15 Foolproof Ways You Can Study Spanish Abroad.
Ways You Can Study Spanish Abroad: Choosing to study Spanish abroad has so many opportunities to fully immerse yourself in your Spanish speaking studies. Do you want to learn to speak, think, even dream in Spanish? Forget those boring grammar-translation classes you were forced to take in middle or high school. This article will provide you with the rudimentary and effective ways in which you can study Spanish abroad.
1. Community Colleges
Community colleges occasionally offer night classes this might be a good introduction to the language. But don’t expect too much. The other students might just be looking to learn how to order drinks for their upcoming trip south.
2. Online Language Classes
This is convenient because you can study from your home or office on your own schedule no travel necessary. Usually, you will pay per session or for a set of sessions.
The feedback from your instructor can be super valuable as you progress with the language. Most of these platforms employ native speakers with a rating system to ensure you get a good teacher.
3. Enroll for Language Classes Abroad
This is the best option if you can arrange the travel. Not only will you study in person with a native Spanish teacher, but you will also continue to practice during your off-time because you are living in a Spanish-speaking country. The cost is surprisingly low.
4. Change the Language on your Devices
Consider changing your phone, computer, tablet, Facebook page, and anything else with a language option to Spanish. This is an easy way to practice Spanish since you’ll see more of the vocabulary on a daily basis.
For example, every time you look at your phone, you’ll see the date in Spanish, reinforcing the days of the week and months of the year. Facebook will ask you if you would like to agregar amigos, teaching you the verb that means “to add.”
Seeing a few of the same words over and over again will help the language feel more natural to you, and you’ll find it becomes easier to incorporate them into everyday life with very little effort involved.
5. Research in Spanish
How many times a day do you Google something that you’re curious about? I use Wikipedia at least once a day, and I always go for the Spanish version of the website first.
Next time you need information about your favorite celebrity, look at their page in Spanish, and see how much you can understand before switching the language to English!
6. Pick up a Spanish Newspaper
In most cities, these can be found for free on the street. You can also download apps and read the news on your phone. I recommend El País, an international newspaper from Spain.
I like to read the articles out loud to practice Spanish pronunciation in addition to my reading skills. This is also a great way to stay informed about what is happening in Spanish-speaking countries.
7. Read a book in Spanish
I recommend beginning with teen literature or popular novels that don’t have a lot of challenging vocabulary. You can also start with poetry, which is challenging but shorter.
Pablo Neruda is one of the most famous Spanish-language poets of the 20th century, and he has written beautiful love poems, such as “If You Forget Me” (Si tú me olvidas).
Another great idea is to pick a book in English that you like and read the translation. All of the Harry Potter books are available in Spanish, as well as other popular novels such as “The Da Vinci Code”, “The Life of Pi”, and “The Perks of Being a Wallflower”. You can find anything on Amazon!
As you build your vocabulary, try some books that were originally written in Spanish. I really enjoyed “La Sombra del Viento” by Carlos Ruíz Zafón.
This popular book uses some advanced vocabulary but mainly tries to use common words in unconventional ways, making it a very satisfying read for a conversational Spanish speaker. Be sure to read with a dictionary and make note of new and interesting words!
8. Watch TV Shows and YouTube Videos
Don’t knock telenovelas until you try them! Netflix and Hulu now offer shows and movies in Spanish, some of which include English subtitles so you can check how much you understand. You can also watch your favorite movies with Spanish subtitles.
As for telenovelas, I recommend the ones from Mexico. The production value is higher than other Latin American countries and the accent is faint.
They speak pure Spanish. Typically, accents of Colombia, Argentina, and Chile are harder to understand if you’re just getting started.
9. Get Spanish Language Music for your Daily Commute
Why not practice Spanish during your commute? Singing along to songs will help your pronunciation and helps you begin to think in Spanish. Make an effort to learn the lyrics!
You can get music in any genre in Spanish, just like in English. If you like soft rock, I suggest Maná. For reggaetón, a Spanish rap, try Don Omar.
You might recognize “Danza Kuduro”! Juanes is great for pop music, and for salsa, try listening to Marc Anthony, Celia Cruz, and Juan Luis Guerra. My favorite artist, however, is a jazzy Mexican rock group called Camila!
10. Talk in Spanish… Even When You are Alone
Those moments when you don’t have anyone to speak with may be your best opportunity to really speak without inhibitions! Take advantage of alone time to speak out loud, even if no one is there to correct you. As long as you are practicing the sounds of the language, you are making progress! Speak your thoughts, narrate your day, and talk to your dog! We all do weird things when we’re alone… why not make your weird thing productive?
11. Teach Someone what you Already Know
Teaching can be a great way to reinforce the knowledge that you already have without even realizing that you’re doing it. When you have to search for ways to explain something to someone, you’re actually explaining it to yourself all over again! This can be as simple as teaching your friends and family what you’ve learned.
12. Don’t Get Obsessed Over Spanish Grammar
One of the biggest traps beginner Spanish learners fall into is the desire to learn Spanish grammar perfectly.
Now, while it’s important to learn the basics, you can actually get quite far with an elementary knowledge of grammar, because Spanish sentence construction is often similar to English.
And you certainly don’t need to know all the ins and outs of Spanish grammar in order to communicate well.
13. Make Spanish Part Of Your Lifestyle
The following piece of advice is at risk of seeming a bit throwaway. But, in fact, it’s far more important than you might think. If you’re doing this Spanish thing fairly intensively for 3 months, at times it’s going to seem like a chore.
There are times when you’re just going to want to kick back in front of the TV. So, the more you can stop thinking of studying Spanish as something you have to find the time for, and instead, make it something you just do as part of your daily life, the less stress you’ll feel and the more progress you’ll make.
14. Listen to Spanish Audio
This can include radio stations, audiobooks, and podcasts. What you listen to isn’t super important – as long as the topic interests you.
As with Spanish videos, listening to Spanish audio will help you get the sound of the language in mind and improve your vocab and grammar.
15. Write a Blog in Spanish
Whether you write a public blog or a more traditional private journal, writing is a great way to practice Spanish. You can write about any topic that you are interested in, which makes your learning experience fun and personalized. You could also make it as simple as writing about your day.
Taking a few minutes to practice your Spanish writing is a great way to keep your mind thinking in the language and to pick up on any grammatical issues you may be having.
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