Learning a new language is time-consuming, and it requires hours upon hours to achieve fluency. However, it’s not simply about the quantity of time spent studying; the quality of those hours matters too. For higher quality learning, turn away from grammar books, conjugation drills, and vocab lists and focus on actively incorporating Spanish in your daily life. Here’s five ways to make the best use of your time for faster and more effective Spanish learning.
The next time you pull up Netflix to binge watch a new series, consider picking a show in Spanish. Instead of using the English subtitles as a crutch, use the Spanish subtitles so you can train your ear to better identify words and phrases. Beyond Netflix, there are countless YouTubers geared toward Spanish learners such as Easy Spanish in which Spanish speakers are interviewed about their daily life. The channel also provides accurate subtitles in both Spanish and English.
Incorporate Your Interests
If you have a hobby, think about how you can add Spanish into the mix. For example, if you love to cook, start looking up recipes in Spanish. It’s a win/win situation if you can learn and treat yourself to a delicious home-cooked meal afterward. Or if you’re into politics, brush up on your political knowledge of a Spanish-speaking country and read their online news source. To start, check out CRHoy for Costa Rican news or El Tiempo for Colombian news.
Speak with Native Speakers
While there are many ways to practice Spanish, there’s nothing quite like a real, dynamic conversation with another human being. It will require you to listen carefully, think fast, and make use of helpful hints such as context and body language. You’ll also receive immediate feedback on your speaking. If they don’t understand you, you know something’s wrong with either your grammar or pronunciation, and you know what to work on in the future. If you don’t know any native speakers, find a language exchange in your area or find a tutor online.
Keep a Journal
A journal will be invaluable in your journey to fluency. While speaking is an amazing skill to practice, writing will give you more time to both organize your thoughts and reflect on them. Every night, write about your day to practice recalling words and forming sentences. For bonus points, practice reading your journal entry aloud after writing. Additionally, keep your own personal dictionary of every new word you hear. Reference this frequently.
Join an Immersion Program
Study Spanish abroad with an immersion program. Whether you go for a week, a year, or somewhere in between, you’re guaranteed to walk away with an increased understanding of the language on top of a unique cultural experience. At our language school in beautiful Costa Rica, Costa Rican Language Academy, you can maximize your learning in a welcoming and fun environment.
For more information about our classes and rates, contact us today.