Preparing to Learn Spanish Online

This article aims to help get you started and guide you through learning Spanish online.

First of all, find a place and time in your home and life that is quiet and likely to be uninterrupted. Plan how much time you will spend online learning your language. Take the phone off the hook, and let your housemates know that you do not want to be interrupted.

Now, prepare yourself mentally for Spanish learning. Small distractions can create confusion, and now is the most important time as you are building a base of language learning. The first part of an online language learning course will introduce you to Spanish by having you listen to introductions. You will quickly learn to understand when you meet someone for the first time, and how to respond. However, no matter what kind of learner you are, your listening skills might be a little rusty.

We hear things all day long, and even when we are asleep, but we don’t always listen carefully. It is important that you learn how to turn on your listening skills. Just like muscles that have been left idle for a while, our listening skills can weaken. This means you should have a bit of a painless work-out to get them in top form. The main priority for anyone learning a language is to concentrate on developing your listening ability. Hear how the language sounds; listen to its rhythm and the sound of the words. Can you hear any sounds that might be different from English? Listen to hear any words that are repeated. Do any words sound familiar? Do you already know what those words mean?

Listen as often as possible to become more familiar with the sound of the words, and see if you can pick out the words that might be most important. Think about your own life; you might be in your office, and a co-worker walks by on her way to the kitchen. She calls out something on her way by, but you don’t catch every word. You hear by her intonation it is a question, and hear the word coffee. You assume she is offering you a cup, and you might answer, “White, please!”

In another place and time, this might make no sense at all! But in this situation, or context, you can make some guesses, and you heard an important word, coffee. We really don’t need to hear every little word to understand what is being said. That is often the case. If you know the context, and you hear some important words, you can often understand. That is true in every language! Practical Tip Number one!

Buy a Spanish dictionary, or take one out of your local library to begin with. At first, get a very simple dictionary. Picture dictionaries might seem to be just for children, but are useful ways to learn words without translating. Practice looking at the pictures on one page each day and saying the Spanish word. Pointing and naming is a great way to begin to add to your vocabulary (It worked with learning your first language!). Next,

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