There are all kinds of stategies for learning, but the one most important factor is..
You can have books, classes, tapes, CDs- You can watch movies in Spanish, memorize vocabulary, take tests, chat with native speakers- You can spend a lot of money on learning.
But if you’re not motivated, you either won’t do it, or your heart won’t be in it.
Either way, you don’t learn.
Your motivation is the single most important thing you need to learn a foreign language.
From my college psych classes, we have two kinds of motivation. Internal and external. External, and less successful motivation is when the boss tells us to do something, we have to do something for money, we have to fulfill some requirement. This motivation is not optimal.
Internal motivation is when you have a personal desire to do something. It has nothing to do with peer pressure, others’ nagging, bosses orders or a two-year foreign language requirement. It’s simply something you want to do.
You might be studying Spanish because your school requires it. The good news is that you can change that. If you so desire, you can replace the external, imposed motivation with your own internally-driven motivation. The only thing you have to change is your attitude. Instead of seeing language class as something you have to do, see it as an opportunity to grow, learn something new, see it as a challenge. That’s what I did and I ended up changing my major to FL Spanish/Linguistics.
Give it a try and you’ll see that it makes more difference than investing in that 10-CD “conversational” course or slogging through workbook after workbook, filling in probable answers.
After you change your attitude, and try to see what you can get out of learning Spanish, you still may choose to listen to the CDs or do the workbook activities. But due to your new attitude, you will actually learn something this time.
That’s the beauty of a new attitude.