HOW TO LEARN SPANISH THROUGH INTERACTION

 

Socializing and mingling with native speakers enhances language learning. If you want to learn Spanish fast, try to immerse yourself in the culture, language and people of Latin America or Spain.

Think also that these countries have a high percentage of people that can speak English in the designated tourist hotspots, so real immersion and to power up your quest to learn Spanish fast, move away from the tourist traps.

 

In countries like the United States and Britain, there are many firms opening up that are Spanish-owned. There is no doubt that if you are going to tell them in an interview that you aim to learn Spanish, it is bound to open many doors.

Interaction with Spanish speakers is better for learning than, say, listening to a tutor in your own country or an app. It is far more interesting that a Spanish speaker can really make a conversation more interesting and alive than any dull app or evening class tutor.



Knowing how to let a Spanish-speaking person know that you are language learning is important. It is imperative that you learn how to explain in Spanish, that you are a non-native speaker who is trying as hard as you can to learn.

 

It is not the right thing to do and hit them with a comment that is fluent – and one that you have learned diligently – without expecting a response from the native-speaker you would probably not understand. The idea is make it clear that you are learning. However, learn the phrases that will tell them that very thing. 

 

     -No puedo hablar español muy bien

  •      –Estoy intentando aprender español

 

The above two statements will tell Spanish-speaking natives that your intention is to learn Spanish and your current level of linguistic skill is not exactly there yet.

 

Learn them and understand what they are saying, as the exercise is better when you have found out, rather than simply be told. Mingling and socialising is one very good way of learning, as you will be fired up to learn quickly.

Accept that you will make mistakes and do not be embarrassed by the odd error: there will be many of those on your journey to learn Spanish. Immersion allows you to take in the culture of the people too. This is just as important in learning any language as is knowing the words.

Reference:
Aray, Ann. “No Excuses! The Best Way to Learn Spanish When Your Schedule’s Crazy.” FluentU Japanese, 10 Apr. 2018, www.fluentu.com/blog/spanish/best-way-to-learn-spanish/.



HOW EXTROVERTS AND INTROVERTS LEARN A SECOND LANGUAGE

When attempting to learn a second language, extroverts and introverts are likely to take on different approaches where learning methods are concerned. That said: there are more than just a few misconceptions surrounding character with the ability to learn a second language.

It is wrong to assume introverts have a cognitive ability to study in a more dynamic fashion than an extrovert. After all, extroverts are better at human communication, social interaction and talking to strangers.

Extroverts can engage more seamlessly with native speakers of the target language they are trying to master. This interaction is hugely beneficial when learning a new language.

But to suggest that extroverts are better at learning a second language than introverts is a big misconception. Introverts tend to listen more intently. They will take on the exact words into their mind and “hear” the actual grammar, rather than try and second guess and jump in like extroverts do.

Extroverts Mix and Socialize

Extroverts have an ability to engage with others. This greatly enhances their own speaking skills. This type of person will thrive in the classroom environment, as there is much interaction from fellow students because of the constant need to communicate that drives an extroverted character.

Introverts Have Listening Skills

All too often, when we learn a second language, words will fly by at such a rate, we overlook them. Introverts will have a larger passive vocabulary, simply because of an innate ability to listen and learn.

Conclusion

Introverts and extroverts both have the ability to speak and write in a second language. There is no better approach from one character trait over another. The style of learning is certainly different and the approach incomparable.

The variety of ways that exist to learn a second language are vast. Some language learners will prefer to watch television dramas with subtitles, others like to go on a study holiday to the country where the target language is spoken and others simply like to throw themselves into the deep end and muddle through until it sinks in; a system known as “immersion”.

Despite the character of the language learner, extroverts and introverts can and will master the new language.

Reference:
Schottenstein, Yana. “How Introverts & Extroverts Learn Second Languages.” Lao Alphabet, Pronunciation and Language, www.omniglot.com/language/articles/introextrolanglearning.htm.

