Starting to learn Spanish can feel daunting and overwhelming! Where to begin? So many grammar rules! How am I ever going to understand what they are saying?
Speak to a native for the first time and you know what we mean. It seems they are speaking at the speed of light and you don’t understand a single word! Of course, this can make you give up before even starting. So here are some words of advice when trying to get past the first step…
What’s the first step?
The first step is simple: overcoming the fear of using the new language. Maybe you feel embarrassed? Maybe you feel stupid speaking with foreign words and different sounds? Maybe you feel confused and don’t want to speak for fear of making a mistake?
Whatever the obstacle may be, when learning Spanish or any second language for that matter, overcoming these initial feelings is vital as it will open up the path to really getting to grips with learning the language!
It’s true, learning Spanish is a personal challenge more than anything. It takes a simple change of perspective: stay in your comfort zone, don’t talk to anybody and limit the language you use to avoid making mistakes. Or, approach the language openly and playfully. Experiment in it. Use new words and phrases- talk to the waiter or the person sitting next to you on the train. In other words, don’t be afraid to speak Spanish and get out of your comfort zone.
“A comfort zone is a beautiful place, but nothing grows there”(Especially not languages!)
What can you do?
The best way to learn Spanish is to dive into the language learning experience, immerse yourself in it and don’t worry about making mistakes! Actually, the more mistakes you make, the faster the learning process will be.
Approach Spanish from all angles; reading, listening to music, phone apps, studying and if possible, talking with native speakers and going to language classes. All of these techniques will expose you to the language and your mind will begin to adjust to thinking in a new way.
It won’t happen overnight, but bit by bit, you’ll find that you’re understanding more words, reading more easily, talking a bit faster and the best part: making yourself understood to native speakers! What a feeling of satisfaction!
But you have to overcome the first step: which is an individual step more than anything. An attitude change. An eagerness and excitement to learn more, rather than a fear of doing things wrong. Learning a new language is so comprehensive, it can never be done the same way twice.
“It’s a unique learning process – so make it your own!”
Lastly, an advantage of learning Spanish, other than it being the second most spoken language in the world, is that the native Spanish people are very open and welcoming to second language speakers. The relaxed culture and approachable people in Spain make it a great place to overcome this first step and grow through the learning experience.
If you are interested in learning Spanish in Valencia and fancy taking a private or group Spanish course, check out the details of some of our language course here!