My Language-Learning Journey

My Language-Learning Journey

Hello guys! I hope that you’re having an absolutely beautiful day. 🙂 It has been quite a while since I talked about language learning (except for in practically every single Little Accomplishments, haha), so for today, that’s what I have written about! I’ve touched on this in the past, but it was one of the very first blog posts on my blog (haha), so I will expound on that post, go back a bit further, talk more about the present, stuff like that. If you’re interested, especially if you are learning or would like to learn a new language yourself, I’m sure that you will enjoy today’s post!

Exclusive English Speaker: My Childhood

Like many Americans, I grew up in a household that spoke only English. The only other languages I heard were fragments of conversations out in public, as well as the infrequent use of a foreign phrase, which really doesn’t count. As a whole, I had very minimal exposure to any language but English from the time I was a baby.

That is, any spoken language.

Do you know what ASL is?

American Sign Language and Learning New “Words”

When my little brother was a baby, and I was three to four years old, my mom discovered the world of baby signs. It is very much like American Sign Language (ASL), but only includes the basic signs babies and young children would want and need to use the most. She began using some signs to communicate better with Joshua, such as “more,” “eat,” and “drink,” and I was captivated. It was like this secret hand language that only my family knew, and while I can’t remember when exactly my fascination first began – maybe the first few times Joshua signed back? – but I quite quickly found it to be a lot of fun.

It wasn’t long before I’d learned to count to 10, sign off the alphabet, and express basic feelings and emotions, and my interest in this unspoken language has never gone away. ❤

The Art of ASL

Over the years, my family and I have learned so many signs. I have never sat down and attempted to list all the ones I know, as that would be quite a feat, but I’d say … maybe two hundred?? I have no idea. Anyway, I wanted to add to this post that ASL isn’t just a silent way of communicating; in my opinion, it is also a beautiful form of art.

Back when I was maybe eight or nine, I remember watching my mom sign along to a song we were listening to in the car at the time. I thought that this was the coolest thing EVER! It’s basically like dancing along to a song with your hands – I mean, tell me, isn’t that insanely cool?! In the years that followed, I have signed along to songs I know the lyrics to, and also looked up signs to be able to do it more fully. It is an absolutely amazing experience, and absolutely free of charge, as well!

If for no other reason, I find that ASL comes extremely in handy when I need to ask my mom or brother something wordlessly. This can either be when I’m eating, or halfway across the room, or I have to be quiet for some reason. However, if I try to spell something in ASL, or use a complicated sign that only I know, it can get confusing really quickly, haha!! Still, they know all the main signs, so communicating simple things isn’t a big deal.

Taking A Second Language For School

My love for American Sign Language almost carried over into my education in 8th grade. The spring that I finished 7th grade, my mom told me I would need to take a second language as one of my subjects the following fall. So, I thought, “Oh, that’s cool! I’ll just take ASL.” Turns out, that’s not an official language you can learn and get academic credit; they just teach and approve spoken languages. lol I was extremely disappointed, though.

That summer, I checked out a French language course from the library and proceeded to teach myself the basics. I already knew that my mom wanted me to learn Spanish for school, not French, as it made more sense for where we live (little did we know it would make more sense for my future, too, haha), but I decided to go ahead and learn a bit of French, as well, as it’s a beautiful language and, at the time, I despised Spanish. I thought, why learn a language if it doesn’t look cool or sound pretty? I mean, what’s the point? xD

Ohh, younger me. There are so many points.

However, I didn’t enter 8th grade hating learning Spanish and barely living through the lessons. I didn’t keep up with French and secretly dedicate more time to that than my studies of the language I was actually required to learn. You know what happened?

My Introduction to Spanish

In 2013, I became friends with a family in our neighborhood whose parents only spoke Spanish. Over the course of the next few weeks that summer, I went from wanting nothing to do with the language, to needing to know as much as my friend could tell me so I could have short conversations with her family.

