This year more people are spending time at home and taking time to improve or learn new skills. Learning a new language might seem like an impossible thing to accomplish but with so many resources available it might be easier than you think.
We’ve compiled 10 tips on the best way to learn Spanish at home. Some of them are super practical, others designed to make you a better student in general. Let’s get started!
1. Time and consistency:
The first step is to devote some time each day to learning. You can decide if you want to dedicate 20 minutes a day or as little as 10 minutes a day.
Start slowly but make sure you do it every day, consistency is important specially when trying to learn a new skill.
If you spend 5 hours one day but the rest of the week you don’t practice you might find it harder to remember the things you learned a week ago.
2. Set your goals:
The first two tips are designed to focus on when you’re going to study.
It’s also a good idea to remember why you want to learn Spanish. Communicate with friends and family members? Be fluent for your next holiday? Understand the culture?
A good tip is to write that goal down somewhere. Keeping your eye on the prize will give you something tangible to work towards while you’re in quarantine.
Plus, it’ll be tremendously helpful in the long run, especially if you feel like your learning slows after a few months of study (which, by the way, can happen to everyone from time to time, so don’t worry if you occasionally find yourself in a learning rut!).
3. Immerse yourself:
Immersion, is really the best way to learn Spanish. However, the frustrating question for a lot of learners is: how do I immerse myself without travelling abroad?
The good news is that, these days, you can pretty much bring Spanish culture to you by:
Watching Spanish TV and films
It’s easier than ever to access foreign media online. Spanish films on Netflix, videos on YouTube and other streaming platforms are your friends here.
Talk with Spanish native speakers
Practising with Spanish native speakers in person might be off the cards right now, but there are many online communities where you can meet people and practice the language, you can interact with people on our Mex y Can Association of Canada Facebook page for example.
Listening to Spanish songs
Latin music is increasingly present in English speaking countries. Canada has many local radio stations that have spanish speaking radio shows. In Winnipeg you can listen to CKUW’s Cafecito Latinoamericano This program features music of different Latin-American countries, and is a combination of music and spoken word. About half of the spoken word is in Spanish, with English translation
4. Stay focused:
There is no shortage of Spanish online Spanish learning tools.
This is both good and bad.
On the one hand, it’s easier than ever to grow your toolset without stepping outside your front door. On the other, it can be terrible for your focus.
In fact, many beginner learners believe that using more methods at once improves their chances of becoming fluent.
This could not be further from the truth. Keeping your learning structured and consistent is the best way to ensure you progress, so ideally pick a tool that balances a few techniques together.
5. Build your foundation
Whether you’re a beginner or intermediate Spanish learner, you’ll need to start with the basics.
First steps while you’re learning at home might simply be memorising a few simple Spanish sentences. It might be getting acquainted with the Spanish alphabet – or even a tricky grammar point like the Spanish subjunctive that you remember hating at school?
The point here is that you’ll need something – some sort of knowledge base – to build on.
And later on, when this difficult period is over, this foundation of knowledge can give you the confidence to initiate a conversation with a native speaker. Plus, it’s also nice to see that foundation grow and become stronger as the weeks or months go by.
Dont forget to have fun!
Learning a language opens a ton of possibilities for friendship, careers and human connections. But it’s not a succeed-or-fail kind of deal! First and foremost, it’s a journey – so you might as well have fun doing it!