What can you do to stay motivated while learning Spanish?

Some students, especially when they are not learning Spanish in an immersion situation (learning while living in a Spanish speaking environment), lose motivation and enthusiasm.

What can they do to become motivated and enthusiastic again?

I will list a few ideas to maintain your motivation:

1. Change the language in you email account to Spanish. By doing this you are forced to understand the Spanish words for email related issues,  which of course are related to other situations in our lives. Words for “to open”, “to select”, “to send”, “to copy”, etc., will be learned quickly since you will be confronted with them frequently.

2. Label places and objects in your house. By writing the Spanish words for the different rooms in your house (cocina, dormitorio, baño, sala, etc.), furniture (sofá, mesa, silla, etc.) as well as items like (espejo, estantes, teléfono, televisor, etc.) on a piece of paper that you attach with masking tape on the relating items, you will learn in a pleasant way.  You will be using the reinforcement of the image with the written word.

3. Read Spanish magazines and newspapers. Letting the Spanish “come alive” is a way to stay motivated. Try to find magazines, newspapers and internet sites in Spanish that are related to your hobbies and interests. Let’s say you enjoy cooking, don’t you think that reading a cooking magazine would be an interesting way to improve language skills and enhance vocabulary knowledge?

4. Set up a Spanish party. You could organize a themed party for all your friends that want to learn or practice Spanish. You could ask everyone bring a typical Spanish dish, along with their recipes for everyone to share. Also, everyone can bring some music with Spanish lyrics. Again, copies of the song texts would be fun to share, read and sing out loud all together. There are also lots of games you can play in Spanish. For example,  games as “telephone rumor” and “charades”.  Well, have fun and don’t forget the Piña Coladas.

5. Spanish DVD’s. A good way to familiarize yourself with spoken Spanish is looking and listening to DVD’s in Spanish.  Select DVD’s with either with English or Spanish subtitles. In the beginning you might want to watch Children’s DVD’s. Classical stories will be easy to follow and are still a great opportunity to connect words to sounds and to images. The great aspect of DVD’s is that you can stop and start the DVD over again. It is a good idea to keep a dictionary and a piece of paper handy so you can expand common usage vocabulary.

I hope some of these ideas work for you. Let me know if you have any other great ideas!!!

Saludos, Ins.