Getting Stuck? Here Are 11 Study Hacks To Learn Spanish On Your Own

Getting Stuck? Here Are 11 Study Hacks To Learn Spanish On Your Own

Are you stuck with your current batch of words for vocabulary? Or is pronunciation giving you some tongue-waggling challenges? Learning Spanish on your own takes time and dedication. Here are some ways to make your self-study journey easier.  

Online language learning is similar to a classroom scenario: students have their ways of picking up things. Throughout the years, internet resources became the best way to learn Spanish on your own. 

But online learning has its downsides, too. One of those pitfalls in learning on your own is getting stuck in one or more lessons. Each of us had experience dealing with challenging subjects before.  But it’s not the same if you are your only classmate. 

No one can argue that online classes are one of the best ways to learn Spanish quickly. Most services offer free trials so the student can determine if online learning would work. But if you don’t have a shared experience with others, studying alone can be tedious and downright problematic.

There are certain times when mustering the motivation and willpower to continue seems impossible. Students can get distracted with other things, making them set aside their Spanish studies for later. And the majority of learners just forget what they have started altogether. 

If you’re having some difficulties in studying on your own, don’t worry. There’s a lot of people just like you who experience this problem and need a habit makeover. In this article, we will show you how to improve your Spanish by tweaking your self-study methods. 

Is It Worth It? Self Studying Language 101

Whether self-studying a language is worth it or not depends on the learner’s needs and situation. People who only need a basic understanding of Spanish would be good candidates for online language classes. Most Spanish-learning courses give a good start for language basics that works well with self-study learning models.

However, students that need a higher level of Spanish proficiency should aim for more real-life conversations. Learning the language yourself cannot supply you with enough learning input and output to provide a higher mastery level in different Spanish language aspects. Even in this method, self-studying can work as a great learning supplement. 

To learn if self-studying can work for you, check out the pros and cons of this method in learning a foreign tongue. 

Pros And Cons Of Self-Studying A Language

Self-studying is always a factor in studying, whether you’re in a traditional setting or not. For some learners, self-study (or reviewing) is very dull. But for others, they love the academic freedom they get and make the best out of it. This method has its advantages and disadvantages, and some of these are presented below.  

Pros

Schedule-friendly: Many language learners favor Self-studying. The biggest reason is that you can set your own study pace. Enjoy studying without worrying about semester ending or exams. 

If you want to rest from your Spanish language study, you can do so without consequences. Additionally, you can pick up where you left when you’re ready to resume your course once again. 

Boosted Learning: Humans tend to learn the language easier if they control what they learn and how they learn it. Different types of people have different learning styles. These are often not accounted for in traditional classrooms. Self-studying with tutors’ aid effectively picks up a new language because of the freedom in choosing learning materials. 

Students can choose either interactive, audio, visual, or written materials for learning new words and pick up the pronunciation. If the topic is very interesting, the learner would likely dig deeper and gain more knowledge from other sources. Overall, self-studying language can give a boost while learning.  

Human Skill Investment: Last but not least, self-studying a new foreign language is considered a human skill investment. This is especially true if you are going to build a new career in a foreign country. As long as you know English, you should be fine in a lot of regions. But since local businesses and industries often use local language in operations, it is an excellent investment to learn.

Cons

Needs To Maintain Motivation: It’s safe to say that the most significant disadvantage of self-learning a language is maintaining concentration, focus, and motivation. Like any other topic, a language has some areas that are tedious to learn. 

Losing motivation is easy, especially if you’re the only person that watches over your studies. Even the most patient student can get disheartened by a lesson and instead pick up something else.

Prone To Learning Burnout: To be proficient, you need to study in several language areas regularly. People who like to use the language as soon as possible tend to cram up information and bite more than they can chew. Cramming is not healthy, as it only leads to short-term memory and learning burnout, often causing demotivation. 

Lack Of Usage Opportunities: If you’re learning a language that is not popular in your area, you’ll likely have fewer opportunities to polish your skills. To make up for this, you can immerse yourself with resources from the internet instead, such as texts, podcasts, and even YouTube videos. 

Learning Frustrations: Probably one of the most challenging aspects of learning a language on your own is frustration. It’s normal to struggle with new concepts. A very common reaction when learning a new set of rules and new vocabulary. But if the difficulty is too much for your tolerance, you can grow frustrated over time. 

Self-learning language is only effective if you know how to do it properly. It needs consistency and patience to see your improvements. Pick up these proven and tested hacks for

11 Learning Hacks For Spanish Self-Study

1. Subtitle-Audio Shuffle

An entertaining method of self-learning is by using Spanish shows to polish both your pronunciation and vocabulary. In this method, you need to pick one with great replayability. Watch an episode for the first time with Spanish subtitles. And then, rewatch it again, but using Spanish audio without subtitles. This subtitle-audio shuffle works like flicking the light on-and-off rapidly. You can retain and remember information easily because your brain does the trick for you. 

