Myths about learning Spanish: Vocabulary and phrase memorization should be a major part of learning to speak basic Spanish
With so many choices about which Spanish language course is best, how are you supposed to know which one to invest in? Many of the courses on the market today are databases of vocabulary that have been programmed to aid in word/phrase memorization, not language mastery.
Instead of teaching you how to speak, these courses will overwhelm you with lists of vocabulary words and common phrases, encouraging you to spend time memorizing them. For example, they'll teach you that Dònde estå el baño?' means Where is the bathroom?, but they don't teach you WHY it means Where is the bathroom? And what if you need to say Where are my friends? or Where is the bus station? Wouldn't it be much more effective to approach the "Where is..." topic by teaching how to ask about the location of things? Instead of that approach, unfortunately many courses are happy putting one single arbitrary phrase in front of the student and asking the student to memorize it?
But they never actually present the Spanish language in an understandable and digestible way. I've taught Spanish for years and one of the first lessons I learned when teaching was the students need to understand language structure early. Unless students have a grasp of how communication is structured in the beginning, they will be lost. It would be like someone asking you to build a house, but not mentioning the order and organization required to complete the job (i.e. first dig a hole, then lay the foundation, next frame the house, etc). I hear similar complaints over and over again from my students who have used other courses. This is one of the worst ways to learn a language, especially Spanish.
Despite what you may have read or heard, learning to speak Spanish should not be expensive. There are quite a few Spanish language courses available to you, but most usually cost $100 or more just to start, then they require another payment at a later time if you want to continue learning. Or some may charge an attractive lower up-front fee only to surprise you with a monthly charge to your credit card that you weren't aware of. Usually these courses are only trying to make a quick dollar and they don't offer support resources to their paying customers who are sincere about learning Spanish. So my suggestion is to be careful when researching which Spanish language companies are best. Read online reviews and if you can find a truly no-obligation trial, that's always best.
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.