Learning another language may seem like a daunting task. Communicating clearly and consistently in a first language manages to be difficult enough!
With enough consistent practice, over time, anyone can start to pick up and even master a second language. Here are some Goals you can use to start learning Spanish. With a little imagination and ingenuity, you can apply most of these tips to any language you’d like to be able to speak one day. Ready to get started?
Spanish language resources
There are many fantastic resources for folks interested in learning Spanish who aren’t quite ready to take a trip abroad. Desktop language learning software can cost around $200 for a two-year subscription, but there are a number of free ways to supplement these programs.
Go to your local library and check out Spanish language DVDs, and watch current TV shows streaming online. Reach out to a Spanish-speaking friend and see if they would help you practice your speaking skills for free.
For language learners who don’t have time for a full hour-long lesson, free language apps can be a good option. Many of these apps offer regular, quick mini-lessons that you can fit into your schedule.
Sometimes it’s hard to stay self-motivated when you’re in control of your own study schedule. If that’s something you struggle with, consider taking a class. Typically there are low-cost courses offered by community centers, local Spanish teachers, or community colleges. Normally these classes are offered twice a week and have a minimal amount of take-home work. This is a great option for busy people who need a little more structure but don’t want a ton of homework.
Going to a new country and communicating on a daily basis in your second language is a great experience. It’s an expensive option, so there’s a little more planning involved. Look into short-term study abroad options. It’s possible to go overseas and study for one week, two weeks, or more depending on the amount of time that you can afford to take off from your regular, day-to-day life.
When you’re deciding where to go, you have some options. Where you end up is going to depend on what dialect of Spanish you want to learn.
There are several towns in the United States where Spanish is the majority language in public, to the extent that towns like Brownsville, Texas, have been used as first-step “immersion” trips. There’s no stress of traveling internationally, and most locals still know English, just not as a first language.
For other dialects in the Caribbean, Mexico, Central and South America, and Spain, look at the exchange rates for the U.S. dollar versus the currencies of the countries that you’re looking at and see how far your dollar stretches.
Look at the different components of the programs that you’re exploring. See if they include housing and food. Check how many hours of instruction you receive per week and if there are any fun activities included.
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