned system
- If you’re determined not to care too much about your planning, it’s highly recommended that you compensate it practising a lot and using Spanish as often as possible. Start thinking in Spanish.
So far these are all tips we could put up together for you. If you have any other, please, let us know in the comments section.
Español de Tapas
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