‘OK, so I did get out of bed sometimes, but what I mean is, I didn’t go to class or really do any kind of additional studying in order to learn Spanish…’
I studied (I’m using the term very loosely here) French at school and hated every minute. If I’m going to learn a new language, I’m damn sure gonna pick it myself. And, so I did. These are the methods I employed learning Spanish and made it feel a little less boring.
Kindle Downloads for Children
Yes, people, download some easy kids books for your kindle. Pretty soon you’ll be right up to speed on your chosen language. Or, at the very least, you’ll know how to name lots of different barnyard animals.
Most of the books I’ve downloaded have been free of charge and range from basic picture and text books for small children-type people, all the way to Don Quiote. Amazon carries a massive range of foreign language text and story books. These are a great way to test out your language skills and expand your sentence structure. Also: click on any word you don’t understand and find out what it means. Genius.
|Oh, si, si, si…estoy hablo Espanyol! Y Tu?|
Let’s face it: Pinterest is awesome for pretty much everything. It’s also a fantastic resource for picking up tips and tricks for language learning. I can’t tell you (I totally going to, though) how many worksheets I’ve pinned on a massive range of Spanish topics. Seriously, if you’re looking to learn a language; this is brilliant.
I’ve found everything from worksheets on the days of the week; how to tell time; weather systems (lloviendo is the one I’ve used most recently…) and food stuffs. You name it, Pinterest has it.
Post it Notes
No, seriously. Get some and plaster them around your house with the name of objects written on them and you’ll quickly be shouting out for your other half to pass you some food from un amario de cocina (kitchen cupboard).
It works really well unless, of course, you have OCD, where you’d likely drive yourself insane worrying about the mess.
|‘Ni Rojas Ni Juguetes…’|
This is excellent for the odd sentence, but not so great if you want to hold a conversation. I found this out that hard way; trust me. It doesn’t always grasp the nuances of the languages, particularly in Spanish. In saying that, I’m sure you’ll still be understood. Entiende? Si, entiendo…
Learn with a Friend/Get a Stuffed Ladybug
OK, so learning with a friend is a great idea but getting a stuffed ladybug might seem a touch out of the ordinary. When I met LT, we were both in the process of learning Spanish, so it’s been a god send that we both chat to each other at home. It makes the process SO much easier if you have someone to practice your new words and phrases on. it also keeps your motivation up.
If you don’t have a human friend to learn with, then do what I do: speak to an inanimate object. For me, this is The Travel Bug. He also speaks Spanish (please don’t ask me for an explanation) and converses with me on a regular basis.
I use him when LT is at work and I need to test out some new phrases. I realise I sound like a mad woman, but it honestly works. Probably don’t tell anyone you’re doing it, though. Not like I just did.
If you have children, why not try a local class aimed at little ones? This is a great way to ensure your child starts learning early and doesn’t end up, like I did, finding the passion later on in life.
|Take a trip…speak to people on the street!|
Seriously…nothing will get you to grips with a language more quickly that actually living amongst the locals. It’s not an option for everyone, but even just a short city break to a native speaking country will absolutely help your language skills.
Ordering dinner, drinks (which is obviously the first thing to learn in ANY language), finding your way around, or even just saying hello to a passing stranger. These are the things that will help increase your confidence.
I haven’t really visited a county that wasn’t pleased that tourists were just making the effort. Most people I’ve met (particularly Spaniards and Germans), are happy to help you improve and are very grateful that you’re interested in trying. These are my kind of people.
Have you learned a foreign language? Do you have any tips for success?