THE BEST WAY TO LEARNING SPANISH WHILE ON HOLIDAY

Investing in a study holiday combines a learning process with fun. A win-win situation, especially for those who want to start learning Spanish. As you embark on a holiday, there are some things you should expect: you are highly likely to make a language gaffe or two.

Learning Spanish is not a straightforward exercise of remembering words and its meanings. It is the culture and the context in which the language is portrayed that really counts.

Easily the best way to learn Spanish while on holiday is to take a Spanish language class. Some travelers and expats take it for granted that, if they live abroad long enough, they will eventually learn to speak fluent Spanish. “Why would I bother investing in taking a class?” they think. “The whole reason I traveled abroad was so I would not have to do homework and boring grammar exercises!”

Unfortunately, trying to learn Spanish purely through absorption often is not enough, especially for beginners. English is now a global language. Anywhere you go, you will find English learners eager to practice with you! In order to immerse yourself in Spanish, you will 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 will likely end up speaking a lot more English than you would like. Taking a language class is a great way to get to that point faster.

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 or unnecessary, just think how exciting it will be to directly apply the concepts you learn in class to the world around you!

Learning Spanish while on holiday is an incredible opportunity for language learning, professional and personal growth. But, as with any language learning plan, you won’t see any results without a strong personal effort.

Get out there, travel and get speaking, reading and listening. After a few days abroad, you will be surprised at how fast your Spanish abilities will improve far quicker than you will have ever imagined.

Reference:
Madelineosman. “How to Learn Spanish on Vacation: 8 Tips to Go from Tourist to Traveler.” FluentU Japanese, 11 Feb. 2018, www.fluentu.com/blog/spanishlearn.-spanish-on-vacation/

AGE DOES NOT MAKE LEARNING SPANISH IMPOSSIBLE

It is a known fact that the younger we are, the easier it is to learn a language. But can an old dog be taught new tricks? Do you consider yourself beyond the age where learning Spanish or another language has just been left too late in life?

Consider this: If you are over 50 now, there would not have been any social media, high-speed internet, and photo-editing and smartphone usage around during the adolescent years and well into young adulthood. But still you all seem to have grasped the basics and general day-to-day processes to look at Facebook, operate a Smart television set and send an SMS message with an attached picture easily enough. Learning Spanish, or even another language, is every bit as easy as those tasks – perhaps a lot easier.

The secret is to take initiative and boldly attempt to learn a new language. Confidence, determination and a disciplined work ethic will have to be applied, but those values are not absent from any of us – just because we might consider ourselves a little too old or long in the tooth.

The determination to learn a new language is within us. It does not simply die and wither away because we have aged. Although it may seem otherwise. Moreover, there are said to be real health benefits to learning a new language when over 40 or 50.

It is a medical fact that the neuroplasticity of the brain decreases as we age, but there are real benefits to learning a new language that might surprise you. The onset of dementia and other age-related diseases can be slowed down just by learning a new language in the twilight of our years.

Learning a language in the latter part of our lives can be more beneficial than achieving it when at school, simply because there is a much harder effort involved. One can easily compare learning Spanish or French with a physical workout. The harder you run, the stronger and fitter you become. The more intense and determined you are at learning a new language, the greater our cognitive skills and brain power improves.

If the benefits of learning a new language can actually show positive results in mental health, it should be the fillip for the baby boomer generation to get out those language books and begin a path into learning a new language.

See our list of articles about how to learn Spanish, including Education and Travel related topics.

References:
Costandi, Mo. “Am I Too Old to Learn a New Language?” The Guardian, Guardian News and Media, 13 Sept. 2014, ww.theguardian.com/education/2014/sep/13/am-i-too-old-to-learn-a-language.

WHICH LANGUAGE LEARNING METHOD IS MORE EFFECTIVE?

If one were to ask the average person in the street, which language learning method they believe to be the most effective, they might say that one-to-one teaching skills with a linguistic tutor are best.

There will be many who would say that attending evening classes and reading through the lessons tutorial in any spare time is equally effective. Others might say that watching dramas with subtitles on box sets through a subscription channel help.

