Spanish is one of the most common languages that native English speakers, especially Americans, want to learn. There is a wide variety of reasons for starting a study of the Spanish language, but the basic resources needed remain relatively the same. From lessons, to a Spanish dictionary, to fun ways to learn, there are plenty of resources available to you. If you are just starting out on your Spanish journey, take a look at the details below to get a better idea of how you can be best prepared for your study.
The first thing you want to consider is how you are going to get the Spanish lessons. Spanish lessons should form the core of your language program, whether you are studying formally or informally. If you are still in high school or college, you can most likely find lessons in a high school or college near you. Spanish is one of the easiest languages to find in America. Many community colleges often offer Spanish, so even if you have completed your secondary education and higher education, you can still take low cost Spanish classes at a community college. Learning in a traditional classroom setting is probably one of the better ways to study Spanish, but even if this is not possible for you, there are still other great ways to learn.
If you do not have access to a traditional school environment or prefer to learn on your own, you can consider online programs. There are many colleges that offer online distance learning language programs, and sometimes you can even get a degree or certification online. While formal certification is always a plus, it is not always necessary. As long as you can speak a language fluently, that is really all that matters. With that being said, you can learn online without having to pay for it. There are numerous websites available that offer free Spanish lessons, or lower cost lessons that are cheaper than paying for college classes.
You can also choose to study Spanish from your own home by learning with a computer program. Spanish language computer programs are easy to find for native English speakers, since there is such a high demand for this language.
After you have your main method of learning figured out, you still need to prepare other resources to help you succeed in learning Spanish. One of the most important resources you need to spend some time looking for is a Spanish dictionary. This resource is vital to your success! If you have never studied a language before, you may not think dictionaries are all that helpful. It is true that many native English speakers do not use English dictionaries very often, but having a Spanish dictionary in your arsenal will not only give you a security blanket, it will help you expand your knowledge of Spanish vocabulary. Having a good Spanish dictionary will give you the security of knowing you can look up a variety of common Spanish terms—you will not have to rely on the small glossaries that appear at the end of textbooks! These glossaries are very limiting to your acquisition of foreign words. You can use a Spanish dictionary to expand your vocabulary by looking up any words you do not recognize, but also by picking a few new words out of it to memorize each time you study. This process will definitely help you in the long run!
If you are learning in a traditional classroom, you may have the opportunity to study with a native speaker as a teacher. This is always preferable to having a non-native speaker teaching you. Since Spanish is such a common language in America, it should be really easy to find a teacher, even if they are not native. The non-native teachers in this country are certified usually because Spanish was their major in college, so they are still very good to learn from. Chances are they have attained near-native fluency. At some point in your study of Spanish, you should look for a native speaker to practice with. If you cannot find one, take your search online. There are plenty of language exchange websites that link people together who are learning each other’s languages. You can even talk over a video or voice chat so you can learn native pronunciation.
The Web is a great place for additional language resources. Many times you can find free dictionaries, lessons, vocabulary lists, grammar tips, advice articles, and audio files to aid you in your study. I recommend taking advantage of all of these resources and using them to their full extent. Your language study will progress much faster! Keep a bookmark list of web sites you visit often. Organize them into different categories so that they are easier to locate.
Learning a language can take a lot of hard work, but it can also be really fun. You should look for websites online that offer entertaining ways to study Spanish. For example, some websites offer free language games, Spanish lyrics, Spanish culture information such as traditional sayings, “Word of the Day” features, jokes, and verb conjugators. Some websites even have features that let you test your level of Spanish acquisition. These are all wonderful tools to utilize while learning, especially since many language learners fall into ruts where they no longer find enjoyment in learning.
I recommend building your resource library before you take the plunge into language acquisition. It is always better to be prepared that unprepared! You should take into account your needs while preparing for language study. If you are planning on learning Spanish for a specific reason, such as specific types of translation, you will need more resources than people learning just for fun or work. Many translators specialize in medical, legal, scientific, or business translations. There are specific books and dictionaries available to help you learn to translate these more difficult types of Spanish, so do not overlook them! No matter what your reason for learning Spanish is, you can greatly benefit from a well-prepared resource library!