People who speak both English and Spanish have quite a few advantages these days. Many jobs require that the successful candidate is bilingual and as neighborhoods diversify even further than ever before being able to speak Spanish can open up a great many neighborhood friendships as well.
There are lots of aids out there to help you teach yourself Spanish. Books, DVDs, computer software programs, you can even learn to speak Spanish online. No one method works for everyone, as everyone tends to learn in a slightly different way. There are some things that can help you progress faster when trying to teach yourself Spanish whatever method you are using. Here are some of the best of them:
Work on Developing an Ear for Spanish
Remember that any language, not just Spanish, is first and foremost all about oral communication. A written alphabet is merely a collection of symbols used to represent the sounds of the language, and cannot be expected to capture every nuance of sound and intonation. To develop your “ear” as you teach yourself Spanish watch Spanish TV shows and listen to Spanish music. Hearing the words spoken or sung by those who speak Spanish as their first language really helps to get your pronunciation right.
Practice Speaking Spanish as Often as Possible.
Many people who are just learning Spanish get really shy about practicing their new skills with native speakers. Afraid that they will be laughed at, new Spanish speakers learn all the right stuff but then are simply too afraid to use it. This is a huge mistake. You can study for years, and master all of the grammar rules, but unless you actually practice speaking, you will never speak Spanish as well as you might.
If no one is around to practice with, talk to yourself. This will really help your confidence as you teach yourself Spanish, as with no one else around you won’t have to worry about “embarrassing yourself” as you master all the nuances of the Spanish language.
Put Labels on Your Surroundings
One easy way to remember some of the common Spanish words is to actually put labels on your surroundings. For example: la pared (wall), la puerta (door), el escritorio (desk) and so on. As these are objects you look at every day you will remember these words within a very short time. Don’t limit yourself to furniture though – label your food, your clothes, even the other members of your household if they’ll let you!
One of the biggest reasons that people give up trying to learn a new language is that they become too impatient with themselves and the pace they are learning at. The “learn to speak Spanish” software they bought promised that they would be fluent Spanish speakers in 10 days and when day 11 rolls around and they are just not there yet many people give up.
Think about it, did your mother ever tell you that you learned to speak your native tongue in ten days when you were a baby? If you did, I hope she called the Guinness Book of World Records because that would be quite a feat. Very few people can learn even the basics of a new language in ten days or even ten weeks. It’s hard to pin down one best way to learn Spanish as it takes determination, effort and most of all practice, practice, practice. With regular short daily practice session you will get there in the end and when you are able to start impressing everyone with your newly acquired language skills you will be very glad you did.