Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Learning a New Language: Spanish


The main difficulty when approaching a new language, for instance Spanish, is to overcome the language barrier. When we want to communicate with natives sometimes we have to resort to "Spanglish" and in fact Spanglish is not only an isolated phenomenon anymore; it has become a linguistic reality. Spanglish is a PhD in some American Colleges, which has its own grammar, and there are even books published completely in Spanglish, for instance, the first part of El Quijote has already been translated into Spanglish. However, Spanglish may bring misunderstandings when the two languages are not balanced.
It's true that communication is not always verbal, sometimes it overpasses words; however, most of the time words are often needed when we want to communicate effectively on the daily basis and when we mix languages we don't know which words are going to be the right ones for the listener to understand. When dealing with a situation in which we have to face a language we don't fully understand, the desire of speaking that language escalates and the feeling of making it possible appears. However, the most important thing we need to do first to be successful in learning a foreign language is to ask to ourselves two questions:
Why to learn?
and
How to learn it?
To answer the first question is crucial since it determines our personal goal, but no less important, the second question specifically gives us the key about how our personal goal can be achieved. Thereby, the learning tactic we may use to learn a new language requests to be followed according to our personal needs and aspirations since the reason why we want to learn a language establishes which aspects of this language we need to master. For instance, if the purpose of learning a language is to socialise with natives your learning process should differ from the ones who want to achieve formal qualifications.
At the moment, if you really want to learn Spanish the only homework you need to do is to answer the two questions above. Once this is done, you will be closer to your personal goal.

By Silvia Vega

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