If you were to ask the students enrolled in our online Spanish classes how fast they´d like to learn Spanish, of course they´d tell you “as fast as humanly possible”. This should come as no surprise: students are in a hurry to reach the level of mastery they need so they can begin to engage in the activities they set as goals when they decided to study Spanish online. These activities might include taking the trip of a life time through Latin America or Spain, or maybe being able to work with Spanish-speaking patients a hospital or clinic, or maybe just being able to read books and listen to music in the language they were written. But, whatever the dream may be, the sooner they can reach it – the better!
At Web Spanish, we have taught thousands of students over the last decade, and our teachers have come to recognize three basic strategies applied by students who manage to learn Spanish quickly. These will come across as “common sense”, but it is surprising how many students never bother to apply them.
- Star students set aside a little bit of time every day to review vocabulary and structures using word lists or flash cards. Our teachers see how students who spend as little as ten-minutes twice-a-day greatly enhance their learning.
- Star students empower their smartphone by loading it with learning apps, Spanish music and stories, and they record their own vocabulary lists. Once they do this, they convert their daily bus, train or car ride into a language laboratory. They turn dead time into vibrant learning time, and their acquisition of new material sky-rockets.
- Star students engage in the Spanish-speaking world around them. They attend international film festivals and watch movies in Spanish, they pick up Spanish-language radio stations on the internet, they practice Spanish with native speakers in their community, or they join a meet-up group of other Spanish learners. These interactions with the target language are tremendously motivating and they turn students into active learners, and nobody learns faster than an active learner!
In summary, great students review, immerse, and engage themselves with Spanish – and by doing so, they enhance their retention, broaden their learning horizons and they stay motivated. What kind of learner do you want to be?