Speed up the process of your learning Spanish with a good study plan.
Every person learning Spanish is going to choose a unique path... and never before has there been so much choice, and every day there is more choice.
There is no one, correct way but we can offer some suggestions on how best to focus your time and most efficiently progress with your learning.
You, the student of Spanish language, are now spoilt for choice....
There is so much to choose from for the person learning Spanish.
In fact there is arguably too much!
This site helps you sort through the hundreds of options and focus you on the essential things you need.
So the student should put in place a Learning Spanish Plan and it should include items from the following.
Spanish learning books & texts
A first stop for many a student is to click on the huge bookstore Amazon.com to get all the hot info.
Do a Search for the word 'Spanish' and you will get a message saying there are 32,000 entries responding to that keyword.
There is literally a bombardment of information!
And the problem is that lots of it is excellent!
Lots is very good.
Lots is very average
And lots is garbage!
You can cut through all that, and just pick the important ones. You do not need loads of books, just buy one or two at a time, work through them 2 or 3 times or more, cover to cover then move on to another one.
You need a good Beginners text to start with, and then progress from there.
Spanish books & texts.
Build your Spanish Vocabulary quickly
Using modern techniques,
rapidly learning Spanish vocab
can be done very quickly, enabling you to speedily build yourself a solid base of vocab of 1,000 or 2,000 words in 2 weeks or so.
Remember that most conversation involves about 800 of the most common words of any language.
So with such a base you can functionally communicate, but your grammar will not be great and you'll be able to 'crawl-read'.
If you complete one or two of the 200 Words a Day courses you will have a solid vocab base to launch from.
Get yourself a good PC programme that covers the basics of learning Spanish
A good general PC programme will also have a good text with it, often nowadays in pdf format.
Check out the software recommendations, but in general you will find the Learning Company' Learn to Speak Spanish CD-Roms are excellent.
They structure the lessons from arriving in Mexico, exchanging money at the bank, getting a taxi to the hotel, and gradually progressing through a stay, in story form, while building up a vocabulary base and grammar base.
The supporting text-book is also very good, and you can test your voice and accent with the machine.
Good for grammar, phrases, expressions and building conversational skills.
Weak points: Sometimes non-native speakers are used as the 'actor-voices' and no matter how clever the speaker, the accent betrays its non-mother tongue status.
There is no way taught of remembering words or phrases.
Once you get through this course you need to build a thorough understanding of ...
Learning Spanish Verbs. The Patterns and the Families
You should learn the main Verb Patterns. Spanish verbs are more difficult than English ones, and are one of the trickiest things to learn in Spanish, if not the most tricky.
You will not learn much by reading a book like '501 Spanish Verbs'. While a great reference book, it is heavy, heavy reading and only for those academically inclined. A book like this is an important text to have, but like a dictionary it is very difficult to read.
There is an accelerated Spanish verbs package that will give you a quick and solid grasp of the main families and patterns. Click for more on rapidly learning Spanish verbs...
Take Spanish Classes to improve your learning and understanding
A classroom and teacher situation is still an excellent learning environment for learning Spanish.
Whether it be a school, night classes, one-on-one private tuition, university... a good teacher is still a good way to improve your learning.
Every major city has Spanish classes, night school etc. Or you can try a school in a totally Spanish-speaking environment, and become 'totally immersed' in the language.
Total Immersion Spanish learning and language learning
At some point during your Spanish tuition a long, sustained period of total immersion
is important. Two to three months is an ideal minimum.
When totally immersed one must force oneself to not use one's native tongue - except to clarify a point with one's teacher.
The longer one can sustain this pattern, the quicker will come the 'break-through' to better fluency.
It is arguable as to whether one should go early in the learning journey or later, but a period later in the journey is a must for the purpose of consolidation.
In the total immersion environment you will hear, see and live Spanish in action.
If you have a big toolbox with:
- vocab, say 2,000 to 3,000 words, (200 Words a Day System)
- an understanding of the language structure, (Learning Company - Learn to Speak Spanish and class-room teacher) ...
- verb patterns and
- a bagful of say, 300 phrases learned parrot fashion,
- this is the chance to put it all together.
...because... while we can learn the mechanics and structure of a language it is only when we ....
Practise, practise, practise conversation, reading, writing and translating Spanish ...
...that we make real progress.
Practise, practise, practise at every opportunity.
Build up your repertoire of phrases and then build more vocab, understanding and expressions.
And by being in a total immersion situation where nobody speaks your native tongue you have no choice but to dive in and talk.... or forever hold your peace.
By being in the total immersion situation you learn and understand the context of so many phrases and expressions, in ways that are difficult to teach.
You just learn by hearing, and then, with practice, you can tell when things 'sound right' or 'look right'.
Translating Spanish to improve your Spanish language skills
Translating is a very , very powerful way to boost your learning Spanish, and the more you can do of it the better.
Whether it be from text-books, magazines, newspapers online or offline, Spanish books you should regularly practise translation, both from English to Spanish, and from Spanish to English.
You can also use the online Spanish-English-Spanish Translator, although this does not really force your own learning to improve. You need to do the work yourself to learn it!
Write letters to a Spanish penfriend!
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