5 Ways to get more out of your Spanish lessons

Tips to study Spanish
Studying flickr photo shared by mer chau under a Creative Commons ( BY ) license

Whether you have a private Spanish class, are taking a group Spanish class or you do your Spanish lessons online via Skype, it’s money paid for you to learn.  Make sure you get the most out of your Spanish language lessons by doing these five important things:

  1. Practice in between classes. I mean more than just doing your homework – but yes…do that too!  Take some time to read in Spanish or watch a program in Spanish.  You can try doing a journal entry or two in Spanish as well.  The more time you spend thinking in Spanish between lessons, the faster you’ll advance and you’ll be able to meet your Spanish language goals.  Check out these great ways to practice speaking Spanish.
  2. Ask questions. Asking questions helps keep you involved in the class and increases your knowledge.  If you are shy – try to get over it!  You can also think of questions between classes and write them down so that when class time comes, you can remember them and ask.  By making a goal to ask more questions, you’ll also find yourself more engaged both in class and as you’re doing your homework and practicing.  There have been whole educational philosophies based off of students asking questions – so there’s something to it. And of course, always do your best to ask your questions in Spanish.
  3. Bring goals to work on with your teacher. Every so often, either on your own or with your teacher, come up with your Spanish language goals.  Some ideas are “mastering ser/estar” or “using the preterit and imperfect correctly” or “being able to order food in a restaurant”.  If you’re using a text book, this should help you.  However incorporating the text book’s objectives into your own personal goals is an important step.  Then evaluate how you’re doing periodically with your teacher.  Use quizzes, tests, oral tests and presentations to track your progress.  Looking for more ideas on how to make great goals?  Take a look here for how to make a SMART goal.
  4. Read beforehand not in class. Most Spanish language lesson programs require a certain amount of reading.  Plan ahead and do your readings on your own time, not on class time.  The time you spend with your teacher is precious.  Take advantage of the time you have with your teacher to talk, discuss ideas, go over answers, perfect pronunciation and ask questions.  Ask your teacher to give you the next class’s reading assignments at the end of each class.
  5. Don’t use class time for tests. Do the written portion of the test on your own if possible.  It sounds a bit strange – but tests take a lot of time.  Someone once said “If you cheat…you’re not fooling the teacher you’re fooling yourself.”   If you are truly invested in learning the language and want to evaluate yourself, you won’t cheat.  Then you can use the time you would have used doing the test to go over your results and continue learning new concepts.

Do you want to start or retake your Spanish classes? Contact me.

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