Not Very Good in Spanish? Learn 5 Language Hacks to Make You Fluent
Are you learning Spanish and getting frustrated by your slow progress? Perhaps you need to use a language hack or two to get very good in Spanish.
Traditional ways of learning are proven and, with time, they’ll take you where you want to go. However, sometimes a non-traditional way, a shortcut, a hack, or whatever you want to call it, can be a useful tool that boosts the learning process.
Language hacks are fun, personal, and easy to use. They let you take on the responsibility of learning the language of your choice, in this case Spanish.
In this post, we’ll explore what a language hack is, its importance, and five of the most effective language hacks there exist to help you become very good in Spanish soon.
What’s a Language Hack?
According to the dictionary, a life hack is “any procedure or action that solves a problem, simplifies a task, reduces frustration, etc. in one’s everyday life.” Applying this definition to the foreign language learning process, a language hack would be anything that simplifies that process. (“Simplifies” being the key word.)
Notice how I didn’t use the “solve a problem” part from the life hack definition. A language hack itself doesn’t solve the “problem” of not being very good in Spanish, but it simplifies the task of learning the language. It is a complementary tool that you can use to help you achieve your goals.
Why Are Language Hacks Important?
Being fluent in any new language is more about developing “an spectrum of abilities” than reaching utter perfection. To develop these abilities to become very good in Spanish, you need to make use of different strategies. They can help you with your grammar, oral skills, or listening. That’s where language hacks come in handy; they help you to learn different aspects of the language.
Using language hacks also help to keep you interested in the task at hand. They make the language learning process more fun and remind you of your commitment to achieve your goals. Finally, as with every hack, they are there to help, and when learning a new language, every bit of help is welcome.
5 Language Hacks to Help You Become Very Good in Spanish
1. Maximize Exposure
Short of going “full immersion” by living for a few months in a Spanish-speaking country, maximizing your exposure to the new language you are trying to learn is the next-best option. This hack is about switching everything you can to Spanish, including your Netflix account (yes, watching movies in Spanish helps you get very good in Spanish!), the music on your phone, the news sites you read, and so on. You get the point.
It requires commitment. That’s why language hacks are so useful; they take the learning process outside of the classroom and make it a full-time task. Most of the things you can do with this language hack will also help you later, when your goal will become maintaining fluency instead of just reaching it.
2. Chat with Native Speakers
Trust me on this: nothing can replace the experience of talking to native Spanish speakers. Don’t get me wrong, learning the grammar of any new language is important too, but by chatting with native speakers you get what can only be described as a feel for the language, and it’s the fastest way to get very good in Spanish.
Nowadays, this language hack is easier than ever before. Even if you can’t find Spanish speakers in your community, you’ll find many options on the internet to get a language partner, a tutor, or even one-to-one classes with native Spanish teachers.
3. Make it Personal
This hack is less obvious, but I find it highly useful to help you become very good in Spanish. Make your learning process as personal as possible. By learning vocabulary about your interests and hobbies, say football, electronic music, or ballet, your own interest in the new language will only increase. This will make it easier for you to keep adding new vocabulary from other areas.
I like this one because it’s exactly what a hack is all about: giving you something that other tools or strategies simply can’t. The only one who can make your Spanish learning process personal is you. Start by learning about the things you like and soon you’ll become very good in Spanish.
4. Spaced Repetition
Think of spaced repetition as the opposite of “cramming,” that awful practice of binge-studying just before a test. The Spaced Repetition System (SRS) is both a hacking of your brain and a learning method that uses 21st century technology. It’s also pretty simple.
Organize some flashcards into a box and set up a schedule to revise them. If you answer a card correctly, you move it to a different box that you will review less frequently. Soon you will have a Russian dolls-version of boxes, or you could also do it online to get very good in Spanish very quickly.
5. Learn the Adverbs
I added this one because I’d never heard of it before, and because I find its logic really interesting. In short, forget about the nouns, verbs, and adjectives; you will eventually learn them anyway. Instead, focus on the adverbs, as they have the power to completely change the meaning of a sentence.
Another good reason to use this language hack is that there aren’t as many adverbs as there are nouns or verbs. The logic goes as this: if you learn 50 verbs, you still have many to go; but by learning a significant number of adverbs, you have already made good progress toward the task at hand.
Hack Your Spanish!
Now that you’ve learned about these awesome language hacks, why not try putting one of them into practice? Apply language hack #2 and talk directly to a native Spanish speaker! Do it now by signing up for a free class with one of our certified Guatemalan teachers and start getting very good in Spanish now!
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