10 tips to learn Spanish while you are in Spain
You are thinking about coming to Spain and learning Spanish? In this case, check out our tips on how to best learn Spanish during your stay! If you implement this advice, you will learn the language quickly and easily. Furthermore while enjoying the culture, traditions, and food of the Vida Espanol!
OUR SPECIAL TIPS TO LEARN SPANISH:
SIGN UP FOR A LANGUAGE COURSE
First, you should sign up for a language course in the city where you plan on living. Language courses give you the chance to learn the language in a more formal way, allowing you to improve your grammar and vocabulary. This option is very important for the first part of your stay so that you have a base when you actually start conversing with other people.
READ A LOT
It is fundamental to read in Spanish, as it will increase your vocabulary tenfold. A good strategy is to choose a book that you have already read in English, or a book you find interesting, and then write down all the vocabulary you don’t know. Something else you can do is read magazines or newspaper articles on subjects that interest you. Not only will you increase your vocabulary, but you will also know more about the country you’re living in. Knowing about the cultural, economic or political issues in a country, as well as what issues are important to its citizens, will also help you when you start conversing with native speakers.
LISTEN TO SONGS.
In your free time, or when you’re doing an activity such as running or walking, you can listen to Spanish music and focus on the lyrics. You can also read the lyrics while you’re listening, which can help you’re listening comprehension. As well, once you learn the lyrics, you can sing along, which can help your pronunciation and accent.
WATCH TV AND FILMS.
Another way of improving your listening comprehension is watching series and films. Our suggestion is that you should first watch with English subtitles, before progressing to Spanish subtitles. When you watch with Spanish subtitles, it is easier to understand what they’re saying, even if they speak very quickly or with a strong accent.
TAKE ADVANTAGE OF APPS.
Download language apps, or watch Spanish teaching youtube channels on your phone, whenever you have the opportunity. For example, if you’re on the bus, or waiting for a friend, you can squeeze in a little vocabulary or listening practice. There are apps for everything, from games, podcasts, or more interactive ones, such as Duolingo.
TALK, TALK, TALK.
Without a doubt, if you really want to understand and participate in conversations fluidly, you have practice. You can talk with friends in university, or from your academy., even if they're not natives. Sometimes it’s easier to talk to non-natives first, as their accent can be easier to understand. As well, they are generally struggling too, so you can help each other out.
LANGUAGE EXCHANGE EVENTS.
But don’t forget who you should practice with the most: natives. It can be difficult to meet natives, so a good strategy is to go to language exchange events. These events allow you to meet natives. Furthermore, they could be interested in learning your native language! should allow you to take turns talking in one language or the other. At these kinds of events, you can take advantage of speaking to natives and learn expressions and more informal vocabulary. It will also help you to get used to listening to the natural conversation, as well as different accents. The most important thing to remember at these kinds of events is to put yourself out there and try. It will be hard at first, but eventually, you’ll get better and better, and probably make new friends in the process!
BE ACTIVE IN YOUR CITY.
Enjoy the city you live in and participate in the Spanish culture by going to parties and events organized by your city. The best way to learn a language is to enjoy doing so. Just being in the streets and being surrounded by people talking in the language, or seeing Spanish written everywhere can be enough sometimes.
Doing your favourite hobby can be a great way to meet native people to talk to. As well, you will increase your vocabulary as you already know the words in your native tongue.
LIVE WITH A SPANISH FAMILY.
Finally, another option is to stay as a guest with a Spanish host family for a couple of weeks. Why? Well, when you start living in a completely new and unknown country, you will have the support of a family which can help and support you throughout the process, from picking you up at the airport to showing you the city. You will have a firsthand perspective of traditions and customs, and you will be able to speak all day in Spanish. Like this, your arrival will be easier and more secure. Once you’ve settled into your new city, you can start looking for shared accommodation with other students.
If the option of learning Spanish as a guest interest you, you can locate a host family by joining the community on MyHostpitality. MyHostpitality is a website that facilitates the organization of Language exchanges and stays between their members. On this page, you can find the family you like the most, contact them, and they will offer you accommodation and free conversation in Spanish. In turn, you will only have to talk to them a couple of hours per day in your native language, in exchange for their hospitality.
What do you think about this advice? Do you have any to add?