Learning Spanish is not a destination. It is not a race. It is a journey. In this first blog post let's look at the importance of practice and some ideas for your Spanish self-study.

 

Practice makes perfect: As they say, practice makes perfect! Commit yourself to listening to, speaking, writing, or reading in Spanish for 10–15 minutes every day. You could use the material of The Spanish Kangaroo course but also explore your local library, communities, or the internet to find other resources to practise your Spanish. The more you practise, the more you’ll see, hear, and learn!

 

Making Spanish a daily habit will mean that your brain will regularly practise your skills, making learning easier. After all, what we don’t practice, we forget. The more effort you put into learning Spanish, the more quickly you progress.

 

The most successful language learners do not wait for a teacher or a course to give them all the answers or just do the homework that their teacher has assigned. Instead, they understand that a teacher or a course is a guide and beginning to language learning success. They know that it's really up to them just how much they learn. My wife, for example, speaks fluent Spanish, but has only ever taken a few weeks of formal classes in her life. Her current level of Spanish is completely due to her own self-study. This has included years of listening to Spanish music, reading Spanish books, reading her own grammar reference books, carrying around a notebook and observing people speaking on TV and in real life, and of course speaking with native Spanish speakers.

 

A daily 10 to 15 minute routine, and what to do in that time

 

You could:

  • read The Spanish Kangaroo lesson of that week, listen to the respective audio file and practise  your new knowledge by writing the new words and sentences and repeating them out loud.
  • try reading an article – or even just a couple of sentences – from a Spanish newspaper online (such as www.abc.es or www.eltiempo.com or www.elespectador.com), keeping a dictionary or google nearby to help you search for unfamiliar words.
  • sit down for 10 minutes in front of the news in Spanish on TV (SBS in Australia – www.sbs.com.au – broadcasts news from both Spain and Chile). Try to pick out words to write down and check in a dictionary.
  • watch a Spanish movie (on the TV, at the cinema, or online) and try to pick out words to write down and check in a dictionary.
  • listen to a Spanish song (see “Free Spanish songs” at www.redenglish.com.au for the lyrics and translations of 12 great songs in Spanish to get you started!).
  • listen to anything you can find in Spanish on  www.youtube.com - from the free videos of The Spanish Kangaroo, to movies, news, or anything else that interests you. For example, you could type “TED talks Spanish”, and watch interesting people from different Spanish- speaking countries speaking on a broad range of topics. It is a great resource for improving your Spanish skills, especially with regard to listening to a variety of accents. If you like music and you like any of the artists we have in our “Free Spanish songs” at www.redenglish.com.au, you could also type their name and check other videos and lyrics.
  • If you're lucky enough to be living in a Spanish-speaking country, get out there and observe how people use the language! Sometimes you can learn so much more about how a language is really used by sitting in a cafe for 10 minutes with a notebook, listening to how the locals greet each other and taking notes, than taking a formal class. Again, formal classes have their place, but if you truly want to use a language, your best resource is the people who use that language!

 

Remember, anything you do will help you with your Spanish, as long as you are motivated and positive. But don't wait for a teacher to tell you what to do – the Spanish-speaking world is yours with the click of a mouse. The best way to start is – you guessed it – to start! Just go for it!

 

I wish you all the best in your Spanish-learning journey!

 

Julian Correcha - The Spanish Kangaroo

 

 

"Technical writing and editing — Australian engineer and technical writing colleague
Working with Louise, I was impressed by the depth of her knowledge of the rules and conventions..."
Cron Job Starts