Looking for ways to study Spanish that don’t involve conjugation exercises? Read on as Carmichael, CA Spanish tutor Joan B. shares her fun ideas for incorporating Spanish in your daily life…
Studying Spanish can be as simple as incorporating these sneaky (and fun!) methods, all of which are simple, quick, and designed to strengthen your knowledge and skills in Spanish. Make a goal to incorporate at least one of them into your daily life for 14 days straight, and you’ll see a difference as you study Spanish!
1. Practice with any native speakers you know (or encounter). When you’re out and about, strike up a conversation with the woman speaking to her children in Spanish, ask for help from or offer help to native speakers, and otherwise engage Spanish speakers in whatever way is appropriate and friendly. You’ll be surprised by their delight that you are learning their language! These types of conversations will increase your fluency and allow you to easily communicate in future travel or work situations where you may want to use your Spanish.
2. When you’re taking a break from work or school, watch a short YouTube video in Spanish. This will not only break up the monotony of the work day, it will entertain and educate you as you understand jokes in Spanish, learn new vocabulary, and increase your comprehension and listening skills. Try watching a cartoon, funny clip, or interview in Spanish.
3. Read something light and entertaining in Spanish each day or week. I encourage my students to read an online horoscope or something similar in their free time that is engaging and fun. These types of short articles are a chance to learn new words as well as test your understanding. You will probably be surprised at your level of comprehension – reading these types of articles is a nice way to congratulate yourself on your progress and abilities in Spanish. Another fun way to study Spanish in your free time is to take online magazine quizzes in Spanish. If you enjoy taking these types of light-hearted quizzes in English, you may enjoy them even more in Spanish as you both increase your Spanish language skills and entertain yourself!
4. Engage yourself in Spanish. Do you talk to yourself as you do everyday tasks around the house? If so, make the conversation a Spanish one! Or if you share a living space, think in Spanish. Similarly, if you keep a dream journal, you can set an intention to dream in Spanish. The more immersion you find in your daily life, the more you will speak confidently and richly in the language. Something else I encourage students to do in their homes is to add post-its to everyday items, with the name of the item in Spanish. You can also add Spanish proverbs to post-its on a regular basis and post them on the bathroom mirror.
5. Download phone apps for fun learning in downtime. Have a minute at the doctor’s office, or in line? Pull out your phone and play a Spanish language learning game. Apps like DuoLingo are well-designed ways to test your skills and learn new vocabulary and grammar.
Keep in mind that the best way to increase language skills is regular, consistent practice, and just a few minutes a day can help this goal greatly. With these ideas, you’ll find it’s easy to study Spanish as a regular and natural part of your day.
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Joan B. lives in Carmichael, CA and has been teaching high school Spanish for more than 18 years. A lover of language, she’s studied French, Arabic, and Italian and spent time living in Spain. Joan aims to help students improve on tests and increase their conversational ability when traveling to Spanish-speaking countries. Learn more about Joan here!
Photo by Nacho