Fred, who moved to Spain at the age of 62, shares with us his secrets for learning Spanish.
Important! You must have a positive and determined approach, as language learning does not come naturally to mature learners.
- Never translate a complicated English sentence in your head.
- Don't worry about getting things wrong.
- Say what you can say. You will find the natives appreciate the effort you make to speak their language and are usually very kind.
- Put yourself near to the natives as much as you can e.g. in the market, in the shops, on public transport etc.
- Listen to children, who tend to speak more slowly, more simply and more clearly.
- Try to pick out phrases you have already learned.
- Listen to local radio, where you absorb unconsciously more than you may think.
- Look carefully at road signs, hoardings etc.
- Read advertising fliers.
- Watch advertisements on TV, where key words are often repeated.
- Buy a local newspaper, rather than an English one.
- When playing an English DVD, watch with subtitles in the target language. Or watch a target-language film on TV, using teletext to supply subtitles provided for the deaf.
- By choice, live next to natives and not expatriate neighbours. Do not live on a conurbation dominated by expatriates.
Above all, do not spend all your time in an English-run bar.
Written by: Fred
About the author:Fred is the father of Jim Porter, who also lives in Spain. Jim is one quarter of Lingua4 ltd, the team who made Speekee (link to www.speekee.co.uk). Speekee is a Spanish language course on DVD which is designed for young children but works for adults too. Read our review of Speekee here. Check out the Speekee review on Eye on Spain.
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