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5 fun and alternative ways of learning Spanish

5 fun and alternative ways of learning Spanish

You can get a helping hand with Spanish translation services and resources online, but if you’re not real big on text book learning, check out these five fun and alternative ways of learning Spanish…

 

Spanish is a fun language to learn. Beyond the fact that it’s the second most widely spoken language in the world, it’s also arguably one of the sexiest sounding. Especially when you get further into your language learning journey and can hear the differences in accents and understand regional dialects.

 

1. Study Abroad

 

Learning Spanish in the classroom is not the same as speaking it on the streets of Madrid or dancing flamenco in a bar in Seville. So, go study abroad. Take a year out and practice your Spanish outside of a school. Not only will the phrases you learn make more sense as you use them in real-life situations, but you’ll make friends and have fun at the same time.

OK, so not everybody has the luxury of taking a year abroad to learn Spanish, but if budget is a problem, then do some part time work online while you’re there. If you can’t take that much time out from your busy schedule, then organize a vacation. Try to go off the beaten path to places where English isn’t widely spoken, so you’ll be forced to speak more than you might do otherwise.

 

learn spanish abroad

 

2. Take Dance Classes

 

Dance classes? Yes, dance classes. Depending on the variant you want to learn, Spanish speaking countries are pretty much all big on dancing. From the stomping heels of a sultry flamenco and the melancholy mystique of a tango, to upbeat salsa beats; learning the Spanish language almost inevitably means that you’ll have to learn to dance at some point. So, you might as well get a head start.

The best thing about taking dance classes is that you’ll meet like-minded people who want to have fun and you’ll pick up Spanish vocab without even trying. Learning the lyrics of the songs and being taught by a native teacher will make you want to look up “will you dance with me?” in Spanish. And who knows where that may lead you? Alternative and fun!

 

3. Watch Your Favorite Shows in Spanish

 

Whether you prefer to watch your favorite shows in English with Spanish subtitles, or go down the dubbed route, this is a great way of improving your Spanish. Why? Because you get to throw the accompanying CD of your text book out the window and watch and listen to something that interests you instead.

You probably won’t understand a word in the beginning. It helps if you watch the show in English first and the dubbed version afterwards, then things will fall into place. You don’t even have to watch something that you can’t stand, like a Mexican novela – just go for a rerun on Gray’s Anatomy and try not to snigger at the Spanish speaking version of Meredith.

 

learn spanish television

 

4. Read What You Enjoy

 

Another way of rebelling against the typical structure of a text book is by reading about what you enjoy in Spanish. Thanks to Amazon and other online vendors, you can pretty much get the book of your choice in Spanish these days. So, if you’re not really interested in Don Quixote, then how about trying Eat, Pray, Love? If you’re interested in fashion, pick up a woman’s magazine.

If you want to know more about stocks and shares, try looking at a Spanish newspaper, such as El Pais or ABC. Actually, reading newspapers may not be fun for everyone, but they’re a lot easier than reading gossip magazines, as the formal way they’re written shares the common Latin thread with English. Your confidence will be greatly boosted as you find out you know more than you think you did.

 

5. Get a boyfriend or girlfriend

 

This part (obviously) only applies to you if you’re single. I’m not advocating adultery here. But, let’s be honest. Hands down, the single best way to learn a language is when you’re fully invested in learning it. And there’s no better way than by going out with someone who only speaks that language, namely Spanish.

You’ll learn all kinds of vocabulary that you’d never learn from a textbook and you’ll also get a real slice of Spanish culture. A family gathering for Sunday lunch, a cousin’s birthday party or maybe even an infamous “quinceañera”. Getting a partner who’s a Spanish speaker will be a wild ride and guaranteed to ignite your passion for the language and lifestyle even further.

 

 

So, there you have it. If you’re struggling with your pronunciation, reading lengthy passages, or getting stumped at the subjunctive, then take a tip from me. There are more fun and alternative ways of learning Spanish. You just need an open mind and a positive attitude. And a pair of dancing shoes.

fun and alternative ways of learning Spanish dancing

Sean HopwoodArticle by Sean Hopwood

Sean is founder and President of Day Translations, Inc., an online translation agency and localization services provider, dedicated to the improvement of global communications. By helping both corporations and the individual, Day Translations provides a necessary service at the same time as developing opportunities for greater sympathy and understanding worldwide.

4 Comments

  1. I’m going to start doing #4 and read more in Spanish of the novels that I like to read. It’s amazing because my English is near perfect having lived in America for so long and now I’m back in Alicante my Spanish is no good! I will take your tips and soon be fluent, I hope ;)

    Reply
    • Good luck to you Mia! Yes, reading is a great way to push our levels past advanced to proficient and native. And reading things that genuinely grab us and make us want to turn the pages is the only way to make it happen. I need to read more in English too. I am writing much more these days and can feel my level improving, but I really need to get stuck into some good novels. All my best, Laura

      Reply
  2. This blog is very interesting, I like how specific it is and explains why the steps listed are helpful. It is really interesting that leaning the culture of Spanish heritage can actually help you. I believe watching your fav TV show in Spanish can actually appeal to your senses more than the others. You’re used to this show and you also like watching it.

    Reply
    • Hola Jasmine, thanks very much for your comments! Yes, I totally agree, watching things you have already seen and most importantly genuinely enjoy helps you understand, learn and remember so much better. I find when I am watching boring shows in English I can often struggle to understand as I lose concentration, but conversely when I find a show I like I don’t even know what language it is in as I am fully immersed and flowing with the English! This is the way to learn eh! No stress, just enjoyment and fast progress. Saludos, Laura

      Reply

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