Indeed, these methods are good but there is a language learning method that outclasses them both and any others you care to volunteer: Full immersion programs.

Full Immersion Programs

Full immersion programs involve teaching lessons using two languages – the native and the target language. At first, the native language is the primary tongue used in lessons, but as the tuition evolves, the target language (the language the pupil is trying to learn) becomes the dominant tongue throughout the lessons.

Full immersion programs can also involve traveling to a country where the target language is spoken. This means the pupil will engage in day-to-day life trying to decipher the lingo and culture, even after the lessons and classes have long finished for the day.

The immersion process is radical. In the same way some Chinese parents teach their young to swim from an early age by immersing them into water, or like the chicken takeaway outlet that immerses a wing or breast deep into some hot fat for frying – it is full on and a pupil gets it up in their head, whether it is wanted or not.

There are times when you will feel like resting from the language you need to learn and just go back to talking the native tongue. However, daily life becomes a challenge when you cannot communicate with the waiter, gas station attendant, bank teller or police officer.

Often, just making the attempt to say something is enough for the person you are trying to communicate with, to realize that this is not your native tongue. Realising this, they’ll help and guide you through to get the answers you want and need.

As a language learning method, it is dynamic and highly effective. Being forced into a situation where you have to learn, allows the brain to defend itself against this problem in the future. The solution is to learn – and learn fast.

References:
Scalfani, Charles. “The Best and Fastest Way to Learn Another Language – Charles Scalfani – Medium.” Medium, Augmenting Humanity, 23 Aug. 2016, medium.com/@cscalfani/the-best-and-fastest-way-to-learn-another-language-2d8202086ea0.

Blog, Guest. “Learn a Language Through Immersion – It’s The Best Way To Learn!” Day Translations Blog, Day Translations, 1 Sept. 2017, www.daytranslations.com/blog/2017/06/learn-a-language-immersion-8886/.


WHY BUSINESSES NEED BILINGUAL PERSONNEL

In 2017 the New American Economy (NAE) released a report on the growing demand for bilingual talent in major United States industries. The research looks at online job posting data acquired by Burning Glass Technologies, one of the leading labor market analytics firm that reviews over 35,000 job boards daily.

The report shows that employers increasingly desire workers who speak two or more languages, particularly in industries that provide services involving a high degree of human interaction. Based on the share of online job listings posted in 2015; H&R Block, Humana and Bank of America, were among the top businesses seeking bilingual workers.

“In today’s global economy, businesses require employees who can serve customers in a variety of languages,” said John Feinblatt, chairman of New American Economy. “This research highlights the growing need to attract and promote a bilingual workforce among both foreign- and U.S.-born talent.”

Coinciding with the report release, a diverse group of business, education, government and nonprofit partners have launched Lead with Languages, a multi-year campaign aimed at reversing the nation’s language skills gap and making language learning a national priority. The campaign seeks to build awareness about the growing importance of language skills to a wide array of careers – and to our nation’s economy, national security and international standing – with the ultimate goal of supporting a new generation of Americans equipped to compete and succeed in this growing global economy.

Employers are increasingly looking for workers who can speak Chinese, Spanish, and Arabic. Employers posted more than three times more jobs for Chinese speakers in 2015 than they had just five years earlier. During the same time period, the number of U.S. job ads listing Spanish or Arabic as a desired skill increased by roughly 150 percent.

In the past, many businesses depended on the help of translators; however, many have found that investing in a dedicated service has led to stronger relationships with clients. It is not just about the ease of communication, either: knowing a language also means understanding a culture.

References:

Unruh-Enos, Tierna. “Top 5 Industries That Need Bilingual Employees.” SmartAsset, SmartAsset, 21 Dec. 2017, smartasset.com/career/top-5-industries-that-need-bilingual-employees.

Jolin, Lucy. “Why Language Skills Are Great for Business.” The Guardian, Guardian News and Media, 16 Dec. 2014, www.theguardian.com/small-business-network/2014/dec/16/language-skills-great-business.