Looking back, I first thought that this immersion experience was a wonderful coincidence. I dropped French like it was hot (lol) and began learning Spanish that fall with ease. Getting to talk to someone who spoke the language and them understanding what I said when I spoke was (and still is!) one of the most exciting things I’ve ever experienced. Like I mentioned earlier in this post, knowing another language and being able to communicate in a different way is an invigorating experience for me.

At the beginning of 2017, when I almost simultaneously found the app Memrise and learned of the Lord’s plans for me and Guatemala, I corrected my observation and acknowledged the fact that His hand has been at work in my life for years. ❤

Meet Maggie: Aspiring Polyglot, and Servant of The Lord

To some, it may appear that I simply love learning new languages – and I do. But that’s not the whole of it.

Someone greater than I can comprehend has ordained this for me. He has a purpose for my life that I can only begin to imagine. Every second is vital, and this time of waiting is not meant to be wasted.

I love learning Spanish because He has placed the passion in my heart. I love Guatemala because of where He has lead my thoughts, hopes, and dreams. It blesses me exceedingly to be able to do my part, and watch Him do the rest. ❤

Now, before I go, I’d like to cover two more things in this post: what languages I know and how much of each (estimated, haha), and the resources I’ve used for learning Spanish over the years. Let’s get into this!

The Languages I Know

{in order of fluency}

English – I have been speaking English my whole life, and there are now few words I don’t know. My only drawback is that because I read so much as a child, I “taught” myself to pronounce different words a certain way, which ended up being the wrong way. I occasionally misstep on how a word is said, and I get sooo embarrassed, haha! I’m an ace at punctuation, and I’m quite the expert at grammar, but the grouping terms (adverbs, participles, etc.) are way beyond me.

Spanish – For the past four years, I have been teaching myself Spanish with various digital resources (listed below). It has not been a consistent process – I’ve taken time off when I grew weary or lost interest in the program I was currently using – but it has been a great journey as a whole. I know all of the basics by heart, am quite good at tenses, and could probably hold a pretty decent conversation with a native speaker, although I haven’t gotten to do that in a while.

American Sign Language (ASL) – I’ve been learning signs since I was four years old, and while I couldn’t hold a real conversation with a deaf person, they would get a pretty good idea of what I was trying to convey, lol.

Portuguese (Brazil) – I have been teaching myself the basics for the past few months. It’s exciting when I’m able to catch on to the similarities of this language and Spanish, but I’m taking it slowly because I fear I will mix up the two languages in my head, and I don’t want to do that.

French – For the last couple of years, I have acquired the knowledge of basic phrases and some. It won’t get me very far, but I’m fine with it for now.

Dutch – I went through a phase back in ’14 where I read a lot of books by an author who was from the Netherlands, and I quickly fell in love with the country and its language. I took a few lessons on an app on my phone and learned the basics, but that was it, and my understanding is quite dusty by now.

4 Language-Learning Courses / Apps
That I Have Used

  • Instant Immersion. This is a complete course you can buy on Amazon for less than $100, but I would not recommend it. The information is good, yet the setup is poor; the man and woman speaking the phrases make unnerving facial expressions; and I actually doubt the legitimacy of some of the words and sentences now. It was a nice introduction for me, but please, get something else.
  • Fluencia. This is an online course that has different package deals (you pay for how long you intend on learning the language), and while I used this website, I was really happy with what I learned! I love the setup, the voices and phrases they chose, and the review sessions were amazing. The main thing I learned that has proved extremely helpful now was tenses. I’m so thankful for what it taught me! However, when I wanted to take a break from learning after nearly a four-month streak, my mom went to cancel our subscription, and they basically said because we weren’t going to be paying them money anymore, they terminated my account, which made me lose all my progress. DON’T GIVE THESE GREEDY PEOPLE ANY MONEY! I was planning on returning to using Fluencia after my break, but then I saw how awful the people behind it were! Please, invest in other language-learning software!
  • DuoLingo. This is a fan-favorite for people wanting to quickly pick up a language, as it’s free and the courses are pretty thorough, but I honestly think it could be better in so many ways. The woman’s voice they chose for the Spanish course is very monotone and puts me to sleep. Also, there are too many phrases that were irrelevant. For example, I’M NOT GOING TO USE “I AM A POTATO” IN REAL LIFE. xD As a whole, I did enjoy it for a while, but now I know that there are better options for me. If you want to try out DuoLingo for yourself, go for it. If you already love it, that’s awesome! Personally, I don’t enjoy it now, but to each his own.
  • Memrise. You guys have heard me rave about this, but if you want to hear me get all excited about it again, I highly recommend that you get Memrise! It is the best one I’ve tried so far, all the best features are free, and there are so many languages to choose from. Please, if you have an Apple or Android phone, or if you’re interested in doing it on your PC (they have an online version, which is also free! – not sponsored!), definitely try it out!

