Spanish Lesson with Connie

 

THE NINE NEW YEARS RESOLUTIONS FOR THE KEEN SPANISH LANGUAGE LEARNER.

 




1.LEARN TO USE A BI-LINGUAL DICTIONARY.

I know that it is easy and useful to use the electronic translators that are on the market at the moment. They can give you a good amount of information about a word and help you out of a crisis situation but the truth is that the old fashioned dictionary is your salvation when it comes to any form of real language studying. It can really help you understand a word in all its contexts and help you choose the correct one you need.
However only if you practise using one. As I correct students work it can be very humorous for me on a lot of occasions to see the type of mistakes they make because they have taken the first word they find in the dictionary for the translation and don’t look any further. Example, it took me a while to work out why a student loved playing `grillo’ meaning insect meaning ‘cricket’ of course he had looked up the word cricket as in the game he so much liked playing when he was in England and had ignored that the dictionary had kindly given him the hint by putting insect by the side in brackets. Learn to use your dictionary well it is a very useful tool, use it with out thought and it can give everyone a good chuckle.

2. TAKE NOTES.

Keep notes on your lessons and they will serve you well when you need to look up things you need for future reference. Everyone has a text book, verb book, dictionary, but when you make your own notes, you make them just that, your own, so they are like your own personal guideline on what you have heard and understood and you have put everything into your own words and when you look back on them you should be able to understand them better than any other source.

3. SET REALISTIC GOALS AND OBJECTIVES.

The learning process is totally and utterly an individual thing. Nobody can help you on this, it is up to you to realise your own capabilities and set you own goals. Do not measure your achievements on the basis of others the important thing is what you as a unique individual have learnt. Measure your goals and achievements on your own grounds. Who knows you best? Yourself, so do what is best for your, forget peer pressure choose the level that you are comfortable with and if it means starting all over again do it. The most successful students I know have done this with great results.

4. BE A GOOD CLASS MATE.

It can be easy to get on with your class mates because many of them are probably in the same boat as you are, with their language learning but also in their own personal lives i.e. moving to a new country, houses etc. Sometimes it is also easy to forget that they might know a little more or less then you, their background may be different than yours so just as easily characters can come in all shapes and forms. However no matter what class mates you have, kindness, unity and maturity are extremely important factors for the unwritten law when it comes to creating a happy and comfortable learning environment. Remember you will learn best in a humorous friendly and comfortable environment, and it is up to you to help create that.     
 
5. DO YOUR HOMEWORK (LITTLE AND OFTEN PRODUCES THE BEST RESULTS.)

If you are into maths (and I am not) and have studied the laws of multiplication, calculate how many words you could memorise in a year if you only learnt 5 a day. I rest my case on this one!

6. ENJOY YOUR LEARNING
(GIVE UP MAKING EXCUSES)

Oh yes you can! The more you learn about something the more you begin to enjoy it. (And I’m sorry but the ‘excusitis’ syndrome of I was never good at school or I’m too old/young, too shy, nervous, tall, short or anything else you can self talk yourself  into not doing something worthwhile is just not a good enough excuse)

7. BE CONSTANT

Things have never come easily to me in life. I am (unfortunately for me) not a gifted person but one thing I am is constant, slow but sure. Remember the fable about the tortoise and the hare, but who got to the finish line first! Keep going steadily but surely and you’ll reach your goal eventually.

8. BE AWARE OF FALSE FRIENDS.

Now I’m not talking about friends who turn on you when you least expect! I’m talking about words that sound the same in English as they do in Spanish but have totally different meanings, and can cause both funny (at best) and embarrassing (at worst) moments. You've all probably got a story to tell  about one of these moments let me tell you mine: I once told an ex Spanish and very well off boyfriend to “sacarme de la miseria” meaning take me out of my misery, after a pet had died and I needed cheering up, actually “miseria” in Spanish means poverty, so he thought I was after his money not his sympathy I never heard from him again (his loss).

9. USE EVERY OPPORTUNITY YOU COME ACROSS TO PRACTISE YOUR SPANISH.

Did you give your children a video game for Christmas in Spanish format it’s a great way to practise? Magazines, neighbours , friendly shop keepers, games ,D.V.D´s T.V, radio, songs use every opportunity you can to practise and enjoy the Spanish you've learnt.

ABOVE ALL WISHING YOU A VERY HAPPY NEW YEAR

By Connie 

 

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