So, what’s the best way to learn Spanish? Have you ever tried to find the best way to learn Spanish online, or take one to one Spanish lessons?
Perhaps you’ve tried audio CDs or some of the many Spanish learning books in a bid to find the best way to learn Spanish at home.
Or maybe even jumped in with both feet to learn Spanish abroad with a language school?
I’ve tried them all in a bid to find the best way to learn Spanish and in part they have had a positive influence on my path to Spanish learning and I still use many of them today.
Did you begin learning Spanish with the belief that one day you would be able to converse with your Spanish friends only to find that with every new verb you learnt the language seemed to explode out of all proportion before your very eyes?
Just taking a look inside your dictionary is enough to make your hair curl and therefore definitely not the best way to learn Spanish!
Do you find yourself mentally trawling your memory’s filing cabinets for the correct word or tense to fit your conversation only to find that when you look up your audience has become bored and is now fully engaged in conversation with someone else?
It may be that the traditional way is not the best way to learn Spanish for you. Pen, paper, grammar lessons, head down, study study study!
Let go of the stiff upper lip notion, that’s the best way to learn Spanish, the traditional way.
The same problem is true of schools too and has a lot to answer for when failure arises.
Despite our uniqueness, thinking outside the box is often not permitted in places of learning and that can leave those of us who are not able or willing to follow the crowd lose our confidence and give up in the belief that we are just not clever enough.
So now, why not take a truly liberating and alternative approach, one that builds your confidence by.
1. Using what Spanish you have learned so far. Even if this means speaking simply in the present tense, then go ahead and converse. We have all heard… and secretly fallen in love with the cute accent of someone who is trying hard to make conversation in a language not their own. Are you with me?
2. Write a letter to a friend or even just to yourself in one past tense only. Repetition is a wonderful tool!
3. Trusting that Spanish people are generous and warm and will be delighted that you want to practise your Spanish with them.
4. Know that the best way to learn Spanish for you is the one that gives you confidence to converse; after all conversing is exactly why you set out to learn Spanish in the first place.
Next time you sit to study make a mental note of the tools which help you most and find ways to repeat or adapt them. Love repetition? Try tip 1 & 2 above. Love visuals?
Make yourself some flash cards. Enjoy company? Then tip number 3 is for you. Go out into the warm Spanish sun, sit where the view is best, order yourself a long cool cerveza and chat, or just listen if you prefer to the people around you.
Above all remember to be gentle with yourself, a big engaging smile and enthusiasm will always win the day!