TIPS TO LEARN SPANISH ABROAD

1. Take a Spanish Class While Abroad

2. Seek Out the Local Library

3. Strike Up Conversations

4. Join a Club or Take a Class on Something That Interests You

5. Live with Spanish Speakers

6. Try not to get into the English community abroad, find Spanish community

7. Go to Church, you get to know people in the community

8. Talk, talk, talk, do no feel afraid to talk and practice your Spanish.

 

 

 

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How to learn Spanish while abroad

It is good to learn Spanish in your native country but it is much better when you go abroad and learn it there. Also to learn the culture and customs is a bigger impact in learning a new language.

Should I take Spanish classes abroad?

Some travelers and expats take it for granted that, if they live abroad long enough, they’ll speak fluent Spanish. “Why should I take Spanish classes?” they think. “The whole reason I came here was so I wouldn’t have to do homework and boring grammar exercises!”

Unfortunately, trying to learn a language purely through absorption often isn’t enough, especially for beginning learners. English is now a global language. Anywhere you go, you’ll find English learners eager to practice with you! In order to immerse yourself in Spanish, you’ll have to first jump over the hurdle of being able to communicate with others in Spanish better than they can communicate with you in English. Otherwise, you’ll likely end up speaking a lot more English than you’d like. Taking a class is a great way to get to that point more quickly.

Additionally, taking a Spanish class will help you nail down grammar and pronunciation specifics that you might never pick up from conversation alone. And if you find grammar drills incredibly boring, just think how exciting it will be to directly apply the concepts you learn in class to the world around you!

 

 

 

 

TIPS TO LEARN SPANISH

Whether you are new to language learning or not, there are always new ideas to consider that can make a real difference to how well you cope and how successful you are when learning Spanish. We can list many tips for learning Spanish as a foreign language, but motivation & purpose are always the key.
1. Don´t expect to be perfect!

2. Make learning Spanish a part of your life.

3. Don´t just watch and listen. ENGAGE. (Movies/Television, Music)

4. Work on developing an “ear” for Spanish.

5. Practice SPEAKING! (Practice with a native)

6. Be consistent.

7. Talk to yourself

8. Use flash cards.

9. label your surroundings.

10. Be patient

11. Read out loud.

Why Spanish is easy to learn?

Spanish is a beautiful, historic language with over 500 million speakers worldwide. It is one of the easier languages for speakers of English to learn, due to both languages’ shared Latin roots. Although learning any new language requires time and dedication, the satisfaction you’ll feel after having your first proper conversation with a Spanish-speaker will make it totally worth the effort! The key is to find tools on how to learn to speak Spanish – and have fun in the process!. Here some tips:

Learn to pronounce the Spanish alphabet. Once you learn the pronunciation rules of Spanish, you will be able to pronounce any word you see.

  • ca, co, cu = kah, koh, koo. ce, ci = theh, thee or seh, see
  • ch sounds like English ch
  • ga, go, gu = gah, goh, goo. ge, gi = heh, hee
  • h does not sound. hombre is pronounced ohmbreh
  • hua, hue, hui, huo = wah, weh, wee, woh
  • ll sounds like English y or like English j. Calle is kah-yeh or kah-jeh.
  • r at the beginning of a word and rr in the middle of a word are rolled. See How to Roll Your “R”s
  • r in the middle of a word is like tt in butter in an American accent. Loro = lohttoh.
  • que, qui = keh, kee
  • v sounds like b
  • y sounds like English y or like English j. Yo is yoh or joh.
  • See How to Pronounce Spanish Letters and Certain Sounds.

Spanish Languages Varieties

The Spanish-speaking world is very diverse. Spanish is the language of 19 separate countries and Puerto Rico. This means that there is no one standard dialect.

