Learning Spanish online should be a joy. It can be done effectively, with pleasure and fairly fast. To help make sure that your learning is that way I’ve put together my top ten helpful tips to remember.
1) Don’t try to pick it up all at once. The quickest way to kill your enthusiasm for a new subject is to push yourself too hard. Don’t try to learn too much, too soon, let it evolve naturally. Set yourself a realistic target goal for the long term, say to be able to hold a basic conversation in three months, and don’t expect more than that. Set small goals along the way, this week I will master XXX, learn 20 new words, etc., and give yourself a pat on the back for achieving them radio player spain.
2) Keep to a regular schedule. Be realistic about how much time you can set aside each week, and when to fit it in. Then do try to stick to that plan. With only a vague “I want to do 2 hours a week” it’s just too easy to find a month has gone by and you haven’t started. On the other hand don’t beat yourself up, and get so disheartened that you give up trying just because you missed a lesson or two, be flexible and positive.
3) Join a forum. It’s a good way to help you stay positive, or just for general help along the road. You will find many helpful people, and lots of good advice on most forums. You can just join in with chit-chat, ask questions when you’re stuck, and as you become more advanced you can help out too, getting a nice warm glow in doing so.
4) Get the right course. Before you begin make sure that you are starting an appropriate course, will it actually be teaching what you need? Textbook Spanish won’t be much use if you want to travel to Latin America. A simple street Spanish course won’t be enough if you want to get ahead in business. Does the course cover grammar, and verb conjugations to the level you need, is it presented in a format you can work with? Some fun injected into the lessons is essential to keep you interested, if you’re forcing yourself through the classes you won’t learn.
5) Don’t run before you can walk. You will probably be tempted to keep skipping ahead a few classes, don’t do it! Take the classes in order, they are designed to be worked through in sequence. It may feel like you are progressing too slowly, but it’s essential to build up a solid foundation in the basics, to create the structure later on. Think of a “bambino” learning language for the first time, he might have a couple of hundred words before he strings two together. And when he gets to the three word sentence stage is he worrying about correct grammar, or just about whether Mama understands him?
6) Do make the most of the audio classes. Most courses will make them available as mp3 downloads, so you are not limited to using them while at your PC. Burn to a CD, put them on your iPod or even cell phone, and take them with you anywhere. Ten minutes here and there in your day listening and echoing is a very effective learning method.
7) Try to immerse yourself in Spanish. Use as many different media as are available to you. Try watching Spanish language TV, listen to Spanish radio stations, try a book or newspaper in Spanish instead of your regular versions. The immersion technique is a very successful way to speed up your language learning greatly. If you want to begin thinking in Spanish you really will need to be “living”in it day to day.
8) Make use of free facilities online. While you are probably best working through one program at a time, rather than flitting from one to another, there’s no harm in adding to it with extra bits of information. With a quick search you should be able to find phonetics, dictionaries, videos, all sorts of interesting tidbits to add a little variety to your course work.
9) Take a break now and then. Not only will you come back refreshed and raring to go, but you should find that those problem bits you were struggling with have magically become much easier while you were away! Don’t push yourself too hard, don’t continue when you are overtired, no matter how keen you are to learn Spanish looking after your eyes, brain and body comes first.
10) Enjoy it! Don’t get bogged down in grammar and verb conjugating, go out and use your Spanish as much as possible. You might want to try giving yourself rewards for meeting each target, but really learning to speak and use Spanish is a pleasure in itself.
Spanish online learning is fun!