Learning a foreign language is a fascinating, multicolored challenge that is incredibly entertaining and rewarding when tackled in the right way. When considering how best to learn Spanish as an adult, we should look to copying children.
Kids know best
Children learn languages instinctively and organically. They don’t think that much about the learning process and, instead, absorb it steadily. This is the most effective and painless strategy, yet sometimes adults are in too much of a hurry to permit this kind of learning experience.
We have all already learned our own mother tongue, so no one can argue they can’t learn a language. But learning a second language requires a plan and perseverance and there is a long list of common mistakes. Most of which are only made by adults
Embrace the challenge
Languages require a set of distinct skills: speaking, listening, reading and writing, combined with patience, curiosity and open-mindedness. This is a broader remit than other things we typically learn in adulthood. We also have to wrestle with grammar, vocabulary, pronunciation and culture and concede that there is no real end point.
Faced with all of this, adults should be wary of over thinking or trying to control the learning process. For example, translating word for word, stressing over mistakes or accumulating mountains of learning material are classic errors made when trying to learn Spanish as an adult. We are certainly up to the challenge, but a patient and composed mindset is our most essential tool.
Relax and enjoy it!
A language is so vast that there is no point in procrastinating over the small print. The more you speak, listen, read and write, the quicker you learn, it’s that simple. With the right attitude, anyone can learn a second language.
Learning Spanish requires a long term commitment and this is only possible if we genuinely find pleasure in what we are doing. We need some decent learning material, a good teacher and people to practice with, but we mustn’t forget to enjoy the process. Thanks to internet resources we can surround ourselves with things in Spanish that are genuinely of interest via websites, podcasts, radio, music, YouTube, Netflix, etc. Adults can be sponges too, if we give ourselves the chance.