2. Tune In To Slow Spanish

There is a podcast called Slow Spanish, where the news anchors deliver their lines as slowly as possible. Doing this, you hit two birds with one stone. You got to stay informed on what’s happening in Spain and other countries while picking up Spanish. Slow Spanish has over 600 episodes, with additional records on the situation around COVID-19. 

3. Start Podcast Hunting

Now that we’re in the podcast territory let’s also talk about entertaining Spanish podcasts to listen to while improving your hearing skills. There’s Coffee Break Spanish, which aims to help both beginners and intermediates. Another good podcast to tune in to is Spanish Obsessed, which targets advanced learners and can use conversational Spanish. 

4. Read The Spanish Translation Of Your Favorite Book 

In most cases, popular and critically-acclaimed books are translated into other languages, such as Spanish. Since you already know how the plot goes, reading the Spanish translation doesn’t have to be difficult to understand. What’s more enjoyable in this activity is that you’re using a resource that you love and excites you. 

5. Use Learning Apps Regularly

There’s a method called Space Repetition learning, which enables you to create long-term knowledge by re-learning things after some had time elapsed. This learning method is often implemented by language learning apps and is helpful for vocabulary building. 

Take note: learning apps are only a supplement for actual language learning. You still need to study your lessons thoughtfully and use materials outside the app-provided resources. 

6. Talk To Yourself In The Mirror

Talking to yourself in the mirror seems like a crazy idea. But it isn’t if you’re saying Common Spanish phrases out loud while watching how your mouth move. Compare your mouse movement to how locals pronounce their words and try to imitate their mouth movements. This method will help you reduce your foreign accent and further improve your pronunciation.

7. Force Yourself To Think In Spanish

We often express the thoughts in our heads using our native language. Hence, we tend to speak and express ourselves faster using our native tongue. To get this level of intuition in Spanish, thinking in Spanish can help a lot. It’s also an excellent method to reduce stuttering, which is often the case if you’re learning a foreign language. 

8. Get Into Spanish Music

Spanish Music is notable for dancing and easy jamming. Even if you never heard it before, you can enjoy and appreciate it. This type of music is very easy to appreciate (remember Despacito?). And there’s no better way to appreciate foreign songs than knowing what it meant. Some of the greatest 

9. Write A Poem Or A Short Story

Spanish writing is popular due to its diaeresis. This is similar to German umlauts when it comes to appearance, but sounds and used differently. For foreign Spanish students, writing your own compositions can help you in all aspects of Spanish studying, especially in using the diaresis. Not a lot of Spanish words actually have diaresis, but it can get confusing for beginners. 

10. Learn At least 200 Common Words Early

Did you know that the most common 200-300 words of a language are usually enough to make some conversation? These words will often be the ones that you will use regularly. If you want to be fluent in a short period, a thousand useful Spanish words can take you far. It will all boil down to practicing and knowing the meaning of the words by heart.

11. Take A Tutor-Assisted Exam Periodically

Learning by yourself is doable, but you cannot evaluate your progress on your own. You need an outside opinion on whether you’re learning at an ideal pace or not. An option to solve this dilemma is to get some help from a native speaker. It’s a great way to evaluate your skills and what part you need to work on more. 

Final Thoughts 

Spanish is one of the most straightforward languages to learn. Hence, many people choose to learn it at the comfort of their home to save money and avoid any hassle. However, if you’re struggling with a concept or is stuck in your language growth, maybe a online course can help you.

Kick off your learning with Babbel, where interactive, enjoyable lessons are designed to blend smoothly into your routine, fostering fast and effective language learning. For those aiming for an in-depth understanding, Udemy provides a broad spectrum of courses from basic to advanced levels. To enhance your speaking skills, Preply connects you with native speakers for personalized coaching, ensuring significant improvement. Take advantage of a 50% discount on your first lesson at Preply with this link.

Is studying Spanish on my own worth it?

Whether self-studying a language is worth it or not depends on the learner’s needs and situation. People who only need a basic understanding of Spanish would be good candidates for online language classes. Most Spanish-learning courses give a good start for language basics that works well with self-study learning models.

What are the benefits of learning Spanish on my own?

Schedule-friendly: Many language learners favor Self-studying. The biggest reason is that you can set your own study pace. Enjoy studying without worrying about semester ending or exams. If you want to rest from your Spanish language study, you can do so without consequences. Additionally, you can pick up where you left when you’re ready to resume your course once again. Boosted Learning: Humans tend to learn the language easier if they control what they learn and how they learn it. Different types of people have different learning styles. These are often not accounted for in traditional classrooms.

How to learn Spanish on my own?

An entertaining method of self-learning is by using Spanish shows to polish both your pronunciation and vocabulary. Then, there are Spanish podcasts to follow regularly. In most cases, popular and critically-acclaimed books are translated into other languages, such as Spanish. Since you already know how the plot goes, reading the Spanish translation doesn’t have to be difficult to understand. What’s more enjoyable in this activity is that you’re using a resource that you love and excites you.

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