How can I teach myself Spanish?

Good day

I myself learned Spanish by type ordinal up to level B1 (Common European Framework of Reference for Languages) and then lived for a year in Mexico, where I reached the C1 language level.From this time I can share my own learning experiences, which I hope will help you. In the following I will discuss learning start, grammar, vocabulary learning, dictionaries, listening comprehension and speaking.

Learning start . From my point of view, it is very important to have quick success experiences when learning languages, especially at the beginning, and thus to remain motivated.The first goal is to learn and apply basic vocabulary.For this purpose, online language coursesare suitable for self-taught learning, which are available in a free (e.g. Duolingo) and paid (e.g. Rosetta Stone) version.I myself started with Rosetta Stone and was enthusiastic about this program because you intuitively learn new words with images and also the pronunciation is controlled by the software. In addition, there is the possibility to repeat what you have learned regularly with native Spanish speakers. Whether this justifies the price, everyone has to decide for themselves, but I personally would invest the money again.

Grammar . Since you don’t get grammar explanations for most (online) language courses, learning with a grammar practice book is recommended.The book I worked with is called “Getting Started – in Spanish: All Years of Learning – Grammar: Practice Book with Solutions”. The exercises are easy to understand and gradually become more complex, so that you end up with a good overview of the Spanish grammar. If you like the grammar explanations a bit more detailed, I can recommend the following free online grammar: http://www.grammatiken.de/spanis…

Vocabulary learning . Of course, for all grammar, the basis of every language must not be missing, namely the vocabulary.In order for vocabulary learning to work quickly and effectively, it is important that the learned words and sentences are repeated regularly.Electronic index card programs, which give you the rhythm of the repetitions, are very suitable for this purpose.Anki Flashcards is such a program and is availablefor both PC and smartphone (http://ankisrs.net/ ).All information about the installation and the structure of the program can be found on the website. I would like to share two tips for learning vocabulary with flashcards: 1) It is best to write the index cards yourself instead of downloading pre-made index cards 鈥?thus better linking the written vocabulary with your own experiences and keeping them Easier. 2) Vocabulary is best learned in whole sentences,because it allows you to understand them in their context and also to retrieve whole sentences when speaking.

Dictionaries . In order to fill the above mentioned flashcards with example sentences and to be able to look up unknown words effectively, a good dictionary is important.Free and detailed online dictionaries are http://de.pons.eu/ (German-Spanish) and, if you are proficient in the English language, http://www.spanishdict.com/trans… (English-Spanish), which contains many sample sentences from different contexts for almost every word.Once you have advanced in your Spanish, http://es.thefreedictionary.com/ (Spanish-Spanish) is very suitable.For a quick look-up of declinations of individual words, I can recommend the page of the ‘Real Academa de Espa’ol’ http://www.rae.es/rae.html.

Listening comprehension . Once you have learned the first basics of vocabulary and grammar, you can now start listening to simple stories and conversations.There are also free offers on thenet, such as http://www.fluencyprof.com/free-… The audio files cannot be downloaded, but a little trick helps here: with a useful recording program you can easily record the files on the page, save them as mp3 and listen on the go.Such a program is available free of charge on http://audacity.sourceforge.net/ stories and conversations can be easily listened to on the go and used as a “gap filler” (e.g. in the waiting room, in bus and train, when brushing your teeth, etc.

Speak . The last and perhaps most important tip if you want to learn Spanish seriously: speak fromthe beginning, even if you only know thirty words.In my experience, the biggest obstacle here is the fear of making mistakes. That’s why it’s important to talk in a familiar environment and with a trusted language partner.When I learned Spanish, I found a tandem partner on www.mylanguageexchange.com.We met once a week for Skype and spoke German and Spanish for half an hour each. The notes with new words and sentences from these conversations were then rewritten directly into Anki cards (see above), which I can only recommend. In addition to conversations with tandem partners, visits to Spanish restaurants, travel and all other encounters with native Spanish speakers are of course suitable, which can always be used for practice.

I hope that these experiences and tips will help you and wish you much success and fun in learning Spanish!

Hasta luego,

Michael

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