As the debut article for the study corner, I wanted to talk about something that holds a lot of importance in my life: learning languages! A language that I took a lot of pride in learning is Spanish, a language I mastered over the summer of the pandemic. The amount of confidence I gained in one summer was more than I had in the four years prior that I was trying to learn the language. If you are like me and want to get ahead on your own but don’t know where to start, here are five ways that I sped up my process for learning a second language!
#1: Fiverr Classes
If you don’t know what Fiverr is, it is an online platform where you can outsource and get freelancers for your work from people around the world. I was scrolling through the app with my dad one day when I came upon who is now my Spanish
teacher outside of school. The special part: she lives in Argentina! After meeting once-a-week, I was able to master my conversational Spanish skills. Having native speakers as your teachers will give you honest and real insight in the language.
Here is a link to Fiverr’s language teachers.
As I began my classes, I realized that as much as I could speak the language, I couldn’t speak it quite as fast as the native speakers. When you are learning a language,your main goal is getting as close as you can to a native speaker. So, instead of English music, I started to get into Spanish music solely for the lyrics. Find fast Spanish songs and search up the lyrics. Speak them through and try to match yourself to the music.
Soon enough, you will be just as fast as the singer and won’t even need the lyrics!
Here is my favorite Spanish playlist.
People always say it is important to watch as many shows in your preferred language as possible. Personally, as much as I tried, there were not many that I was actually interested in. That was until I found Extra! It is basically the Spanish version of Friends, except it is tailored for anyone learning Spanish. The actors speak slowly and with little accent, but lots of diction, which lets your understanding grow. At first, it seems intimidating, since there are no captions. But the dialogue and the characters help you understand in no time!
Here is the link to all episodes on YouTube.
#4: Keep in the 'know'
When you are learning Spanish, it can sometimes seem repetitive, and not actually feel like the cultural immersion that it is. The way to actually understand the language on a deeper scale is reading. Whether it be the Spanish news or literary fiction, you will not only boost your reading comprehension, but will also understand the language beyond conjugations and simple sentences. It can seem intimidating, but look things up! Make sure you fully understand what you are reading and it will slowly become easier.
#5: Speak, speak, SPEAK!
Speaking the language is the most important part of learning. You can read and write the language well, but completely choke up when trying to speak. Your job is to speak as much as you can to improve quickly. If you are by yourself, try to find prompts online in Spanish and answer in Spanish as well. Keep on trying to be faster and make less mistakes. Record yourself and show it to a friend who speaks the language or a teacher to see how accurate you are.
Here is a list of Spanish prompts I used.
I hope you use these tips for your own means and be sure to DM me @eviespaceblog or on the website to ask me any questions or get further advice!