Today, there is a growing awareness emerging in regards to the startling statistics that reflect the vastly growing Latino and Hispanic population within the United States.
In fact, the United State consists of an estimated 41 million native Spanish speakers living in the country, as of 2015. Furthermore, an estimated 52.6 million people in the country speak a romance language.
Consequently, it is becoming apparent that we are in the midst of a period in our history in which globalization is occurring more quickly each year. With this being said, there is a growing importance being placed on the need for individuals to be able to speak more than one language, not only in the workforce but even in day to day life.
Moreover, this ability to communicate with individuals who are different from ourselves is an ability to connect with others.
These connections are what make us human. And so, how do we go about learning another language efficiently? This article will give you some useful tips on how to learn Spanish.
Key Factors In Learning
When learning any language, there are important aspects one should focus on while studying.
Scholars debate on which aspects of the Spanish language are most important to focus on for beginners attempting to learn the language quickly and efficiently; however, here is the consensus on what you should actively focus on when studying Spanish.
To learn the language as quickly as possible, while maintaining the concepts you learn.
- Make a point to build a sizeable vocabulary. Having a wide array of words, you can use regularly will be very useful in communicating with other people. Words are the very foundation of language has been built. From here, you can easily expand your knowledge of grammar, idioms, and cultural sayings.
- Practice. Practice. Practice. Speaking the language frequently is the key to retaining words, phrases, and grammatical structures that you learn. For this reason, you should speak the words that you do know as often as possible. Using the words that you already know is a great way to maintain your vocabulary base, and potentially inquire from other people about words you don’t know.
- Building off of the previous key factor, listening is an extremely important skill that takes, even more, practice than speaking. Knowing when to stop talking, and obtain new information from others is important. Listening, especially to native speakers, is a great way to understand how certain letters and words are pronounced.
- Moreover, studies have shown that nearly 90% of spoken Spanish consists of the same 1000 words. So if we listen to the words people use on a regular basis in Spanish, then we are likely to hear useful words in which we can use.
Now that we have a learning framework we are using to learn Spanish how do we implement this framework in our daily lives? Here are some concrete measures you can take to ensure that you effectively learn to speak Spanish.
- Create specific goals for yourself. When learning any language including Spanish, it is important that you measure your learning process. The best way to do this is to create specific, attainable goals. For example, set aside a certain amount of words you plan to memorize each day.
- Test yourself at the end of each day to see if you have committed these words to memory as you planned.
- Make a plan of how you will utilize your time on a regular basis to commit to your learning process. Creating schedules for yourself will be a useful practice to ensure you’re doing this.
- Find podcast, songs, TV shows, or movies to listen to. As previously mentioned, listening is a key factor in familiarizing yourself with Spanish. Moreover, television novellas and music are a huge part of Spanish culture.
You can easily find ways to incorporate these listening exercise into your everyday routine such as, listening to a 30-minute podcast every day on your way to work, or watching a TV show in Spanish each day as you consume a meal.
Small practices such as these make a huge difference in how often you hear the language on a regular basis, especially if you do not have any friends or relatives that speak the language.
- Find an easy to read children’s book, or online magazine and read it each day. Again, this is a small task you can undertake on a regular basis to ensure that you are exposing yourself to words in Spanish.
Of course, you may not understand everything that you read or see. However, familiarizing yourself with these words can lend to your assessment of what you do and don’t know. When you find words or phrases you don’t understand, look them up and commit them to memory.
- Do not bog yourself down in complex grammar. While grammar is an important attribute to the Spanish language, it does not lend itself to your ability to communicate in the language. Make an effort to utilize the words you do know in Spanish when speaking and listening and worry about grammar once you have a strong foundational background of the language.
- Find a language partner. This measure is another useful way to practice your listening and to speak. There are many apps you can download on your phone or computer for free that provide tools in finding individuals who speak Spanish. Use these apps and practice on a daily basis.
You will find that the more often you use the same phrases, words, and questions that you somewhat know with other individuals the easier it is to commit them to your everyday vernacular.
Eventually, you will discover that it is less of a struggle to communicate these things than it was in the past because you have made yourself comfortable doing so.
- Immerse yourself in the culture and language. This tip is a bit more difficult if you do not have the funds to travel. Obviously, it is much easier to learn the language if you can afford to travel to place where there is a prevalence of Spanish speakers. However, don’t fret. The measures previously mentioned earlier in this article are still effective ways of immersing yourself in Spanish language and culture.
- Lastly, stick to your schedule and commit. At times, learning Spanish can seem daunting, difficult, and like a waste of time. You might question yourself as to whether or not you’re truly learning the language, but remind yourself that you have created a plan and are in fact sticking to it. Getting frustrating and quitting or taking breaks will only prolong the amount of time it takes to master this language.
There is a growing expectation in today's society to be able to speak more than one language. Speaking Spanish, in particular, is becoming a skill extremely sought after in the corporate world, and by the native speakers surrounding us in everyday life.
Learning Spanish is by no means an easy task; however, with practice, it is a task that can be effectively managed. Be sure to make use of the recommendations in this article, as to they are some of the most effective methods of learning Spanish in a fast and efficient manner.