The most common Spanish dialect taught in the U.S. is standard Latin American. It is sometimes called “Highland” Spanish since it is generally spoken in the mountainous areas of Latin America.
While each country retains its own accents and has some unique vocabulary, residents of countries such as Mexico, Colombia, Perú, and Bolivia generally speak Latin American Spanish, especially in urban centers.
This dialect is noted for its pronunciation of each letter and its strong “r” sounds.
This Spanish was spoken in Spain in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, and was brought to the Americas by the early colonists.
However, the Spanish of Madrid and of northern Spain, called Castilian, developed characteristics that never reached the New World. These include the pronunciation of “ci” and “ce” as “th.” In Madrid, “gracias” (thank you) becomes “gratheas” (as opposed to “gras-see-as” in Latin America.)
Another difference is the use of the word “vosotros” (you all, or you guys) as the informal form of “ustedes” in Spain.
Castilian sounds to Latin Americans much like British English sounds to U.S. residents.
The third major type of Spanish is spoken in the Caribbean, coastal areas of Latin America, and in some cases in southern Spain. In the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, the accent in Seville, Cádiz, and other cities in Andalusia, in Southern Spain, began to change. Speakers began to drop the final “s” on words.
The settlers and traders of southern Spain took this dialect with them to the Caribbean and other coastal areas. Today Caribbean or “Lowland” Spanish is characterized by its relative informality, its rapid pace, and the dropping of “s” sounds, allowing people to talk more quickly.
A fourth type of Spanish has developed in and around Buenos Aires and in parts of Uruguay. It is characterized by some out-of-date grammar, and a vocabulary and pronunciation heavily influenced by Italians who settled the area in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.
Generally in the Spanish world “tú” is the singular way of saying “you.” In Buenos Aires, however, “vos” is used instead. It is accompanied by a modified old Spanish verb form. It is as if part of the English-speaking world still used “thee” and “thou” in everyday speech.
The influence of Italian has even led to the development of a separate language, Lunfardo, which blends Spanish and Italian. Argentine intellectuals have produced Lunfardo dictionaries and books in an effort to keep the language alive.

Wow! What do you think about the spanish languages varieties, now?

I have to say that the first time I came to USA, I was surprise about the spanish language varieties, I could not understand some words in Spanish, words from people from Costa Rica, Mexico, Guatemala, Puerto Rico, etc… I was surprise about the language varieties in my Spanish Native language, that I did not know about before. I had to learn differents words in spanish from different countries and I realized that some of them can had a bad meaning in some countries that I have to be careful about when speaking and viceversa.

Well, we will probably be expose to all those Spanish varieties if you live in United States, which is not bad at all and it will also help us to learn about other cultures as well. But remember it is all still Spanish and even some words are different you will be able to understand people when you learn Spanish.

Brain Research Confirms Developmental Stages for Language Learning

Every healthy child is born with 100 billion brain cells, and each cell makes up to 20,000 connections. Whether these brain cells make connections or whether they die depends on if a child lives in an enriched environment (Buzan, 1984; Diamond, 1988; Ornstein, 1984, 1986).

What is an enriched environment? An enriched environment is one that provides plenty of sensory stimulation. Marian Diamond, a brain researcher at the University of California at Berkeley, has produced some of the world’s most intelligent rats. When she put the rats in cages filled with games, puzzles, mirrors, colors, and textures, they grew more brain tissue. When she put the rats into non-enriched cages, their brains shrank (Diamond, 1988).

How can you teach a second or third language to Young Children?

Infants can learn by listening, seeing, imitating, and practicing. So talk to them from the start. Tell them what you are doing. Introduce them to rhymes, songs, games, and counting in a second or third language. If you can’t speak another language yourself, get plenty of tapes. Consider boarding a foreign student. Most importantly, make learning fun!

Does it help to take a child to visit other country to their language skills?

Taking the child to visit in a country where the parent’s language is the language of the environment is a great idea!, it is very helpful. If it is practical: taking the child to visit other country at early age 2 to 4 years old, help them a lot in their language skills and sending the child to spend time with grandparents at about the age of eleven or twelve is also a good idea, for many reasons.

This is probably a good place to remind parents and children that a multilingual environment is also a multicultural environment, and that it is very difficult if not impossible to separate language from culture. Without a context (culture) for the language, the child will have difficulty making sense of the meanings underlying the words.

My Old daughter (5 years old) is completely bilingual English, Spanish now, she values the languages. I took her to Peru when she was 2,3 and five. I did not think too much about how she learned Spanish, everything was natural for her, she will speak Spanish to me and turn around and speak English to her Dad with not problem, but..

My youngest one she is 4 now. She went to Peru when she was one year old and she hardly remember that of course. but I have being talking in Spanish to her since always!, and she never will answer me in Spanish, she spoke English to me and everybody, she did not want to speak Spanish At All.

When she was 3 almost four years old, I thought to myself Gezzz! can not believe she does not speak Spanish at all, after all this time I have being speaking Spanish to her and putting a lot of effort into that. She understood everything I say all the time, but she couldn’t make any complete sentence at all.

So I decide to take her to Peru plus need to get some things done there as well. I stayed for a month, it took her one week to start making whole sentences. ONE WEEK! could you believe that? by the second week she was making perfect sentences and speaking  Spanish fluently.

I thought SHE DID NOT KNOW how to make sentences, she did not know how to speak Spanish. I have to confess I WAS WRONG!. She had everything in her little brain, everything!, it was just she did not want to, WHY? because she did not value the language, she did not think other kids in other countries speak Spanish as well, she did not think that was an important language to learn, she did not think she need the Spanish at all.

