There are a seemingly endless number of online resources that help you learn to speak Spanish. But are these really effective? With so many resources available, what can you do to ensure you are using your time and money effectively and avoiding resources that won't help you meet your goals?
A new quora post addresses the topic of what approach and mindset are best when learning a new language. Two of my favorite points the author makes are #10 on ensuring you not are not just reading language instruction, but have the audio to accompany it. Using audio lessons or explanations is important because your ears and mouth are just as important as your brain when learning a new language like Spanish.
The author also recommends not being too hard on yourself and not being afraid to look silly when trying to speak out loud. He's right! Successfully learning a language requires you to be vulnerable, put yourself out there, have a sense of humor, and just start speaking.
So while online resources can be useful, it's very difficult to rely exclusively on free online resources to learn to speak Spanish fluently. The main reason for this is because language is just that...it's communication between two or more people! In order to get really good at it, you need to speak it out loud and in live situations where you have a healthy level of pressure to speak and speak correctly.
Other reasons for seeking more than just the free Spanish language resources include:
1. Speaking out loud to teach the muscles in your mouth & throat the correct positions.
2. Speaking out loud to train your ear to hear and repeat what you hear.
3. Having a teacher, tutor, or fellow student present to work off each other, respond to questions, and provide feedback.
4. Having a teacher break down the problematic areas of the language that are specific to you and your progress.
5. Leveraging technology to understand the language and measure your progress.
If you spend the time and effort to learn to speak Spanish, why not put it to good use in a beautiful destination. I was on Pinterest recently looking at some photos of Cancun, Mexico. Some of the photos I pinned have some great advice on the top activities in Cancun. Look at that water and those white sand beaches! I think I just found my paradise.
This is where we chat about all things Spanish. Feel free to ask a question, challenge me, passionately disagree, or rant about whatever. Just make it interesting.