So, you fint it difficult to learn a new language? Problem solved!
Our colleague Olga has some very useful tips for you to learn Spanish.
Do not miss this blog!!!
It is not easy to learn languages! It is a very interesting process but it is also very difficult. I am always eager to find new ways to make learning languages faster, easier and more effective and I would like to share some of these ways with you today.
Use different learning methods
Try to approach your learning in more than one way. The brain can remember things better if it receives this information through several different channels. For example including images and colourful drawings in your notes for a new concept you have learnt or reading the words aloud whilst studying. By learning in various different ways, you will be able to easier retain information in your mind and on a more permanent basis. Here is an example of one of these methods.
For two words that you need to memorize and that have no semantic relationship, you can create your own phrase which carries meaning.
For example: “gato” y “naranja” (cat and orange)
Mi gata se llama Naranja.
In English - My cat is called Orange.
You can then go on and further develop this phrase. Use your imagination and creativity!
La gata Naranja iba a la fiesta de cumpleaños de su amigo gato Limón con una cesta de mandarinas.
In English - The cat Orange went to the birthday party of his friend the cat Limon with a basket of tangerines.
This way, you can learn much more than just 2 new words! By using the imagery created by the sentence it helps you to remember what each word means as our brain can process images very easily. Try using these special memory tricks and visualising new words, you will be amazed how well it works. Believe me, you will never again forget these words you!
Divide and Conquer
You forget half of what you learn within the first hour, but through repetition you will remember for longer whatever you learn. Therefore it is a good idea to try and pick up some of these new tricks in order to achieve this “long term memory” as hopefully once learnt, they will never fail you! Another thing to remember is that our brains work much better by digesting small pieces of information but more frequently instead of lots of information at once.
- Always create small blocks of 5-7 words and go over them several times.
- Take your time; you need about 45-60 seconds per word.
- Review the words you have learnt at least 6-10 times so that they stay in your long term memory.
- You shouldn’t try to learn more than 30-35 new words per day.
Share What You Have Learnt With Others!
One of the really good ways to memorize what you have learnt is to teach it to another person. Educators have long known that one of the best ways to learn something yourself is to teach it to someone else. So simply just explain what you already know to a friend and share with them your knowledge!
All Around You
Look around and say the name of the objects you see (for example: if you are in the living room; “sofa”, “televisor”, “sillon”, “libro”, “alfombra”). If you don’t know the name of an object look it up in a dictionary and expand your vocabulary.
Watch and Listen!
Reading books, magazines or newspapers is important and aids your language learning. You do not need to understand everything, because it helps you get a feel for the language as well. Even Spanish TV or radio is helpful, even if you don’t understand everything. Music can also be very helpful. Search for Spanish music which you like to listen to, read the lyrics while listening to the songs. It’s also a fun way to learn and it will help you to develop your knowledge of sentence structures and grammar.
Here is a Spanish song for you:
Before going to sleep, repeat the new material over again for 10-15 minutes. This way your brain is processing this information while sleeping as at night your subconscious processes the final experiences and thoughts of the day. Your new knowledge will be consolidated without your influence.
Another trick to learn easily is to write difficult vocabulary or grammar rules on post-its. Stick them in different places, such as on the refrigerator, the mirror, the door, above the sink. Writing them down is a good learning habit anyway and the regular repetition and reading really helps your memory. Regardless of whether you have even read properly the post-its or not, your brain subconsciously deals with the learning material every time you look at them. This trick really helped me!!!
Do not be scared of making mistakes. Don’t be afraid to speak, even if you uncertain about it. No one will be angry with you; in fact you will find that it is quite the opposite. The important thing is to say something and to learn from your mistakes!
I hope all my advice will be useful for you. Try them out and tell us about how you found them.
Last but not least, enjoy the learning process, enjoy your Spanish! Discover the wonder of the language you are learning and the essence of the happy and beautiful words they use!
Sol, Primavera, Disfrutar,