How to learn Spanish and have fun


Would you like to learn Spanish but aren’t thrilled about the idea of sitting down to study it? Are you afraid you might get too bored before getting anywhere? If so, you’re far from being alone, or wrong.Learn Spanish without wasting your time

Making the most of your time and energy when you’re learning a foreign language isn’t easy. As a learner of foreign languages myself, I’ve wasted endless hours and have often lost my motivation and been tempted to give up learning altogether.
I keep away from language courses that don’t come with audio material. Learning a language without audio recordings is like trying to find out what colors look like by staring at a black and white TV.
I always look for language courses that minimize the number of words I have to look up in the dictionary. Good courses give you the translation of the words in the dialogs and texts you’re studying. Very good courses give you those words also in their recorded material.
If you’re having lessons with a teacher, always learn from native speakers. An hour with a native speaker is worth twenty with a non-native, and you don’t pick bad pronunciation habits.
I don’t wait anymore for the day when I’ll have plenty of time to spare. Those times never happen to most of us. Instead, I listen to audio magazines, audio books, podcasts, etc., while I cook, commute, bathe, walk, etc. Using those free ten or twenty minutes here and there a few times a day can truly work miracles.
I always use language courses that are right for my level and focus on topics I like. There are plenty of language courses to choose from, and they vary widely in their teaching methods, content, pace and structure. Getting the right language course for you, as an individual, will make all the difference to whether you succeed or not.

7 fun ways of learning Spanish

Learning a foreign language doesn’t have to be boring or hard work. There are many ways to enjoy learning, even for beginners. As a language student I’ve always looked for fun ways of learning and found them great for keeping up my motivation, and as a teacher I often encourage my students to try them. The secret to make fast progess is to combine entertaining ways of learning with your regular language course. If you try the ones I suggest in this post, at first you might just catch the gist of a sentence here and there, but soon you’ll start to develop your skills and will understand more and more every time.

7 fun ways of learning Spanish:

Watch your favorite TV shows in Spanish – many dvds have Spanish language tracks and subtitles. Next time you sit in front of your TV why not select the Spanish track on The Simpsons, Twin Peaks, The Sopranos, Planet Earth, Scrubs, Lost, Grey’s Anatomy, The L Word, MASH, The West Wing, Columbo, and the list goes on.

Listen to audiobooks in Spanish – the audiobook market has literally mushroomed in the last couple of years and you can find dozens of great aubiobooks in Spanish. There are bestsellers and classics published every week. Here are some you can easily find: Rick Warren’s Una vida con propósito, Don Quijote de la Mancha, the Bible, Ama de verdad, vive de verdad; Eldest, Metafísica 4 en 1, Harry Potter, Angels & Demons, and many more.

Play computer games in Spanish – there are plenty of video games in Spanish for children and adults. Some video games are for learning the language, others are for Spanish speakers, but great for practising too! There are new ones coming out all the time. Here are some: Atlantis, Spider-Man, Lion King, Toy Story, Tarzan, Monsters, Pocahontas, Dinosaurio, Spanish for Everyone, I Can Speak Spanish, My Spanish Coach …

Read in Spanish the books you like most – Harry Potter; Eat, Pray Love; The Wisdom of Menopause, The Kite Runner, Water for Elephants, Become a Better You, A Dangerous Fortune, the Kay Scarpetta Mysteries, The Da Vinci Code, The Secret … The list is endless. Read the Spanish version with the English one at hand so you don’t have to use a dictionary. If you like comic books and manga, you’re in for a treat!

Listen to audiomagazines in Spanish – there are a few for beginners and an excellent one for intermediate and advanced learners called Puerta del Sol. I’m currently using the French and German versions myself, and I’ve used the Spanish one to teach my more advanced students. You get to know a lot about the countries, not just current affairs but also music, cinema, recipes, literature, society, places to visit and sports. I put every new issue on my mp3 player and listen to it while cooking, doing housework and on the bus.

Listen to Spanish music and learn the lyrics – this was a favorite of mine when I was learning English. There are dozens of words I first heard in songs and I’ve never forgotten them. If your cd doesn’t give you the lyrics, you can easily find them on the Internet. Many websites give the English translations too.

Get the Spanish version of the magazines you like – National Geographic, People, Reader’s Digest, Maxim, Cosmopolitan, Men’s Health, Americas, Elle, CQ, to name but a few, all have Spanish language editions.

If you need help finding a product, please post your query on my forum and I’ll reply to you promptly.

Learn Spanish with your iPod

One of the greatest things about having an iPod is how easy it is to learn Spanish with it. All you have to do is download some Spanish podcasts or audio books, and you’ve got dozens of hours of Spanish to listen to wherever you are.

There are literally hundreds of audio books in Spanish to choose from. Some are translations, others are originally written in Spanish. Here are some of the most popular titles: Harry Potter, El Código da Vinci, Don Quijote, Angeles & Demonios, Inés del Alma Mía, Malinche, El Zahir, Eragon, Eldest, Los 7 hábitos de la gente altamente efectiva, Su mejor vida ahora, Audio Biblia, Una vida con propósito, Papá rico papá pobre, etc., and there are also poetry books, language courses and Spanish audio magazines.

I’ve put some audio samples from Spanish audio books throughout this blog, and I’ll be adding more samples regularly. To get the updates, please subscribe to my blog by clicking on the orange button on the right-hand side.

If you need an iPod, here you can find a wide selection of iPods.

If you need help finding Spanish audio books, podcasts or any other language learning product, please post your query on my forum and I’ll get back to you promptly.

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