HACKS: LEARN A LANGUAGE

Whatever the teachers say, learning a language is difficult. I have been learning Spanish for three years at school. I have an A* in Spanish GCSE. I am predicated an A* at A level. I have had teachers breathing down my neck for a third of a decade…and guess what? I’m was not even partially fluent.

Now, however, I realise: teachers can’t teach the language. I do not mean this as brutally and heartlessly as it sounds. Try this: solely drowning in exercise books and worksheets WILL NEVER ENABLE YOU TO BE FLUENT. Solely learning grammar, phrases, tenses…this will make for a very robotic type of fluent.

There are some EXTRAODRINARILY simple ways to become better at your desired language. And guess what? Learning in the following ways will take less time, less effort (due to the passive nature of the tasks), and lead you leaps and bounds on your way to fluency. So try this:

  1. Watch films in the language you want to learn. Getting utterly engrossed in the plot means you m at not even realise the words you pick up. Also hearing the language at its natural pace means you will not be so flabbergasted at the pace of speech in reality.

  2. Watch TV shows. Chose those that you are interested in- watch documentaries to perhaps link your interests and learning with your other subjects or hobbies.

  3. Go onto YouTube. Search for complications, funny videos, snippets from films in the language you want to learn. It’s all about passive learning, and enabling just a little fun in all that is heavy within learning a language.

  4. Read the newspaper. Learn about current affairs as well as the construction of the language; it’s a two for the price of one.

  5. Read magazines. Television guides, for example. Some use these daily- read it in another language, since you will already have an understanding of the context.

  6. Find a foreign music artist. Many have been quoted to say music is a real motivational factor when learning a language. And when so many of us have a smart phone it is easy: download Spotify, search for an artist, put them on repeat.

  7. ESCUCHAR, ESCUCHAR, Y ESCUCHAR! (Or listen, listen, and listen, for you non-Spanish speakers). This I believe to be the best tip- it interlinks numerous of the tips above but the concept is simple: LISTEN TO THE LANGUAGE. It’s simple. Focus on the words. Take in the pace. Another key point: don’t panic if the words seem to roll straight of their tongue and away from your ears. You will not learn the language in a week. Fluency may not come in a year, but what is worth doing is worth doing properly.

So listen to music, watch to videos on YouTube, listen to foreign news channels, turn your settings on your phone into your desired language, read magazines and fliers, turn your internet settings into a different language and have a look around for something you want. Try and integrate your learning into your daily life in a way that is fun, hence learning the language will not seem like such a mind field.



Credit to Learn Real Spanish- a few hours prior to writing this post I was heavily influenced by his tips. The moto ‘escuchar, escuchar, y escuchar’ originated from his videos. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED FOR ANYONE WITH A DESIRE TO LEARN SPANISH.

Click here for the website.

Click here for the YouTube Channel.

Another beneficial site for those learning a language is Yabla. Specalist language: Spanish. Link here.

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