This may sound like a cliché and let’s be clear, what we are saying here is NOT the following:
Easy Spanish in one weekend!
Easy Spanish with 300 words!
Easy Spanish without verbs!
Easy Spanish whilst you sleep!
and the best we’ve seen,
Easy Spanish without studying!
Así no se hace.
No, no, no. Our suggestion is to steer clear of anything that claims to be magical.
When we say, Easy Spanish, what we are referring to are ways to make your Spanish easier to use. There are many great ways of learning Spanish and we certainly do not claim to offer you the only way to learn.
However, over time we have found that there are some things that really do make a difference. We already have talked in a previous podcast about ensuring that you READ, WRITE, LISTEN and SPEAK Spanish every day, even if it’s just a matter of a few minutes of each.
It seems that one of the best ways of learning a language is to chunk it down into small bites. When you look at the entire process involved in learning Spanish, you could easily become overwhelmed by the vastness of it all.
That’s why it’s better just to look at the next step, whilst being vaguely aware of what lies ahead without worrying overly about it.
Another important requirement is repetition. Just because you’ve seen one thing does not mean that it’s logged into your mind. It’s the dogged repetition that does that.
I’ve lost count of the times in which I have covered a particular subject or grammar point for the fourth or fifth time with a student and only then have they had that wonderful “lightbulb” moment in which it all fits together for them.
Quite often they say to me: “Ah, I get it now. Why didn’t you tell me that before!”
Of course, I had done, many times before, but they simply weren’t in the right place to understand it.
Learning language is like working on a giant 100,000 piece jigsaw puzzle and the problem is that you’ve lost the box top that had the whole picture on it. You can recall vaguely what it was, but the details aren’t available.
So, what happens is that you have to start forming the corners, the edges etc. and little by little you get pieces of the image, but not the whole picture.
Sometimes you manage to get a little cluster of pieces that fit together but you have no idea where they fit into the whole puzzle.
And so that’s why you can have lots of information and still feel confused about what it is you are doing. It’s only when one important piece links lots of others that you get that “KERJING” moment and you see the bigger picture.
Remember the 80/20 rule and you’ll be much calmer and more patient with yourself.
Learning Spanish is 80% frustration and confusion and 20% clarity. Expect it to be like that and you’ll find yourself enjoying the whole process. Welcome the confusion, because we’ve always found that just after confusion comes clarity.
Sometimes, you have to wait a while for it to arrive, however! 🙂