That’s all for today, guys! (And at almost 2k words, I should certainly hope so, lol.) Let me know in the comments below:

What language/s are YOU learning?

thanks to jirah and elline for my signature! xx

Accomplishments Round-Up – October 6th, 2017

Accomplishments Round-Up – October 6th, 2017

What have you accomplished this week?

Welcome to this version of Little Accomplishments!

Why hello there, everyone! Happy Friday 🙂 I am very happy to share this post with you guys today. I’ve been meaning to mention some of the accomplishments I shared below in previous posts, but never ended up doing so, so they have been included today.

I made the title a bit different than normal to include some accomplishments that were more than ‘little,’ as some people found it strange that I would list huge, exciting things as seemingly unimportant! That wasn’t my intention, nor was I trying to brag, but that’s how some saw it. So, without further ado, let’s look at these accomplishments!

Let’s celebrate all of life’s joys – no matter how small!

Recently, I …

  • caught up on a month’s worth of Spanish. (After keeping up with lessons of language learning nearly every day for all of 2017, I gave myself an unofficial break in September. It was much-needed, and I was more than happy to come back this past week! I caught up on missed reviews and aced [most] of them, and learned a few new words. For the most part, though, I went back and relearned ones I hadn’t in a while.)
  • reached 1,100+ followers on my blog. (I would like to give you guys a huge thank you!!!! ❤ I was SO excited when I got the notification sometime last month that Dreaming of Guatemala had reached 1K. It’s the first blog of mine that has gotten anywhere near that number!! I had no idea how to celebrate, so I didn’t mention it, but I want you guys to know that I am extremely grateful that you take the time to read my posts and leave such sweet comments. You always brighten my day! xxx Again, thank you so much!)

  • organized all of my digital photos. (I am extremely happy about this one!! I’ve been meaning to do it for months, and I finally did it. Pictures are organized, others were gone through, and I named all of the videos I have, dating them, as well. It took a few weeks, but it was worth it!)
  • furnished my room for the fall. (I absolutely love it!! I’ll do a post on that soon, since I got some nice pictures 😀 )
  • learned the minor chords on the piano. (After teaching myself to play How Long by Jordan Feliz, I caught on to how the minor chord scale works and taught myself all of them, too. While I’m happy to have those memorized, practicing chords and scales and parts of songs is the boring part of learning an instrument, even though it’s definitely essential, haha!)

  • got my October post schedule in order. (I haven’t done that in quite a while; I would rough it and just share posts as they came to me, lol [which I still enjoy doing sometimes, actually!], but I also appreciate having a tidy post schedule. Next week is already all figured out! Woop-woop!)
  • baked some new treats. (The first one I made went up in a post earlier this week, and the next one will appear on my blog sometime this month, too! They tasted great; my family and I very happily ate every bite haha)
  • watched ‘Butch Cassidy and The Sundance Kid.’ (Since taking the subject in school where I watch movies to then analyze, I have found a few film treasures along the way – movies that I could easily watch over and over again for pleasure, haha! The two that stand out to me the most are the films with Paul Newman and Robert Redford; ‘The Sting’ and now ‘Butch Cassidy.’ They are both fantastic actors, and them being a duo in two different movies has been such a blast to watch!! I should probably do a review of both of those movies, as I have so much I could say about them haha)
Image via Quite Continental.

