Today there are many options for learners of a second language. Thanks to technological advances and opportunities overseas, there is no reason why studying Spanish should be a boring ordeal. Vary your learning programme with different approaches and enjoy a quicker path to fluency.
Spanish is a popular choice for those looking to learn a language. With more than 300 million native speakers and a strong base of language communities on both sides of the Atlantic, Spanish can open up new career paths in international business. In addition, many English speakers emigrate to Spanish-speaking countries and find a grasp of the local lingo to be an invaluable tool.
Language learning has traditionally had a reputation for difficulty and academic rigour. While the process does require commitment and determination, it need not be restricted to the classroom. The everyday language of Spanish speakers does not always match textbook examples, so a combination of activities is the quickest and most effective way to learn Spanish.
In the age of the internet every language learner can give their skills a boost by making the most of online resources. Many websites provide free translations and interactive memory games to help with basic vocabulary. Recent years have witnessed the rise of online communities for language learners. On such sites English speakers can practise Spanish exercises before exchanging their work with a Spanish learner of English for marking. These co-operative tools also give members the option of chatting with native speakers to aid pronunciation and grammar. Interactive games and online communities add an element of fun to learning Spanish and can rapidly increase your progress.
Hobbies and interests
Incorporating a personal hobby can be a great way of adding variety to your learning programme. Energetic students, for example, might consider flamenco or salsa dance classes to get a glimpse of Spanish culture. For learners with culinary interests cookery classes could provide another chance to improve Spanish proficiency. Food is a big part of Spanish cultural identity, and Spanish cooking brings together aspects of the culture and the language. In addition to gaining practical skills in the kitchen, becoming familiar with relevant vocabulary can also be particularly useful.
For students who wish to gain a high level of proficiency in a short period of time, one of the most effective options is to study Spanish abroad. Living in a Spanish-speaking community, learners become immersed in the language in every aspect of day-to-day life – in the media, in the workplace and in the street. This kind of exposure to the language is often the quickest way to gain fluency. Being surrounded by native speakers allows students to experience the kind of colloquial Spanish that cannot be replicated in the classroom.
Of course such a move may seem both drastic and daunting, but international language schools can often organise accommodation, work placements and academic courses. This method makes the language relevant and immediately applicable to the learner, which increases motivation. While studying abroad may not always be a viable option, a varied and interesting study programme is the key to staying motivated.