Learning Spanish is full of challenges, I don’t think anyone would doubt that. Something I have really struggled with over the years is finding new and fun ways to practice – because, as much as we don’t always like it, practice is essential to learning a new language. I wanted to compile a list of things that have worked for me in the past. Different ways to learn new vocabulary, meet new people and better your Spanish language skills.
- Join a class or discussion group.
Without a doubt the number one thing that has helped me to better my Spanish language skills has been to be a part of a class. Something structured and organized, that I can attend on a regular basis. What I love about being a part of a class is how much I learn from, not only the teacher, but also from my fellow classmates. I can honestly say, Rojas Spanish has been the best Spanish classes I have ever been a part of. I have learned so much from Luis!
- Surround yourself in the language as much as possible.
There are so many opportunities to practice Spanish that you may not realize. For instance, on your way to and from work – listen to a Spanish podcast. La Casa Rojas has hundreds of podcasts to choose from. Even if you don’t understand everything that is being said, you will benefit from listening to the sound and rhythm of the words. http://lacasarojas.com/podcast/
- Start your own Spanish dictionary
Each time you learn a new word, write it down in a notebook. Review your notebook frequently as a refresher so you don’t forget the new words you’ve learned. If you are out and about and find yourself wondering “como se dice…” write that in your notebook as well so you remember to look it up later. This has worked wonderfully for me and really helped me to better develop my vocabulary. Anytime I am a passenger in the car, riding the bus or waiting in a long line – I pull out my notebook and squeeze in a quick study session.
- Turn on those subtítulos (subtitles) or find Spanish language films.
Netflix, Hulu, DVDs – there are lots of options for you to turn on subtitles and broaden your vocabulary. Plus, you will have to either listen to the language or read the subtitles in Spanish – a great learning opportunity! One of my favorite ways to learn new vocabulary is to watch a movie I have already seen with Spanish subtitles, so I can really focus on the Spanish language. Tip: Disney and Pixar movies are super fun to watch and often have different options for language preferences. Add new words to your Spanish dictionary and review them weekly.
Share tips and tricks for other students in the comments. What has worked for you?