Comment what YOU’VE done this week down below – last Saturday through today!

thanks to jirah and elline for my signature! xx

Little Accomplishments – September 22nd, 2017

Little Accomplishments – September 22nd, 2017

What have you accomplished this week?

Welcome to this week’s Little Accomplishments!

Hello there, guys! Happy first day of fall! How have you been? Hope you’re all having a beautiful week. 💜

I have been working on lots of things outside of the blogging world lately, which explains why I haven’t been posting as much as I usually do. Going from posting almost daily to about once a week was a big shift, and also unintentional, as a matter of fact. However, I have been having such a good time doing other activities (including working on upcoming blog posts!) that I haven’t missed it too much, which is awesome, because at times, all I’ve wanted to do is blog, haha! (Many of us know how that feels.)

I have been doing my best to still comment on blogs most days, which has been enjoyable because I love reading what you guys write about. I know that I have missed some posts, and I’m sorry about that – over the next week, you’ll probably see me popping up in your notifications!

This Little Accomplishments was a last-minute post idea last night; I put it all together and had it ready for the morning, so it only includes the accomplishments that stand out to me most from the previous week.

Let’s celebrate all of life’s joys – no matter how small!

Last week, I…

  • started writing in a journal again. (I have been wanting to do this for well over a year, which is why this made me so happy! I went to TJMaxx a few weekends ago and fell in love with the journal I shared in the picture below. It represents me so well, and I’m enjoying recording my thoughts in it.)

  • found new nonfic books to enjoy reading. (Because I have been browsing my local libraries’ selection of books for years, I have pretty well figured out which sections I enjoy the most, and have fun returning to those kinds of books from time to time … however, I have found recently that different self-help books [specifically on perfectionism, psychology, happiness, and inspiration], which is a category I’ve never browsed before, has turned out to be quite a joy to read! I’m planning on sharing my reviews of some of these books in the near future. Pictured below are a few that I found at the library recently and can’t wait to delve into!)

  • began watching more ASMR videos. (Starting in 2013, I loved watching ASMR [relaxing] videos, but in the years since then, my interest in viewing them has diminished, then peaked, then fallen back down again, in a very uneven pattern. lol However, I now have three different people that regularly upload new videos, and they make me so happy to watch, so that has been what I do most evenings recently! If you guys are interested in watching some of these relaxing videos, I highly recommend GentleWhispering, Tingting ASMR, and Scottish Murmurs ASMR. xx )
  • fell in love [again] with Rend Collective’s music. (The music I listen to on a regular basis is always changing, and for some reason, I stopped listening to this awesome Irish Christian band’s music for a while. When I added their album to my account on Amazon Music a few weeks ago, they’ve been on repeat ever since. More Than Conquerors is one of my all-time favorite songs, and my newest favorite of theirs is Boldly I Approach! My phone’s current lockscreen is proof of my rekindled love for Rend Collective’s music, as the words on it are from their song Burn Like A Star! I made the lockscreen myself, by the way.)

Comment what YOU’VE done this week down below – last Saturday through today!

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Spotlight Saturday – Apoorva from Elle Online

Spotlight Saturday – Apoorva from Elle Online

Hello all! I hope that you’re having a nice weekend(: I think I’ve got a record going with these interviews!! Three weeks in a row! ❤ Getting to know you guys more is such a fun experience. I know you’ll love this interview; the blogger I’m featuring today is awesome!!

