You’ve chosen to learn Spanish. That’s great! But now the hard part–how to go about learning it? Which Spanish language learning method is best for you? This article is going to count down the top 5 Spanish language learning methods and give advice in regards to which method is best for you.
#5 Learning Spanish With Books
Books are a very popular way to learn Spanish. As a person who makes a living as a language learning textbook writer, though, I tell you with great sadness that I don’t recommend this method. Why? Because books are dead. By dead I don’t mean they aren’t useful. What I do mean is that you cannot interact with them. You cannot, for example, have an interactive Spanish conversation with a textbook. Books can’t talk to you! You cannot use them to listen to and repeat Spanish words and phrases. Books also lack features such as fun, flashy vocabulary games, voice recording and playback features, and interactive Spanish language learning forums. In short, online and software-based Spanish courses do everything that Spanish textbooks do–and tons more. They are the new books!
#4 Taking a Local Spanish Course
It used to be that taking a local Spanish course was the preferred method of study. Books and software programs were just backup options for those who didn’t have the funds or the time to take a “real” Spanish course. This is no longer the case. In fact, I rate software and web-based learning ahead of taking a local Spanish course. Why? Because you actually get more interaction with them. Think about it. How much interaction do you get with a teacher in charge of 10-30 other people? Not very much. I took my first Spanish course in college, and it had 40 people in it. I did nothing but listen to the professor lecture, which isn’t a very good way to pick up a new language.
Of course, there are good things about taking a local Spanish course. If you are taking Spanish because you want to get out and meet new friends, by all means, take a local course. If you are the type of person who gets bored if left alone for 10 minutes, a Spanish course is good for you too. If you’re looking for the quickest, easiest way to master the Spanish language, however, go with computer-based learning.
#3 Learning Spanish With Software Programs
Spanish learning software programs were the first step up one could take from books and local Spanish courses. They broke open the computer-based learning market, mainly because they offered everything I mentioned above that books lack, interaction, voice recording technologies, Spanish native-speaker recordings, and fun and interesting Spanish language learning games. In particular, people loved the interactive Spanish verb conjugation activities included in these programs; they made learning both fun and easy.
Today, Spanish learning software programs are better than ever. They have greatly improved graphics, incredible voice recognition capabilities, and even more interaction. In addition, the top software packages now have online components. You can log in and get access to Spanish learning forums, Spanish-speaking partners, user-uploaded vocabulary lists, and new and upgraded learning materials.
#2 Learning Spanish Online
Let me say right from the start that if you don’t have a reliable Internet connection learning Spanish online is not the best option for you-go with software-based learning instead. Oftentimes, online and software-based courses from the same company are identical. The only difference is that with one you login and work online and with the other you take DVDs and load the program on your computer. “Why chance it?,” you may be thinking. Why not just get the software and then forget about failing Internet connections
There are several reasons why I prefer learning Spanish online. First, sometimes I study on different computers, usually either my desktop, my laptop, or my girlfriends desktop. With online learning, this is no problem. My progress is tracked and stored in the same location. Also, I am currently studying with Rocket Spanish, and this program allows me to customize my learning area, by allowing me to place “sticky notes,” for example. If were using the software-based version, I could not do this because what I do on one computer would not register on the other.
In addition, with online Spanish programs, I have immediate access to web-based features, such as help forums, chat features, and updated learning materials. I like that integration. Finally, online programs are usually cheaper. That’s right. Even though the course is exactly the same, you usually have to pay to get those DVDs, and all the fancy packaging they come in.
#1 Overseas Immersion Programs
If you’ve got the time and resources, there is no doubt that overseas immersion courses are the best way to learn Spanish. In fact, I get excited just thinking about it! Madrid! Barcelona! Mexico city! When choosing a location to learn Spanish you have many exciting options because there are so many countries that use Spanish as their first language. In addition to the fun and excitement of such an adventure, Spanish immersion programs are also the best way to learn quickly.
Every minute of every day you are surrounded by Spanish speaking opportunities. Every time you go to a restaurant, convenience store, market, or anywhere else, you will have to Speak Spanish to get what you want. Too expensive, you say? Well, it does cost money, but probably not as much as you think. In addition, these programs are great for those who are planning vacations anyway. Oftentimes, these courses add little or nothing on top of your regular travel expenses, and you get room, board, education, and cultural activities for one lump sum!
Each of the above-mentioned ways to learn Spanish has pros and cons, mostly based on your Spanish learning goals and your personal living and working situations. Pick one, or two, based on your own needs and conditions and get learning now!
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Have a great day!