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Vega G who teaches Spanish in Salamanca shares the best way to start learning Spanish, getting over the fear of speaking and customising the learning process to yourself.

‘Tips from our teachers’ is a regular series we run on our blog where we ask our teachers to shares tips and advice on improving their language skills.

It pays to learn Spanish

Did you know that over 400 million people speak Spanish around the world and 21 countries have it as their official language? I have never liked numbers, but it sounds pretty clear to think that it’s worth it to learn Spanish. Not just to become part of those 400 million people, but to get to know them, to speak with them, share experiences, ideas, opinions. I believe there is something else out there that you are missing; and I think it’s definitely worth it to try.

Making learning enjoyable is the key to success

Enjoy. Enjoy the language you are learning is the basis of your learning development. If you don’t like what you are doing, if it doesn’t follow your learning style and you think what you are learning it’s not going to be useful, you will not learn anything. I want my students to feel the language, to have fun, to enjoy while they use it. It is all about that.

To keep improving, find your own ways of practicing

I guess the best way to keep learning Spanish outside of our lessons is getting to know yourself . If you know what you like and what is the best way for you to learn, you are going to find out on your own what is the best way for YOU to practice outside of lessons. There is not a path you have to follow, there is not a proper way of doing it. Each student has their own way of learning and that’s what I want my students to do. To find their own path, to follow it and to discover what they can do.

Personally, I don’t follow a method, I don’t use just one methodology. Depending on my student I will use communication if that’s what they feel like doing, or grammar and vocabulary if they think this is the way they learn the best. However, as I said, I always try my students to get to know themselves. I use Personal Learning Environments (PLEs) in order to achieve this aim. You can call it method or not. But I think this is the most important part of the learning process.

For beginners, keeping an open mind and finding motivation are key

Open your mind. Forget all those studies that say that for an adult is not easy to learn a language. As an adult, you have a lot of background you can use to learn and children don’t. Take advantage of all that knowledge, all that background, and you will see how it is much easier to learn. Just open your mind.

Find a motivation. Learning a language is all about having the motivation to do it. If you know the reason you are learning that language, you will get to learn it. It can take months or years, but you will definitely learn it.

And start speaking as soon as you can. I personally have learned this. The sooner you get to speak with native speakers, the sooner you pick up the language you want to learn. It’s a matter of circumstances. When you do not have another option than trying to understand and speak with someone who doesn’t speak your own language, you just do. We are human beings. We are sociable by nature. So trust me, the sooner you face those situations, the sooner you will learn the language.

Before our first lesson

Keep calm. Teachers have also been students. Actually, teachers are always students. We are always learning from you while you learn from us. So you don’t have anything to worry about. In fact, most of the times we will be more nervous than you. Just let me get to know you and you will see how everything is going to be alright. We will have a great time together, I promise!


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