My words are in italics, and hers are in bold.

~~~~

Spotlight Saturday #13

Hi there, everyone! Thank you for coming by this week’s Spotlight Saturday. Today, I’m getting to interview a very sweet blogging friend whom I’ve loved talking to ever since I came across her blog! Please welcome Apoorva from Elle Online!

Hello everyone! I’m really happy to be part of this week’s Spotlight Saturday series! Thank you Maggie! I’ve always been reading her spotlight Saturday series, and I never knew I would be interviewed once!! It’s such fun and amazing to interact with Maggie and she’s been one of my bestest blogging buddies ever!

Aww you are so sweet, Apoorva! I’m happy that I get to interview you today. So first, I’d love for you to tell us some about yourself. What are your hobbies and interests?

Thank you Maggie! My interests are in fashion, beauty, travel, photography, nature, adventure!

My hobbies include drawing designs that just come in my mind! Traveling, reading books or novels, blogging, playing throw ball, cycling, collecting Barbie dolls and many more!

I’m a light hearted, always into fun kinda person! I am actually shy-natured, but I’m overcoming it after I started blogging because it urges it to be myself and make amazing friends like you, Maggie! I love to play pranks and enjoy with my bestie in school or with my sis at home! I love animals!

Since I was like 4 or 5 years old I’ve been in the company of kittens and cats! Most of my childhood pics contain one or two cats at least! I also owned a dog once!! But now I don’t! I really miss him (he’s still alive, but he’s not with my family any more!) Now I guess that’s enough about me, or else I’ll take the whole time, just blabbing! Carry on Maggie…

That all sounds so awesome! Thank you for telling us more about yourself. (Aww kittens are the best!!) My next question for you is, why did you decide to start your blog Elle Online?

your welcome!! Ah, now that’s one long story!!! I did want to do a post on it and I will soon I guess!

Back in my hols, I was reading many books everyday, and for once I hooked up on the book that my favorite you tuber; Zoella had written! And there started my journey of wanting to start blogging! It’s a book in which the main character: Penny starts a blog of her own. The book itself is named after her blog: Girl Online and yess, that’s why I’ve named it Elle online!!!

I enjoyed the whole 3 book series and in every page I’ve just indulged in the book as if I were Penny!! I really loved Zoe’s book and I wish she writes more! After I read the book I was like, ‘yes, I wanna have my own blog and write what I want and make amazing friends!’ Blogging has made me feel less shy and made me want to open out to people!!!

I’m so glad that you’re having fun with blogging! The story behind your blog is awesome; I love where you got the name for it. 😀 My next question is: What do you love to write blog posts about?

Thank you! I love to write blog posts about beauty, fashion, travel, about an experience that I’ve had, something new that has happened to me, and about books that I currently am obsessed with! I like to include all sorts of topics that catch my eye!

You’re welcome! Ahh I love all those types of posts(: Travel diaries have always been my favorite! Next, I would love to know: do you have any blogging tips for my readers?

Yes they are amazing!

The tips that I have learnt and gained as I started blogging is that we bloggers are like people who undergo many challenges. Sometimes it’s through frustration, jealousy, loss of readers, lack of followers and it goes on. It’s always better to feel concerned with what you have, and with what you have learnt! Doesn’t matter if you have 10 followers, at least there are 10 amazing people reading your posts, right?

As participants in the daily blogging challenges, we’ve gotta be sportive! Don’t care if your friend’s header image is better, or if her content seems better. You are unique, build your own path! And always appreciate the goodness in other blogger’s post too! That’s just what most blogger’s go through everyday, so I wanted to highlight this tip. I remember, Maggie you did a post highlighting this topic and I found it amazing! You guys should read that post, go check it out!!

Aww thanks, girl! And you have some awesome tips! It’s so important to be content with however many followers we have, whether big or small amounts. ❤ I have had so much fun interviewing you, Apoorva! Thank you for doing this with me! Do you have anything else you’d like to say to my readers before we go?

Thank you so much, Maggie !!! I’ve also enjoyed a lot since you started interviewing me!!! You’re the best!! I want to say thank you to all of the amazing people who have been reading it! I hope I made a smile appear on your face, and check out my blog if you wish so and want to see more of me!! And Maggie, I’d really wanna thank you for interviewing me, it was so much fun and it will always be fun to talk to you!! That’s all I have to say! Bye guys!!!! Love ❤️ Xxxx

~~~~

Thank you so much for checking out this interview! I loved getting to chat with Apoorva(: and you should definitely check out her blog! She writes about her travels, her thoughts, and lots of other things she’s interested in!

Happy Saturday, guys!

Little Accomplishments – August 11th, 2017

Little Accomplishments – August 11th, 2017

What have you accomplished this week?

Welcome to this week’s Little Accomplishments!

