Speaking a foreign language is a useful skill for a traveler, isn’t it? Although I have never visited a Spanish speaking destination, this charming language has always fascinated me and I don’t lose hope to set my foot on Spain and a good many of Latin American countries one day. Besides, learning a foreign language is a wonderful exercise for the mind, especially for a stay-at-home mom with small kids (here I’m speaking from personal experience 🙂 ) Also, it’s a great deal of fun.
Of course, I’ve had my fair share of sweating over textbooks when grasping Spanish grammar (oh, those verbs!), and it was extremely beneficial, but it’s not easy to stay motivated when learning a new language involves only that. As time went by, I felt I needed to take things easier and search for some fun ways to keep my Spanish alive. And this is what I came up with:
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Reading fairy tales with Ilya Frank’s reading method
According to this unique method of reading a text in a foreign language, you don’t have to consult a dictionary every time you encounter an unfamiliar word. Each fairy tale is divided into brief with English translation and short explanations in brackets. This method allows you to read a text undisturbed and simply enjoy the process. As you encounter the same word over
Érase (there was: «there lived»; ser — to be) una vez (once: «one time») un rey (a king) que tenía un hijo (who had a son; tener — to have) de catorce años (of fourteen /years/; un año — year).
Todas las tardes (all evenings) iban de paseo (went for a walk) el monarca y el principito (the king/monarch and the little prince) hasta la Fuente del Arenal (to the Sandy Spring/Fountain; un arenal — arenaceous/sandy terrain, soil).
After this, the text is duplicated without any explanations:
Érase una vez un rey que tenía un hijo de catorce años.
Todas las tardes iban de paseo el monarca y el principito hasta la Fuente del Arenal.
Here you can learn more about Ilya Frank’s method.
Fairy tales is my favorite kind of reading when learning a new language, by the way. I developed a taste for it when learning English long ago.
Taking live video lessons with native language tutors
It goes without saying that learning a new language alone is a daunting task. A real tutor can help one learn faster and more effectively. I found mine through the
Finding a Spanish speaking penpal
I’ve been registered on one of the largest sites for
With a plethora of language apps over there, it’s not difficult to find the most suitable one. Most of them allow
Learning Spanish with my kids
Another great way of mastering Spanish is to learn it together with kids. My three children love to read the same Spanish stories and watch the same Spanish cartoon countless times until we all end up knowing them by heart 🙂 More than that, they often repeat Spanish words and expressions throughout a day in different situations, so I have no choice but to remember them, too 🙂
Do you speak any foreign languages? What methods did you find the most effective when learning? Please share in the comments.