Three Ways to Dramatically Improve Your Spanish

Three Ways to Dramatically Improve Your Spanish

Many people look for Spanish lessons in NYC trying to find the place where they will go, and they will be “taught” Spanish. This is true to a certain point; you will need a Spanish teacher or tutor to answer your specific questions and give you hints and tricks to motivate your learning. But at the end of the day, your instructor is only a “facilitator” of your learning process. The real success depends on you, the student. 

Why? Because although your teacher will give you explanations and a bit of practice in the new system of words and meanings, the question is, will you be able to use those new words in the new language, with enough accuracy to make yourself understood? And also, will you be able to do it spontaneously and immediately?

Here are 3 ways that are essential if you want to speak Spanish effectively:

1. – Create the habit

Unless you are that type of person that is very disciplined, used to sit down and concentrate immediately, you will need to find the physical space and the time slot to listen, read, understand and of course to take your Spanish classes in NYC. Create the habit takes time, but you can do it one step a time. For example, at our Spanish language school SpanishNYC, we give our students great flexibility to schedule their lessons, and even to cancel and reschedule. However, it is very important that you get used to taking the lessons on the same day and at the same time. This will provide the frequency, the mind setting and the feeling that your class is coming and that there should be something you need to do to be prepared for it. The habit of coming to class will keep you in touch with the language while providing you with new material and practice opportunities on a regular basis.

2. – Repeat, repeat, repeat

I insist that my students tune into the right attitude of treasuring almost every new word they hear in Spanish; whether it is in class, on the subway, with friends and colleagues, etc. Spanish language in NYC is everywhere; every word you read or hear you want to start making it “yours”!. Sooner or later you will be using it in the future. When a student asks me for example, what is the word for “succeed” in Spanish, I answer, “teneréxito” followed immediately by, repita!,  teneréxito, muy bien!,  repitaotravez, “teneréxito” and I quickly say, note that in Spanish it is 2 words for “succeed”, the verb “tener” and the noun “éxito”, now , how do you say “succeed” enespañol?

You see, after this quick exchange of the 2 new words quick explanation and repetition the chances that the student will remember “teneréxito“ are much higher than if he just hear the words and goes “huh”, without doing anything else with it. Of course, the teacher is essential to help the student create and maintain the habit of repetition. This is an essential part of our method in our Spanish lessons in NYC.

3. – Start using Spanish immediately.

Most students and even Spanish language instructors think that the way to learn a language is to “collect” many, many words and expressions in your brain and then one day, like on a graduation day, they will speak and understand the language. That is probably true for other disciplines such as history, or biology, where everything happens in their own language and they have to let memories come back to them with information. It is something totally different when learning Spanish. Here, it is essential that you try to use the new words and phrases immediately, I know you don’t have a native speaker next to you at all times but there are other possibilities like talking to yourself! Ask questions to yourself! Use your imagination, create dialogues with your imaginary friend while you are in the shower, or walking or at your coffee break. One of my successful students decided that the “official language” with her dog is Spanish! And it works! Even the dog understands “siéntate” , instead of “sit”, or “buenchico” instead of “good boy” and of course my students forces herself to use new words, look up new ones, find out meanings and of course advance successfully.

So, my friend, make the language a habit, make it an attitude and enjoy the process of using it everywhere and every time you can.

Luis Cardozo

Luis Cardozo is a successful language instructor for executives and busy professionals, and has more than 25 years experience teaching Spanish. In 2002 he launched SpanishNYC, offering customized instruction and translation services. -- Luis has taught group and individual Spanish classes at companies such as NBC, Univision, Nickelodeon, the Miss Universe Organization, The New York Times, Bloomberg, Sprint, Citicorp, JPMorgan, Deloitte & Touche and Pfizer. -- Luis Cardozo has developed his own method for teaching Spanish; the Natural Conversational Approach (NCA). -- With my method, you hear and understand Spanish from the first moment, whatever your level is. I create a relaxed practicing environment, where learning takes place easily and pleasurably. Instruction is totally focused on your specific background, based on the idea that everyone has unique talents, interests, strengths and challenges. -- My techniques allow us to intuit your needs, keep you motivated and insure that your instruction is effective. -- You will absorb the language consciously and unconsciously, just as you did when you learned your native language. -- You, the student, dictate how I should adapt to your way of learning, day by day. -- My main goal is that you enjoy the whole process and have fun learning Spanish.