In this post: Ways to Pick Up Spanish as an Adult you will be surprised because it is easier than you think! I’ll share 5 surprising habits of a few learners that helped me too! As a non-native Spanish Profesora I have lots of helpful hints for you!
Oftimes we set lofty goals for ourselves and speaking Spanish might be one of them, like New Year’s resolutions to get in shape or to manage our finances better, we get so wrapped up in achieving our said goal that we forget the daily choices that will get us there.
The same thing goes for learning to speak Spanish. It’s the small things you can commit to daily. The habits.
When I think about my own experience of learning Spanish I can tell you that it all revolved around relationships and commitment. Here are my success habits you might want to consider making your own.
#1. Unplug to learn Spanish
Ditch your smartphone and ipad for an hour and practice real Spanish in context by reading a Spanish novel that is precisely at the level at which you SPEAK Spanish. Not at the level of your understanding.
#2. Read books that are at your level or just a hair beyond
When I first had to read El Coronel no tiene que le escriba, by Gabriel García Márquez who won the Novel Prize in Literature in 1982 although he wrote it in 1961, I could only vaguely comprehend the novel. I had to show up to class weekly for teacher guided assistance and then use the dictionary.
You can read a novel that is at or near your level by reading a chapter a week as a Beginning student and read as much up to three chapters a week with great understanding. This way you wont give up! You are motivated to keep going! I learned how to work through hard things in Spanish to the point where nothing scares me about the language any more!
You too can do this successfully! Just do it! If you feel like company along the way reading your novel check out my Book Club classes at each level on my website. We choose FUN books that people can easily read at each level and have a great time reading and learning about the culture in our novel so it feels real!
#3 Avoid your English speaking friends while traveling to Spanish-speaking countries
Right! I know how that sounds but what I really mean is Get Out There with real native speakers and practice your Spanish! You don't know what you don’t until you don't know it!
All to say that when you are speaking with a native for the purpose of getting directions, or locating a specific restaurant, or asking for advice you must practice your language in context. Just start talking. Just do it! At first avoiding English - only bubbles can be scary but if you push yourself and Just Start Talking you will learn Spanish little by little.
#4 Sing-Along in Spanish using the lyrics before you comprehend the meaning of the words
When I first met Pablo, Angel, and Fernando, my life-long Spaniard friends, we went to a bonfire at a beach in San Diego showing them our life here in the states.
At the time I didn’t speak Spanish more than ‘¡Hola!’ At a bonfire they taught me a traditional song in Spanish which to this day I can remember the words. I had no idea at the time the meaning of the song!
We had so much FUN singing that song over and over and over sitting by the warm beach bonfire watching the sunset! Magical! UNTIL I learned that they had tricked me and taught me different lyrics to the song and that the new words were very spicy! Words which I didn’t know!
What jokesters those young men were! When we visit each other we always say ‘¡Castejon!‘ Which actually is not a real word but invented but it means everything to us and makes us all crack-up in laughter every time!!!!
It is a research based fact that we can more easily learn the words because of the tune and also music is a powerful language learning motivator. Music is a FUN and effective way to learn a new language.
We need all the motivation we can get. Learning through songs also boosts your listening and vocabulary skills. And makes it possible for you to immerse yourself in a language from your own home.
#5 When you pay money for a class, show up and put in the seat time weekly, keep up with the class and teacher, and follow up class time by writing with the language structures used in the class
Easy peasy! Really, it’s that simple! Just show up, let your teacher do the work to make language comprehensible and memorable during class so it’s easy to acquire language so you don’t have to memorize vocabulary!
It is a proven fact that the more comprehensible language you hear the faster you will become fluent! Really! Memorizing vocabulary has about a 30 day shelf-life. When we acquire the language by hearing it 50-100 times and completely understand what we are hearing we acquire it and we remember it forever! Easy peasy!
If learning to speak Spanish really matters to you, make time in your schedule to come to class regularly. Here at Learn Spanish Fast hoy we offer classes after work so anyone can learn to speak Spanish! Also, we don’t charge exorbitant prices! We keep our classes priced at $20 per hour. Gee, this is a couple of Starbucks that you could invest in your life skills that will rock your world just like it did mine!
In a nutshell… Anyone can learn to speak Spanish using the TPRS method. Profe Linda is a certified TPRS Expert! It doesn't get any better! Sign up for a class today and rock your world! Become the Spanish speaker you’ve always wanted to be!
Teaching Language Proficiency through Reading & Storytelling (a.k.a. TPRS)