Take classes (at Berges or elsewhere, but better at Berges 😉)
Taking classes is not really necessary. We can learn most things by ourselves, right? Well, technically yes, but we often learn much faster if we have a. professional guidance, b. a well-thought-out curriculum that limits the amount of information we have to assimilate each week in packets we can easily digest and c. some external pressure that "forces" us to maintain a good pace. Taking classes gives us those three things. If you can’t commit to coming to Berges every week (or if you don’t live in NYC or Chicago), check out our online Spanish classes!
Spend time actively studying each week, and try to distribute the study load evenly throughout the week
You won’t be able to learn all the rules and memorize all the words just by showing up to class each week. You should review the material every day, if possible. It’s much preferable to review the same concepts on 5 different days for one hour each than doing so for 5 hours in a single day. You’ll need to spend a few hours each week actively studying. Try to do it in an enjoyable, effective way!
Get as much exposure as possible
Here are some ideas:
-Apps (especially Duolingo)
-TV (especially series you like and you can binge watch on Netflix or Hulu)
It’s unbelievable the amount of information your brain retains when you’re casually watching a show or listening to a podcast in another language. Take advantage of this. It’s really easy to find lots of audiovisual materials online these days.
Talk to people
This one might be more difficult for some people, but it’s still an important one. Here are some ways to do this:
-Be super social, make friends who speak Spanish, and talk to them in Spanish.
-Set up language exchange sessions with someone who wants to practice their English.
-Travel to Spanish-speaking countries/territories and talk to people.
-Take conversation classes or private lessons at Berges.
Read a lot
This one is also very important. You need to have a good, solid foundation before you can read a whole book in Spanish (even children’s books often use complex tenses and lots of vocabulary), and you probably won’t understand a lot of words in the first book you read. You should still do it, though. Reading is one of the best ways to store new vocabulary and get used to the actual, natural flow of the language. The best approach is to start with a Spanish translation of a book you’ve already read in English.
Don’t get frustrated
This one is actually really important. Learning Spanish is hard. Learning any language is hard. If we haven’t studied a foreign language before and we are doing it for the first time as adults, we tend to get especially frustrated when we realize how slowly progress happens, and we might feel sometimes we’ll never get anywhere near fluency. We should just let those negative thoughts go, understand that learning a language is an extremely complex process, and just keep doing all these things for a few years. If you get obsessed with learning Spanish and you keep doing all this work for a while, you’ll be speaking Spanish at an advanced level before you know it!