How to Succeed in Learning to Speak Spanish
Commit yourself to learning Spanish. Along the road to learning a new language, students sometimes lose focus on their reasons for wanting to speak, read and/or write Spanish. This lack of focus reduces motivation because success is more difficult to achieve and thus language learning can quickly turn into a chore. However, students who are clear about why they want to learn a new language and commit to those goals are much more likely to develop confidence, achieve success and to have fun! Of course, we all learn and progress at different rates so it’s important for students to focus on their own personal goals and not to compare themselves to anyone else. So, identify achievable goals and commit yourself to attaining them. You will discover that Spanish will soon become your friend and not a monster lurking under your bed!
2. We all make mistakes!
There are many challenges to learning a new language. Errors are unavoidable and not only provide opportunities to get better, but can sometimes be a great source of hilarity. For example, be careful how you say “I’m embarrassed in Spanish.” It’s not, “Estoy embarazada” which means, “I am pregnant,” but rather “Estoy avergonzado.”
3. Short-term goals
A good recommendation is to set yourself daily, weekly or even monthly goals. Many students think, “I will speak Spanish well after several years of practice.” However, that goal is too distant to feel real or even achievable. It is more helpful to establish short-term goals. For example, you can consider learning all the correct ways to say, “I am embarrassed” in Spanish so as not to generate any undue gossip!
Other short-term goals could include eliminating one’s incorrect pronunciation of the letter “R,” in say the next 3 days by listening to native speakers either through videos or through real-time lessons on Skype or Zoom. So, if you establish short-term, achievable goals you will really begin to see positive results.
4. Start talking now!
I’m sure you’re thinking: “My Spanish speaking skills are poor and people will never understand me. I am just making a fool of myself.” These fears are normal and are experienced by every language learner. Have no fear, try, take risks and make mistakes. You will improve and your enjoyment and confidence will grow – guaranteed! If you can find a native Spanish speaker to practice with, all the better!
Best of luck on your language learning journey!