THE DEMAND FOR LEARNING SPANISH IS INCREASING

As world trade deals blossom and intercontinental shipping increases, a demand for the Spanish language to be understood will inevitably flourish. Learning Spanish is steadily going to show its importance in the global economic market.

Decades ago, most schools in Britain taught German and French as standard. However, these essential language classes were controversially removed from the “compulsory” lists within the GSCE curriculum. But that hasn’t stopped thousands of pupils opting to learn a language anyway – and by far and away the language at the top of British schoolkids’ choice list is Spanish.

The country has also seen a swathe of mature students attend classes in Spanish; perhaps with a view to becoming an expat in Spain. The Iberian Peninsula has the largest diaspora of Brits than any other region in the world.

In the United States, thousands of job vacancies are asking for bilingual (Spanish and English) candidates. These posts are particularly prevalent in the medical and hospitality industries.

“Spanish speakers are competitive candidates”, as several job ads tell us within the footnotes. Multinational corporations and businesses involved with overseas markets are always looking to employ English-Spanish bilinguals. Most roles do not demand business Spanish either. This extra study could form part of an on-the-job training schedule, for the right candidate, of course.

The logistics industry is another industry sector where learning Spanish can be a real asset. Particularly where exports and imports come in from South and Central American continents. One trucker traveling from Salt Lake City to Buenos Aires on the Pan-American Highway reckoned he needed his Spanish knowledge on as many as 20 border crossings across the Central and South American continent.

The demand for learning Spanish is increasing at such a rate that establishments and businesses are struggling to fill posts locally. Teachers in some of the big cities in Texas are being sourced in from overseas as there are not enough bilingual academics living in the big city to fill these positions.

The future expects to see the Spanish language become a key part on the world economic platform. As many of the economically struggling nations of Central and South America haul out of recession and dictatorships, and embark on a more prosperous future, the language will become more dominant and widely spoken. This is especially so in the world of business, trade, and commerce. Moreover, the world is becoming connected online now, making Spanish a language of choice to start learning.

Feel free to share our articles, we only ask for credit! Be sure to mention IMAC Spanish Language Programs as the author and a link back to our website: www.learnspanish.com.mx

See our list of articles about how to learn Spanish, including Education and Travel related topics.  



HOW STUDYING ABROAD MAKES YOU SMARTER

FACT: Studying abroad makes you smarter. So, how can studying in the international arena make people display enhanced creativity, flair and problem solve better than stay-at-home students? The first obvious trait working in favour for the international student is language immersion.

Language immersion is like being thrown in at the deep end and kept there. One can either sink or swim, but the human brain is a resourceful piece of grey matter and will work hard to solve challenging tasks. Studying abroad will also immerse students into the culture of another country.

Studies have been performed on over 200 students at a university in Illinois who had been abroad on study and those that have not. One such test was the Duncker’s Candle Problem. Amazingly 60 percent of the students who had lived abroad solved it, against just 42 percent of who had not.

Living and studying abroad allows for creativity to grow and ideas to flourish. This is excellent news for business. That is because the world of commerce, industry and manufacturing all thrive on creative teams promoting a new product or business module.

Overseas education will often force students to try and communicate with another in a language they do not understand. Somehow, some way there has to be a method where two people can communicate. Physical actions are forced upon us, such as gesturing or pointing. You may ask for a hotel in the local area, so tell the stranger you need to sleep by closing your eyes tilting your head into pillowed hands and even fake snore. A local will soon understand you need a room to bed down.

We know that living overseas and studying improves communication. If you have had to gesture to a stranger that you need a hotel room, it is likely you will learn the correct language to look for accommodation with some diligence. You may also try and learn what “right” and “left” mean in the language of your host nation.

After learning and studying in another country for a long time, it is possible to start communicating with some degree of success. As the second language improves, the cognitive skills within the brain will become more effective.

The outer layer of the cerebrum thickens as neurons grow and adapt. This is brain training and something that makes you smarter – all achieved by living and studying abroad.

