With over 400 million people speaking Spanish as their native tongue (and counting!); it’s easy to see how you’ll benefit from learning Spanish as a second language. Not only will you be able to communicate with a wider range of people, you may also find that adding language skills makes you eligible for promotions and advancement at work. While some people feel a little scared about even attempting to learn Spanish, there are three ways you can start to learn the language. These are some of the easiest language instruction methods available today, just be sure to pick the one that best suits your style of learning.
Spanish Teaching Software Programs and CD/DVD Systems
There seems to be a new Spanish software program popping up every day, so it can be very difficult to determine which system is the best of you. One of the most popular is Rocket Spanish. Nevertheless, you need to understand how these programs work and whether or not you can benefit from them.
Spanish speaking software programs work through repetitive learning methods. Whether you use an internet-based program, learn through a DVD or CD, or via an actual software program on your computer, you’ll find yourself repeating words and phrases, studying visual images and practicing your conversational skills. In addition, most of these programs come with workbooks, flash cards, and even audio tapes that your can use in your car. Other benefits include service and support for the times you have difficulties.
When you use a software program, you’ll typically find progress tests you can take to determine how you’re doing. These types of programs generally have a very high success rate, and can be purchased for under two hundred dollars. They are especially helpful if you need to learn Spanish quickly, such as for an upcoming trip, since they tend to focus on commonly used phrases and expressions.
Of course, one of the disadvantages to these systems is that you won’t have anyone to actually hold a conversation with in Spanish. To really get better at the language, you’ll want to find a conversation partner to practice your pronunciation on. You may also find it easy to blow off the lessons if you’re very busy, so these programs typically work best for people who are self-motivated.
Attend Spanish Classes
If you avoided learning Spanish in high school because it seemed too hard, you can still learn Spanish by going back to college and taking Spanish classes. There are several benefits to learning Spanish through this type of teaching.
When you’re in a classroom with other people who are learning Spanish, you’ll be able to hear firsthand the sounds of the language. This can be a very important part of learning Spanish quickly and correctly. If your teacher is very good, you’ll learn quickly, and benefit from other students’ learning as well.
One of the problems with this type of Spanish instruction is that you may feel lost in the crowd, if the number of students enrolled is too high for you to be comfortable with. If you feel awkward or nervous speaking a new language in front of strangers, or if the cost of attending in-person classes is too high, you may want to consider alternative methods.
Immersion into the Spanish Language
One of the best ways to learn the Spanish language is to immerse yourself in the culture. While not everyone can take off for a month to go live in Mexico or Spain, there are probably large populations of people speaking Spanish right in your own city. If you know someone who speaks Spanish, ask if you can practice using it with them when they see you. Also, try shopping at one of the authentic stores in the area, ordering food in Spanish, and performing your other regular, everyday tasks using your new language skills.
Immersion is a great way to learn – and best of all, it’s free – but you may need to supplement it with a Spanish to English dictionary or a home study guide to help you understand the grammatical structure in more detail.