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What is your attitude towards learning Spanish?

¿Qué tal chicos?  ¿Listos para el fin de semana?

This week I want to talk about the role that attitude plays in learning a language.

 

The reality is that attitude plays a huge part in everything that we do.

If you walk into a situation with a bad attitude, you probably won’t be surprised when everything turns out crappy.

When you go into a situation with a positive attitude, you will most likely feel thankful afterwards that everything went so well.

This is how it plays out in life, and this is how it plays out with language learning.

 

So here are a few alternatives for those days when you are feeling negative about the language learning journey:

 

Instead of: The conjugations are so hard in Spanish!  I’m never going to learn them!

How about: There are so many conjugations in Spanish that I’m going to focus on learning one at a time.

 

Instead of:  I’m never going to understand native Spanish speakers, they talk way too fast!

How about:  My goal is to someday understand native Spanish speakers, so I’m going to dedicate 5 minutes to comprehension practice every day.

 

Instead of:  My pronunciation in Spanish sucks!  I can’t make those sounds!

How about:  I’m going to work on my pronunciation by reading out loud, listening to native Spanish speakers, trying to mimic sounds, by looking in a mirror at the positioning of my tongue when I speak, etc..  I’m bound to get better!

 

Instead of:  I feel like I don’t know anything!  I’m never going to be fluent in Spanish!

How about:  I can’t believe how much Spanish I have learned already!  X years/months ago I couldn’t even X and now I can X!  

 

So the moral of the story is that attitude counts.  Learning a language is a lifelong process, and having a bad attitude is just going to make everything take longer, seem worse than it is, and take away the joy of learning. What is your attitude towards the language learning process?

 

Besitos,
Caro

Squeezing in some Spanish over the holidays

I know, I know, I know, you are very busy right now and the last thing you need to think about is how you are going to practice your Spanish over the holidays!
But, I am a firm believer that anyone can find five minutes in their day for a little practice. And those five minutes will help you to not come back to class in January feeling like a total dumbass, so I highly recommend it!

Here are a few recommendations:

Things that you can easily do for five minutes:
Talk to yourself
Participate in La conversación del Día on PBO’s Facebook page
Journal about your day (on your phone if necessary)
Do DuoLingo or better yet, Busuu
Listen to Spanish radio, a podcast, music, and audiobook, whatever…
Listen to music in Spanish
Read a paragraph or two or three of a book/magazine, whatever you can squeeze into five minutes
Hear someone speaking Spanish? Strike up a conversation!

When to squeeze in these five minutes:
While you are getting ready
While you are having breakfast
While you are waiting in a horribly long line somewhere
You can use it as an excuse to get away from your crazy family for five minutes
While you are driving
While you are at an airport somewhere
While you’re cleaning

So, as you can see, you can always find 5 minutes to practice your español :) How will you practice over the holidays?

Besos,
Caro

Spanish tip: Diccionario vs Dictionary

Hola chicos,
¿Qué tal la semana?

As you probably all know by now, immersion is the best way to learn a language.  Yet most of the time, when we are studying Spanish, we look up a word in the dictionary with the English definition. Why do we do this?  Because it’s faster & much easier I would think.

This week our tip to you is to look up words in a Spanish dictionary. Most of the time we can understand the meaning when it is explained in Spanish and this allows us to stay in our target language, which in the long run is a much more effective learning strategy. If it’s still not clear, you can always look it up in English, but try Spanish first.

What is a new word for you this week and what is the definition that you found in the dictionary in Spanish?  Give us the definition, but not the word…let’s see if we can guess!

Besos,
Caro

 

My favorite dictionaries:

Real Academia Española

Word Reference