Tips for Learning Spanish

¡Hola, chicos!

In this blog post, I wanted to share the habits I’ve formed to help with my journey of learning Spanish. While I am not an expert in the Spanish language nor in the fields of linguistics, these are some of the ways that have personally helped me.

  1. Set Goals and/or Milestones

I personally believe that this to be the most important step one must take before taking on a new language! Setting goals (whether it be daily, weekly, or monthly) will immensely help you throughout this journey. It will allow you to constantly keep track of your progress. It can be as small as learning 10 vocabulary / per day or aiming to become C2 proficient in Spanish by the end of the year. However, make sure your goals are S.M.A.R.T. (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound).

EXAMPLE:
GOAL: Learn 25 Spanish vocabulary words per week.
HOW: Making a Quizlet deck with unfamiliar vocabulary words.
HOW LONG: Unlimited

2. Form Habits

Turning your desire of learning Spanish into a habit is key to assimilating into the language. Once the language has been ingrained in one’s mind, it changes one’s behavior. Here are some few tips into turning language learning into a habit (rather than a chore):

  • Identifying a cue: This serves as the signal which will set the habit into motion.
  • Initiating a routine: The routine refers to the actual behavior in response to the cue.
  • Give a reward: This part of habit-forming helps with reinforcing the habit by activating our pleasure centers once a behavior has been performed.

EXAMPLE:
GOAL: Watching Spanish or Spanish-dubbed T.V. shows

CUE: Tuning in to Netflix right when you get home from school or work.
ROUTINE: Watching a T.V. show dubbed in Spanish.
REWARD: Dopamine activation from watching your favorite T.V. show or from eating your favorite movie snack, such as popcorn or ice cream.

3. Full immersion in the Spanish language

Similar to forming a habit, allowing yourself to fully immerse in Spanish will trick your brain into thinking that it is critical to attend to the language. Some examples include, changing your phone’s language into Spanish or living with a host family.

EXAMPLE:
GOAL: Fully immerse yourself in the Spanish language.
HOW: Find an intercambio to practice conversational Spanish with.
HOW LONG: 1 hour per week; unlimited

I hope that you have found these tips to be helpful.

Hasta luego,

Tran Zen Belila Torres

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