For those who have not read my previous posts – I have not taken Spanish for very long. French was my language of choice until I entered college and realized that if I wanted to work domestically, Spanish would help me a whole lot more.
I started Spanish by taking a language intensive online course last May through my university. It was basically two semesters worth of intro Spanish mushed into four weeks. Yeah, it was hell.
But, at the same time, it forced me to improve quickly because I was then pushed into intermediate level classes with people who had been taking Spanish for years. Thus, I developed a method for studying that has allowed me to succeed (most of the time) and foster my love for this language.
I love a good study guide. In college, getting a study guide from a professor is pretty rare, so I have become very accustomed to creating my own. However, as a visual learner, my study guides are not usually typed up and neat. They are colorful and bright, which makes studying a lot more fun.
If you aren’t using quizlet for all your classes, how are you even surviving? This website becomes especially helpful with languages because it doesn’t just create electronic flashcards, but it provides you with a variety of activities to assist your comprehension. I specifically like the LEARN function because it makes sure you know how to spell the word too.
Take advantage of using a good note-taking strategy during class. At the moment, I try to write ALL my notes in Spanish. My professor does typically speak in Spanish, which makes this a bit easier but he tries to explain complex grammar principles in English. If I don’t know how to translate what he is talking about into Spanish on my own, I just write it in pencil and translate it after class. This has expanded my vocabulary and also forces me to squeeze in extra study time.
Another thing I do with my notes is write down the “Words of the Day”. These are vocab words that my professor used or defined for other students. This has also allowed me to learn some cool words that weren’t included in my textbook.
My roommate is also a Spanish minor, and much more advanced than me. We talk a lot about our Spanish homework and tests with each other, and it is super helpful to have a study buddy. For instance, occasionally we will practice forming sentences together or just speaking in Spanish. Even though it can be choppy and awkward, it really makes you realize what you need to work on.
How do you like to study foreign languages?