Using a language is simply turning our ideas into sounds and, vice versa, sound into ideas. Forget the text, focus on the word.
If you can switch between your ideas and sounds in the new language, you’re on the right track! So, to reach this goal, let’s see the ingredients that our recipe requires.
The best way to learn a language is to hear it first. At home, with friends, watching TV, during a linguistic stay or MP3, it is essential to bathe in sounds. Getting used to the sounds of the language will then allow you to use them yourself, to speak. Teachers at institutes like Expanish language school can be very helpful too.
When being a kid, you’re able to recognize the sounds of all languages in the world. Subsequently, as one usually speaks only a native language, this ability is lost because the brain no longer needs to recognize but the sounds of native language.
Whatever language you study for your trip, studying its sounds that do not exist in English and learning to produce them will be the first step to succeed and get rid of a sharp English accent. The accents are always seductive but only provided they are understandable!
The other ingredient is vocabulary. Meaning: words and, above all, meaningful expressions that communicate an idea in the language. The big mistake that learners make is often to start learning vocabulary randomly or in the form of a list of isolated words.
The secret to memorizing vocabulary is simple: favor the most common words, to use them immediately and you can use them at will. Then, memorize each word in its context, to be able to connect what you learn to something concrete.
To get an idea of the most common words in your target language, use frequency lists and dictionary. This type of document gives you the most common words in a language, in order of their frequency.
These lists allow you to see where you are in the language and on which words to focus your efforts. Typically, it is considered that knowing 5000 words makes it possible to speak about any type of subject and that to know 1000 words makes it possible to understand 85% of the conversations to manage without fear. So much for the importance of frequency in one language.
Vast majority of words, taken without context, have no meaning and no use. It has been shown that the technique that leads to the best rate of retention of vocabulary is to memorize the words within a sentence that makes sense, by hearing it and, as much as possible, by visualizing its meaning.
People often underestimate their memory but using good memory techniques always makes more difference than the raw power of your memory. Well using simple tools brings more results than not having tools at all!
The best way to assimilate vocabulary to be quickly operational is to combine the two elements above: take the words in the order of their frequency… and teach them each in context, practicing its pronunciation and visualizing the meaning of the phrase you are learning.
You may have painful memories of grammar at school… whether it’s Spanish or English! Memorizing rules and looking for COD and IOC and all the trimmings are rarely what people fantasize about to do on vacation. The good news is that grammar is learned by practice, intuitively, not by study. It is more efficient to practice than to study grammar. You can take spanish grammar lessons online as well.
The best way to make correct sentences is not to spend 3 hours in a grammar book. It’s spending 3 hours with people who speak the language correctly and imitating them naturally because you spend time with them. This can be local traveling or foreigners in major cities or even audio books and TV series. The internet has really changed the game at this level.
If you understand and memorize the correct language, you will naturally speak the correct language. The grammar books are useful for knowing what exists in your new language, such as a restaurant menu.
Run away from classes that make you spend hours analyzing the grammar of a sentence! It is a waste of time and money, it is not effective to speak the language!