How to Learn Spanish Quickly
Learning a new language can be very time consuming. There are thousands of words to learn…
many different grammatical structures, new pronunciation, different accents, not to mention idioms, slang, etc, etc! But there are some simple things you can do, every day for 10 minutes or less, to speed up the learning process, and help your child increase their comprehension as they learn Spanish quickly. Consider using these simple tips for yourself as well because the more you can learn alongside your kids, the more they will learn as a result.
1.- Listening to Songs in Spanish
One of the most fun and effective ways to learn Spanish quickly, or anything for that matter, is to learn through music.
Music is such an effective way to learn because it instantly stimulates the brain by activating the left and right side of the brain simultaneously. This helps to increase focus and the brain’s ability to form and sustain new memories. Ideally, it’s best to already know the song because the familiarity of the song along with the new words together will accelerate learning. We have several popular songs in Spanish on our YouTube channel that you can check out and learn from including a fun Thanksgiving song, the alphabet song, the months of the year song and the emotions song.
2.- Reading a Book in Spanish
Another very effective way to help your child learn Spanish quickly is by reading to them using bilingual books.
These books are designed to be fun, engaging and entertaining and to accelerate language comprehension. They have lots of colorful illustrations and will have both the Spanish and English together on the same page, or the Spanish on one page and the English on the other. One of the best ways to bond with children is to have a regular “reading schedule”, so not only are you bonding with your kids on a regular basis, but you’re also helping them to learn new things in the process. Continuity is a very, very important factor to language learning success, even if it is just 10 minutes a day. Keeping a tradition of reading every night is a wonderful way to help your child’s language learning comprehension.
There are a couple of online marketplaces to buy bilingual books (both physical and digital) that we love, including: Bilingual Marketplace, and Booklingual. Our past blog post “5 Fantastic Bilingual Books in Spanish for Kids”
3.- Change the Settings of Your Devices from English to Spanish
New research by global tech care company Asurion, says that Americans check their phones on average 96 times a day. Furthermore this same company’s research suggests that Americans have increased their phone usage by 20% over the past two years. Furthermore children ages 4-12 are spending on average 4 hours a day on their devices like phones and tablets. With all of this time being spent on screens, why not use this time to improve those Spanish language skills.
By changing the settings on your devices and your kids’ devices from English to Spanish you will instantly place yourself in an immersive experience by consistently surrounding yourself with Spanish. Having an immersive experience is of course the very best way to learn a language. You will be surprised at how intuitive the experience is because you are already very familiar with how your phone works, and in most cases, will already know how to operate your devices regardless of what the words placed next to the buttons say.
While at first it may seem intimidating to take this step, we’re confident that within a very short period of time you will not even realize your phone is in another language. Examples of some words that you will learn are “contactos,” (contacts), “ajustes,” (settings), “mensajes,” (messages), “enviar” (send), “llamar” (call). We added a link here that gives instructions about how to change the settings from English to Spanish on iphone and android and another link about how to change those settings on an iPad.
4.- Revising What You Learned in Spanish Class
Practice makes perfect. Just because you “learned” something doesn’t necessarily mean that what you have studied has become internalized and truly learned. Someone may spend hours studying to learn something but unfortunately will forget more than 70% of what they have learned the next day without some kind of review of the material.
This statistic is proven in the “Forgetting Curve” which was developed by the German psychologist Hermann Ebbinghaus and tracks how the information we learn is forgotten over time. According to the forgetting curve, the key to truly learning and retaining information is to spend time reviewing what was learned at key moments on the forgetting curve so as to slow the speed of memory decline that happens without a review. A short review (even as short as 5 minutes) within 24 hours can reduce the forgetting rate by around 30%.
5.- Label Household Items
Turn your house into a classroom by placing stickers in Spanish on items in your home such as on “plants,” (planta) on a “window,” (ventana) or “door,” (puerta).
Language learning with stickers are a fun and practical way to learn new words. This method is very effective because by using this method you surround and expose yourself to new vocabulary just by going about your daily life inside your home. This is a great way to be always studying without having to schedule a “study time.” We found some good language learning stickers on Amazon.
These stickers are particularly good because they are designed to be placed on common household items as these are easily removable and do not leave any glue residue after they are removed. Some other ideas as to where to place stickers are on the table, (mesa) on a book, (libro) on a “pen,” (pluma) “chair,” (silla) and “lamp,” (lámpara). You can even get creative and make your own stickers using small sticky notes. By putting a note on a light switch in the top position you can learn the word “turn on,” (encender) or placed on the bottom “turn off” (apagar).
Language learning is like learning any other skill. Repetition, review and immersion are all needed for success. Attending classes is great, but just like in many professions, a degree or certification doesn’t necessarily mean you have achieved true literacy as it translates to the “real world”. It is so important to take some time everyday (even if it is just 10 minutes) to help fortify and retain the important things that were learned in the classroom.
Kids’ Club Spanish School is proud to be an important part of your childs’ language learning success. Sign them up for Spanish immersion classes at www.kidsclubspanishschool.com and get two free trial classes. Get them started on their bilingual journey and support them doing one of these things 10 minutes a day!