The best way to learn Spanish is incorporating the language in your day-to-day activities. Truth is that as one grows older, it becomes more difficult for him or her to learn a new language. As they say, “you cannot teach new tricks to an old dog.” Nevertheless, it is not impossible. There are various ways for you to learn this romantic language whatever your age may be, but the top method to learn Spanish is exposing yourself in everything Spanish.
- Study Spanish. Having tangible educational materials is always the best way to learn Spanish as a second language. Good news is that there are various educational resources that you can choose from. High school and college students may opt to enroll for Spanish electives to get a head start on learning the language. Meanwhile, those working may opt to enroll in language schools and take weekend classes. Those who need more time flexibility may opt to purchase books, audio programs, or software to learn Spanish.
- Build your vocabulary. As soon as you have mastered the basics in everyday Spanish conversation, aim to know beyond “hola,” “como estas,” and “gracias.” A trick that you can use is reciting an English sentence out loud, and then reciting its Spanish translation afterwards. Do this several times to maintain the familiarity.
- Say your thoughts in Spanish. Spend a few minutes every day to pause and think in Spanish. This will allow you to pinpoint your areas of improvement in learning the language, whether it may be vocabulary or grammar.
- Make use of cognates. Cognates are words with similar origins, such as “family” in English and “familia” in Spanish. Luckily for English speakers, 4 out of 10 English words have a Spanish counterpart.
- Expose yourself in Spanish music and film. Listen to Reggae, Latin, and Salsa music, and even songs by Latin pop artists such as Enrique Iglesias, Ricky Martin, Shakira, Jennifer Lopez, and Gloria Estefan. You can also watch Spanish television shows and movies, or even Hollywood movies dubbed in Spanish.
- Acquaint yourself with the Spanish culture. Culture and language are heavily intertwined such that learning about a culture is similar to learning a language. This will also help you understand interpersonal norms among Spanish-speaking people.
- Select a Spanish variant when you do your advanced studies. Remember that the Spanish language in Spain is different from the Spanish language in Mexico.
- Converse to people in Spanish. A lot of people who studied a second language end up forgetting what they learned because they lack practice. Look for a Spanish-speaking friend to retain your Spanish-speaking skills.
- Visit a Spanish-speaking destination on your next vacation. There are many countries to choose from as Spanish is the official language in 21 different entities. These include Colombia, Mexico, Puerto Rico, Panama, and, of course, Spain. Being around people whose first language is definitely the best way to learn Spanish naturally.
Indeed, the best way to learn Spanish is to constantly expose yourself the language, may it be through classes, arts, traveling, or even day-to-day conversations. Nobody ever said that learning a second language is easy, but it can be done.