First week kids will say to her, I can not understand you, kids will speak Spanish to her and since she understood she will speak English back and kids will say again I can not understand you, can you speak in Spanish? that was it, she want the kids to understand her, she is very relational, she want to play with the kids, have a good time with them.

My oldest daughter she is very perfectionist, she cares more about speaking right and doing things right so I may say traveling to Peru helped her a lot but more it helped her in speaking it right, like conjugations like: Yo fui, el fue, nosotros fuimos, ustedes iran.. etc. which took her a lot of time to learn until we travel to Peru she learned in one month.

But to  my younger daughter traveling to Peru helped her to understand that Spanish is important too, just as important as English, in fact she will have more friends if she speak more languages, she love having friends.

I will say if you are capable to travel to other country. DO IT, do not think it twice! GO! if you are not, well groups of kids who know the other language will help a lot!

Will my kids get confuse if they learn two languages at the same time or maybe a third language?

It is entirely possible to teach an infant two or even three languages, and four is not unheard of.

In Europe, a great many toddlers learn four languages with little or no difficulty. Some countries in Europe offer children in the early grades of elementary school the possibility to learn to read and write in their ‘home’ language

The main requirements for this learning are: the parents speak only their mother-tongue to the child because the child will have some reason to learn the languages (motivation); and there is reinforcement of some kind for these languages, preferably outside the home. If the language of the environment is a third language, then the child will easily learn the third language once they start playing with neighborhood children. I t is very possible a child learn 2 or more languages at the same time.

Parents who want their children to learn their mother-tongue must realize that it will take work, beyond simply speaking their mother-tongue all the time to the child. Especially if the spouse speaks another language, which is the language of the environment, the parent speaking the ‘minority’ language will have to be sure that there is sufficient input for the child to learn and reinforce what has been learned. This means things like reading out loud (this should go on until the child learns to read on their own, and for a few years afterwards until the child says stop), singing to them and teaching them songs and nursery rhymes, showing video films in the parent’s language (radio is not as good as there are no visual clues), and having other adults or children talk to the child in this language (grandparents are invaluable here). Taking the child to visit in a country where the parent’s language is the language of the environment is also a good idea

There is considerable debate among linguists as to when the ‘language learning window’ closes, if it closes at all. However, there does seem to be an ‘optimal’ age for language learning, when the child’s mind is still open and flexible, and not cluttered with all sorts of other learning, not to mention the society’s views on which languages are ‘prestige’ languages, and which ones are regarded by the society as of little or no importance. The latter affects motivation: children will be admired for speaking a ‘prestige’ language, and teased and bullied for speaking a ‘non-prestige’ language. When the mind is being taught many many other things than language, there is less ‘processing space’ left for language learning.

At the moment, the ‘optimal’ time for learning a second language appears to be ‘at the same time as the first language‘, i.e. in the home beginning at birth to three years (providing the parents speak these two languages as their mother tongue). The next best time for learning a second, third, and even a fourth language, appears to be between the ages of two to seven years. A third period for learning a second language is from about ten to thirteen years of age, this is in cases when the second language is not the language of either the parents or the environment. This is the reason behind the push to introduce ‘foreign’ language learning into the curriculum of elementary schools, in the grade when the child is about ten-eleven years old.

We all should become bilingual! what do you think?

There are a lot of benefits from learning a second language ormaybe  a third language or forth language..

Learning a second language at an early age…

  • Has a positive effect on intellectual growth.
  • Enriches and enhances a child’s mental development.
  • Leaves students with more flexibility in thinking, greater sensitivity to language, and a better ear for listening.
  • Improves a child’s understanding of his/her native language.
  • Gives a child the ability to communicate with people s/he would otherwise not have the chance to know.
  • Opens the door to other cultures and helps a child understand and appreciate people from other countries.
  • Gives a student a head start in language requirements for college.
  • Increases job opportunities in many careers where knowing another language is a real asset.

About being bilingual I have to say I agree! 100%.

What do you think about what the president of United States have to say about this, feel free to comment, watch the video..

Which language is easy to learn? Spanish or English?

Well, while no language is simple to learn, those that are more closely related to your native language are certainly going to be easier to learn than ones that are not.

Learning a completely different writing system can also be a big challenge, though that does not necessarily make a language more difficult. Grammar and sentence structure can often play a larger role in difficulty.

Since it’s impossible to say with certainty that there is a language that qualifies as “most difficult”, See these statistics and rankings provided by the the Foreign Service Institute (FSI) of the US Department of State which are intended for native English speakers. They say Spanish is one of the easiest language to learn… Wow! It is very important if we (parents) are Spanish Native Speakers, to teach our children Spanish as well so they can be bilingual..

What is the hardest language?

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