Total immersion is no rocket science
|Live the Spanish language everyday|
Photo credit: Paul Hamilton licensed CC BY-SA 2.0
Here, we explore some more. It will only help to note that I am not inventing these techniques on my own. What I have done, instead, is explore the possibility of using Spanish for and in everything I do using English. So, in effect, I am just exploring things that I would usually do in English and start doing the very same things in Spanish. Easy-peasy! Now this doesn’t sound like something you cannot do, does it? In fact, if you look around and reflect closely enough, you will easily discover many more ways of building Spanish around you which could immensely help our community of learners.
Podcasts for that input overdose
|Spanish language podcasts are best for immersive audio input|
Photo credit: Quinn Dombrowski licensed CC BY-SA 2.0
As with other methods, understanding every sentence, or any at all, is far from important in the beginning. Just focus on the rhythm, the intonation, the music of the language. Make it your second nature to be able to tell Spanish from any other language in the world, however close. Even as little as 30 minutes of listening a day will cast its spell on you and the magic will manifest in as little as 6 months if you are consistent enough.
I would also like to point here that you must be careful while choosing the right podcast for this purpose. If acquiring Spanish is your goal, the podcast you subscribe to must have authentic, native speakers from the country whose dialect you wish to eventually emulate. It is very important to avoid non-native speech as it will potentially give you a train-wreck of an accent, not to mention the utter inability to ever tell Spanish from its close cousins. Also, no matter what your level of Spanish is, always gun for podcasts where Spanish is being spoken at a natural, native pace. Most podcasts, particularly those aimed at learners, tend to have conversations at ridiculously slow rates of speech, not to mention the dumbed down vocabulary. Not only is this detrimental to your learning, but will also keep you ignorant of how Spanish is really spoken by real men and women. Remember that your sole motive here must be to develop an ear for the Spanish sounds. You got to to hit a stage where you can catch the drift even when half-asleep and everything sounds more or less fuzzy to you.
Label your world!
|Post-its® are great for Spanish vocabulary|
Photo credit: Spark Truck licensed CC BY-SA 2.0
The acceleration that this activity can bring to your Spanish learning program more than compensates for any amount of embarrassment. Having done this myself, I can strongly vouch for the efficacy of labeling all items in your household. I bloated my vocabulary out of proportion just by labeling my world and keeping them on for a month!
Keep in mind that perfection comes from practice. You can retain new words more effectively if you use them in place of the equivalent words in your native tongue as far as possible and wherever practical. For instance, when learning Spanish, substitute ‘uno’ for ‘one’ and ‘cena’ for ‘dinner.’ In time, the words will become second nature to you and you’ll understand them when you hear them spoken. You’ll be amazed at your ability to understand Spanish when you hear it spoken. Learning Spanish or any new language does not have to be so painful or painful at all. The beginning may be a little rough, but in time it does get a lot better. You will become fluent if you persevere and make good use of as many tricks and tips as possible.