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How to Study for Spanish
And not spend a lot of time doing it
Here are some ideas for studying for Spanish to help you perform better. First, learning a foreign
language is like playing musical instrument or working out; if you want to be successful, you
must put in the time. However, it doesn’t have to be a great deal of time, just consistent. Below
are some things you can do to study Spanish consistently and only spend 15-20 minutes a day. If
you have more time, spend more of it on step 5. The first couple of days of a chapter focus on
steps 1-3. As the chapter progresses, focus on 3 & 4. When you are comfortable with the words
and their meanings, focus on putting the vocabulary in context; this is step 5.
1. Say words out loud: This allows you to involve your senses of seeing, saying, and
hearing. Much better than only reading through the list.
2. Quiz yourself: Cover the Spanish and say what the word in English means in
Spanish. Then do the same going from Spanish to English.
3. Have someone else quiz you: Since we probably cheat a little in step 2, it is a good
idea to have someone else quiz us. This person doesn’t need to speak
4. Put words in categories: The idea here is to make connections. By grouping words
together, it will move you towards putting the words in context. For example, with
school related vocabulary you could put the things that go in a backpack together and the
things that stay in the classroom together. Another good idea is to connect associated
verbs with the word from the vocabulary (pen, pencil – to write or backpack – to carry).
5. Put words in context: The best way to remember vocabulary is to use it in context. For
practice you can write a few sentences using the word(s) from the vocabulary. This is
also a good opportunity to practice the grammar covered in the chapter. For example,
you can practice the present tense of –AR verbs as you write about your activities at
school or while shopping for school supplies or clothes. Don’t spend so much time that
you become frustrated as this will discourage you. When you have five or six sentences,
show them to your teacher who can tell you how you did. You could start by making a
list of subjects, verbs, and vocab. words. Then, take something from each list and write a
los alumnos
*Juan lleva los libros en la mochila.
*Yo necesito un cuaderno para la clase de inglés.