Why hello there, everyone! My goodness, how in the world is it Friday again? 😂 Does anyone have the answer? lol! 💚 Anyway I hope that you’re all doing well and are as excited as I am that the weekend has come back around for us to enjoy! 😀

I have been working on so many different things things recently. Those have mainly been music-, blog-, and organization-related, and as you all know I love those three things SO much, so life has been a blast!! After that bout of sickness my family and I went through, it has been a huge blessing to have an enjoyable week that was pretty much back to normal for us. Among the things I accomplished, I was able to do something I’ve never done before (it’s the second thing mentioned in the list below – check it out!), all of my 12th grade school subjects have been lots of fun and very educational (hush Maggie, your nerd is showing hahaha #homeschoolerforever), and … well, I’ll keep talking about how life has been for the rest of this post! I won’t continue to ramble on right here! 😂💜

Let’s celebrate all of life’s joys – no matter how small!

This past week, I…

  • completed Spanish 5 on Memrise. (YAS! I’m always excited when I finish another level of these awesome language learning courses. Although I must say, I’m also sad because I’m getting ever closer to the end of these lessons! [By the way, I shared a picture of Spanish 6 below because I’m excited about learning that next.])

  • learned to play a song on the piano. (Guys. This is my most favorite accomplishment ever!! ❤ I looked up the piano chords to Jordan Feliz’s How Long [which has been my favorite song for months now] and, with the chords that I found, I was able to teach myself to play the tune and sing along with it, too! When I’m a bit more confident, I’d love to share a video playing it for you guys! That would be so cool!!)

  • went through my phone. (That means that I cleared off apps I’m not using, transferred all photos and videos … everything that monthly phone maintenance entails!)
  • tidied my room. (This includes dusting and cleaning my desk, dusting the piano keyboard [it needed it], and straightening everything on my bookshelf!)

  • went through the books on my bookshelf. (Special thanks to the pretty way I’ve arranged my books, this was hard to do, haha! But as shown in the picture of my room somewhere above, I found a way to make everything still pretty, even with some of the books missing. x I’m donating some, and others I’m keeping elsewhere because they’re more like reference books [baby names, tree reference guide, etc.].)
  • finished reading King John. (I mentioned this on my reading list post earlier this week, and I must say that I really enjoyed it! It’s definitely Shakespeare’s most underrated play. If you like reading Shakespeare, I’d recommend giving King John a try!)

  • began reading The Merchant of Venice. (Eh, not as gripping to me as King John was, but I’ll still read it. The characters are pretty cool – and funny, too!)

Comment what YOU’VE done this week down below – last Saturday through today!

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6 Ways To Make Second Language Learning Fun

6 Ways To Make Second Language Learning Fun

I understand that this post probably won’t be relevant for most of my readers. Despite this, I decided to still write it in the hopes that one day, I can inspire someone!

For the past couple of weeks, I’ve been studying the subject of raising children to be bilingual. While I don’t have any kids of my own yet, I do have two younger siblings – a five year old and an eight month old – who I can easily start teaching the Spanish language!

No, they won’t grow up being bilingual, although that would be pretty cool! I don’t know enough of the language myself yet to be able to do that … but I can do different, fun activities with them to teach them the basics. I’ve already started doing that, and I’ll be sure to talk about that in my next post on this subject!

In this post, I’d like to share with you 6 ways to make second language learning fun – these are the best tips for introducing a child to a new language!

This is for anyone who would like to teach the little ones in their life a new language, whether you’re aiming for bilingualism or a basic introduction to the language.

