Every year thousands of people try and fail to learn a new language, excuses ranging from I’m too old, to I don’t have enough time. Still, learning a new language is an empowering experience and adds key skills to our personality. Here are 5 reasons why learning Spanish in a foreign country might just be the key to finally mastering a second language.
- Native Speakers – Native speakers provide the perfect resource to learn and practice. Hearing words, phrases and sentences pronounced correctly is a really important part of learning a new language. As you hear Spanish spoken correctly your accent and pronunciation will automatically improve.
- Real Vocabulary – Just because a word is in the dictionary or the 1980′s textbook does not mean real people use it. We know that all too well in English. Being in a country where Spanish is spoken in daily life gives you an opportunity to hear what real people say, the words they use.
- Necessity – Traveling or even living in a country where Spanish is the main language means there will be times when you have no choice but to try and work out what to say. This is incredibly valuable. It helps identify the holes in your knowledge, plus it forces you to form more complex sentences than normal. That feeling of satisfaction at managing a tricky conversation, means those phrases will really stick with you.
- Practice – There is no short cut, alternative or cheat. To learn Spanish you have to use it. Practice, practice, practice, everywhere, anywhere and with anyone. Being in a country where everyone speaks the language makes this so much easier. In everyday life there are countless opportunities to practice what you have learnt, and even learn a little more from the answers of the native speakers.
- Immersion – the quickest and most effective way to learn a new language is to immerse yourself in it. Language is communication, and we will always search for the easiest way to communicate, if that means we can get away with English, or whichever mother tongue, we probably will. But to truly understand and speak Spanish it needs to become the primary method of communication – at least for a while. That is almost impossible in our home countries. Family, work and home life demand we speak our “normal” language. But away from home, relaxed in a different country where everyone else speaks Spanish – well that is where you can really immerse yourself in the language and make rapid progress.