Learning a language can be challenging. Not only the actual study itself but for most people it can be difficult to find the time to fit it into your already busy lifestyle and also sticking to this and staying motivated to continue learning.
In this blog post we will look at tried and tested ways that you can easily fit language learning into your daily life and keep learning fun and simple.
These days most people have a Netflix account. You can find many popular Spanish language series and television shows on Netflix from Spain or Latin American countries. Examples you might like are Narcos, La Casa de Papel (Money Heist) and Paquita Salas.
You can read the subtitles at the same time and for intensive learning write down useful phrases you want to commit to memory.
Search online for daily Spanish newspapers and skim read the titles, photo captions and headings to see if you can get the gist about what the article is about. As you progress you will start to understand more and more of the news.
A good thing about this is that if you already know the news story in English, this will help you understand the words in Spanish.
There are many Spanish podcasts available to download for free. You can easily listen to one for a few minutes a day whilst doing household chores or during breakfast or a tea break.
If you don’t know a Spanish-speaking person to chat to face-to-face you could find an online language exchange partner to talk to online. Usually you arrange a session to talk online and spend half the time talking in Spanish and half the time helping them with their English.
You may also like to read a previous blog post to help you get the most out of the sessions, “5 tips to get the most out of your language exchange session”.
Although it is difficult to book holidays at the moment, once we come out of the pandemic, try to book a short break or a holiday or even extended travel in a Spanish-speaking country. This will give you a goal to work towards to spur you on to learn the language if you are going to need to use it.
The good thing about learning Spanish is that it is spoken in not only Spain but most South American countries too, giving you many travel options.
One of the best ways to progress in a language and which is often the most underrated skill, is to read anything you can possibly find in Spanish. This could be magazine articles, recipes, novels, short stories, bilingual books or even children’s books and comics.
Reading Spanish helps you come across new words and phrases, shows you how sentences are put together and you also learn about life and culture in Spain or South American country.
Make sure you keep reviewing the new words you come across. A great way to do this is by adding the new words to a flashcard app such as Ankiapp.
The good thing about this clever app is that it will show you the words you do not know as well as others more often than those that you know well. Seeing the word more often will help you learn it faster.
Every time you read or hear something in Spanish, try to think how this would be said in English. You will realise that you often cannot translate things word for word between languages as the structure is different in each language.
Similarly, try to think how you could say certain things throughout the day in Spanish. This is a really good exercise and you will often want to check out words in the dictionary. This is a brilliant way to learn new words and you will feel really good about yourself once you know that you could say certain things now in Spanish!
The best tip when learning a language successfully is to use the language in some way every day. Even it is just for a few minutes. Regular but short study sessions are the optimum way to make good progress. This could be simply using your flashcard app for 10 minutes. Consistency is key!