What Kind of a Spanish Student Are You?
If your score was lower than you expected on the
personality quiz, maybe you need to review your study habits. The
following explanations are a guideline for you to follow in order to get the
most out of your Spanish studies. Follow the links for related information
How much time do you spend studying Spanish?
When learning a foreign language, it is important to spend at least a few
minutes studying every day. Language isn't just a matter of memorization; it
has to do with the way you think. You may have heard people talk about the
concept of "thinking" in a language - this refers to the way that you
formulate sentences in your head. Fluent Spanish speakers are able to make
sentences in their head in Spanish, rather than translating what they want
to say from their native language. If you don't have any friends who speak
Spanish, some resources that you can use for daily study are the
language tapes, audio books,
What do you do when the e Learn Spanish
Language newsletter arrives?
as a weekly reminder to work on your Spanish, by studying the new lesson,
visiting e Learn Spanish on
Facebook, or just poking around my site until you find something
How do you practice reading Spanish?
Reading Spanish is quite difficult for many students, so it is important to
practice with authentic materials like
What do you do upon learning a new word or
The best way to learn it for keeps is to practice using it right away. You
can do this by talking to a friend or teacher, chatting, writing messages in
the forum, or emailing your pen pals.
What kind of dictionary do you use?
Once you get serious about learning Spanish, you need to invest in a decent
Spanish dictionary. Pocket
dictionaries are good for the first year or so, but after that you really
can't live without a big hardcover dictionary. My favorite is the
Harper Collins, but I know some who swear by Cassell's. After 3 years or
so, I highly recommend investing in
El Diccionario de la Lengua española - get into the habit of looking
things up and reading the Spanish definition, rather than looking up
What do you do when someone corrects your
It is important to correct your writing immediately in order to retain the
new information. Writing it down in your notes is less effective - you need
to plug it right back into your original document.
How are you learning Spanish?
Living in a hispanophone (Spanish-speaking) country is the best way, followed by studying in a formal situation like a class
or with a tutor. Supplementing your lessons with the
internet, language tapes,
audio books, or software can
help you in your studies, but these things can't replace a human teacher.
How do you practice your Spanish?
Unless you are learning Spanish for a specific purpose, such as answering
the phone at work, you need to practice the four basic skills: reading,
writing, listening, and speaking.
Why are you studying Spanish?
Learning Spanish for a specific purpose is fine, but you'll enjoy your
studies a lot more and get more out of them if you appreciate the language
itself. I believe that the people who are the most motivated about their
Spanish studies are those who see the beauty of the language and everything
a second language offers: a better understanding of your own language, the
ability to converse with people from other cultures, and more enjoyable
travels in countries where that language is spoken, just to name a few.
What do you do when talking to native Spanish speakers?
Take advantage of any opportunity to talk to native/fluent Spanish speakers.
The more you practice, the more you learn. Besides that, what's the point of
learning Spanish if you're afraid to use it? Just get out there and go for
it, and don't worry about your mistakes. We've all been there! :-)
For more information, read my in-depth article on fluency.
Feel like you know it all now? Try again!