Reference:
Paul, A. M. (2014, April 29). How Studying or Working Abroad Makes You Smarter. Retrieved from http://time.com/79937/how-studying-or-working-abroad-makes-you-smarter/Studying or working in another country can make us better thinkers-more flexible, creative, and complex-if we’re willing to adapt and learn from other cultures.

WHY MULTILINGUALISM IS GOOD FOR ECONOMIC GROWTH

Economic growth depends on many factors. Is the nation exporting more than importing – otherwise known as the balance of trade; is there high manufacturing output and are most of the working population actually in work?

The economy is one factor that drives growth but there are all too often factors which seem to be overlooked. The economic power of language is deeply underestimated. However, the business community, entrepreneurs, CEOs and corporation shareholders all know too well the need to get an overseas market to understand what it is you are selling.

A good economic return across the language divides can only be achieved by communication. If you cannot speak to your market, you cannot sell anything to them. There are many countries that actively look after multilingualism from the get-go. Schools teach a range of languages, universal languages are encouraged on public signage and in some countries, locals blether to one another in English or Spanish, even though it is not their mother tongue. It must always be remembered that practice makes perfect.

Multilingualism creates an innovative workforce. It has been made clear time and time again that bilinguals have a sharper and more adaptable mind than monolinguals. One only has to look at classic examples of where multilingualism actually works: Switzerland, with its four languages, has increased its GDP (Gross Domestic Production) by as much as 10 percent.

The Swiss factor is down to its companies and services being able to freely trade with Italian, German, French and English-speaking nations. If a nation can invest more in language building, it can export more goods and services. True, there are translation tools, translators and those who help us to bridge the communication barriers, but it costs business to use them.

Swiss companies will not have to use translators or services helping with communication to the surrounding EU trading block, as it can do so with its own merit. Moreover, using translation tools is a sure-fire way of falling into miscommunication scenarios and poorly translated phrases. It is far better than the business workforce can speak the language than get someone else to translate for it.

The good news about learning a foreign language is that one does not have to exercise fluency. A positive outcome – even in business – can come about from an understanding and a communique that makes a trade work.

Reference:
Hardach, S. (n.d.). Speaking more than one language can boost economic growth. Retrieved March 20, 2018, from https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2018/02/speaking-more-languages-boost-economic-growth/

IT IS NEVER TOO LATE TO START LEARNING A FOREIGN LANGUAGE

It does not matter how old you are, it is never too late to start learning a foreign language. Many language learners are put off by their advancing years; they believe age is a barrier to learning an entirely new language. However, this is not the case.

A foreign language is not as difficult to learn as you might fear. You might have a slightly different accent than that of the native speakers, but here’s the great thing: it does not matter.

As long as you can be generally understood and hear the foreign language you wish to learn, you will have done enough.

Language learning is a process that takes time and practice. If you are willing to take a leap into something new and exciting in your life, then start today by learning that new language. You could begin by lowering your expectations. Do not tell yourself that there are six months to start speaking Spanish or a year to get fluent in French – it is highly unlikely for either to happen.

The point of learning a new language is to be able to communicate. You are not expected to give a lecture on Spanish grammar or the genderisms of the French language, you just want to talk. Therefore, lowering the expectations and setting that bar a lot lower is the first thing you should do (after choosing the language you want to learn).

It is a known fact that children learn languages (and just about anything else) much faster and easier than adults. A young child has a young and inquisitive mind and can learn up to four or five languages easily in the pre-adolescent stage.

However, adults have a distinct advantage over the very young. Older people tend to learn a language because they want to, unlike a young child. A toddler is easily distracted and will need regular breaks as the attention span wanders. This is not the case with a willing adult language learner.

Moreover, the adult will start to get a thrill when an exam or lesson has been passed. Each time a goal has been achieved, there is a feel-good factor that makes learning fun and inspiring.

Reference:
Why its never too late to learn a foreign language. (2018, January 25). Retrieved March 13, 2018, from https://www.mondly.com/blog/2017/06/15/never-late-to-learn-a-foreign-language/