Thanks for reading! I hope you enjoy.

~~~

1. Be positive and encouraging. Children become more confident when praised, so if you encourage their progress, however fast or slow it may be, their enjoyment of the second language will be strengthened! Keep activities positive and enjoyable; children love to have a good time.

2. Tailor to their personal interests. For example, I chose several different Spanish books from the library the other day to read to my little brother. While one of the books had caught my particular interest, he preferred another book over it and chose that one instead. I let it go so that we could have a positive experience geared toward his interests, not mine.

3. Teach them when the time is right. If they’re not in the best mood when you’re about to sit down and do an activity with them, wait for another time. Make sure that language learning is always as fun as it can be, not something they feel they have to sit through.

Related Post: 5 Important Language Learning Tips

4. Encourage correct pronunciation, but don’t push it. Just like with a child’s first language, they won’t be able to pronounce every word correctly the first time – even several times! They will learn best through trial and error, not frequent correction. Exhibit patience and kindness.

5. Let them learn in their own way. For example, if you’re primarily singing songs in the new language with them, but they seem to get more out of looking at books written in the new language with you, read more books. Learning a new language, especially for children, has to be a fun process. It’s the easiest way for them to learn!

6. Always make it fun! Children love to have a blast! Whatever you’ve decided to do with your child, turn it into enjoyable activities for them. Kids need positive stimulation. And wouldn’t it be awesome if they looked forward to learning the new language because of how much fun you make it? That would be wonderful!

As you can see throughout these tips, the key word here is FUN! While learning a new language can often be a tedious process, it can also be an awesome journey for children. Be on the lookout for my next post, which will be about possible things you can do to teach your child a new language!

Thanks for reading!

Do YOU have any suggestions or questions about teaching children a second language? Leave them down below!

— Maggie

5 Important Language Learning Tips

5 Important Language Learning Tips

In the summer of 2013, I had to pick a foreign language to study. It was partly for my schoolwork, but it was also simply for pleasure.

At first, I desired to learn French, so I got the resources that I needed to do so. But I quickly realized that the most worthwhile choice for me would be to learn Spanish – and I’m so glad that I made the decision to switch!

In these past three and a half years, I’ve tried out different programs, played language learning apps, and watched educational videos. With my [pretty limited, haha] knowledge, I have come up with a list of 5 important language learning tips for anyone learning a new language. Whether you just started, or you’ve been learning for years, I’m sure that at least one of these tips can help you. I hope you enjoy!

~~~

1. Memorize verb conjugation. I can’t say that I have this one down myself as of yet, but it’s still very important to do! Depending on the verb and the language, conjugation has different forms, but I found that after choosing a single verb (I selected ‘ir’; Spanish for ‘to go’) and memorizing its endings, I am now more easily able to remember other Spanish verbs. It isn’t foolproof, but it does help me to quickly be able to recall those pesky conjugations.

2. Learn as much as you can, as often as you can. Depending on how much time you desire to put into this, your personal preferences will determine how quickly you progress. For example, I’m choosing to only learn Spanish through free apps for the time being, so as I feel inspired, I complete lessons. It isn’t much, but I’m still getting to daily interact with Spanish. Just remember that the more exposure you have to the new language, the faster you’ll learn!

Related Post: About My Passion for Spanish + The Best Language-Learning App!

3. Try to relate new words to words you’re already familiar with. I’m not able to do this very often, but when I can, it is very helpful! For example, the word for ‘cold’ in Spanish is ‘frío,’ which looks a lot like our word ‘freeze,’ which relates back to ‘cold’! That makes it so much easier for me to remember.

4. Use your knowledge to create your own sentences. I’m not talking about the sample sentences they have you memorize on educational apps – however, those are helpful! I’m talking about using what you know of the language you’re learning and making your own sentence/s. For example, tengo un perro. I don’t actually, as a matter of fact, but that was just to show you a sample sentence – one that I didn’t memorize, but can create with what I know of Spanish. 😂

5. Be optimistic! Depending on why you’re learning a foreign language, you may either be enjoying the learning process, or absolutely despising it. If you are enjoying learning, that’s awesome! But whether you’re required to do this, or not, try to be as optimistic as possible; everyone has a unique way of learning, and everyone learns at different speeds. Just because you’re not progressing as fast as you think you should be, or as a fast as someone else is, doesn’t mean that you’re not doing beautifully.

Are you interested in learning a completely new language, or picking up where you left off on one you know a bit of? I recommend checking out the apps (not sponsored) Duolingo and Memrise. Both are available for FREE in the App Store, and Memrise has its own website, as well!

Thanks for reading!

What are YOUR language learning tips? Share them down below!

— Maggie