You want to learn Spanish. You’re inspired to study the language. You’re gung-ho about putting in the time and effort necessary to learn. You’re highly motivated.
How can you stay that way long enough to actually learn the language?
You’re motivated, committed and ready. Here’s some tips for staying that way.
Commit to 30 days. If can pass the thirty day mark in your language studies, you’ll form a habit. That habit of studying language will help push you to continue doing it.
Study every day. I’m convinced you need to take time every day to study and review what you’re learning. This can be 30 minutes, an hour, or more, but you need to have some input in your target language every day.
Reward yourself. I’ve said often that motivation is an important factor in language learning. Rewarding yourself after you reach certain goals is a great way to foment motivation.
Recognize that it’s painful. Learning can be painful. It’s not always easy. It takes time. You’ll have to sacrifice. Realize this and accept it. You’ll know that you’re paying a price, but the reward is great. As much as the natural language proponents want, you’ll never learn as easily and as naturally as an infant because you’re not an infant.
Remember it gets easier. Just as learning is a painful, costly experience, it also gets easier. As you learn the basic building blocks of Spanish, the rest will become easier and easier.
Get a partner. Find someone who’ll commit to learning Spanish with you. Compare your successes and failures. Encourage each other.
Keep it simple. At least at the beginning of your studies, don’t worry if you run into a complex grammatical construction that you can’t make heads nor tails of. Forget about it and go on. This will accomplish two things. You won’t bog yourself down and lose motivation trying to understand something that with you current knowledge isn’t feasible, and second, you will have more time to continue with the studies that are at your level. So forget about the things you can’t understand at the moment. In due time all things will be revealed to you.
Diversify. You need to have a varied approach to learning language. You need to listen, read and speak some Spanish. You need a bit of grammar, as long as explicitly learning grammar doesn’t scare you off. If the idea of grammar causes such anxiety in you that you can’t learn, they don’t even study grammar. Take the slower, more natural approach of subconsciously deducing grammar from the language you’re learning. The key here is to take a varied approach to learning.
Keep your goal in mind. While learning can be a slow process, keep in mind that you don’t have to know all of a language to start using it. Very soon after starting your studies, you can start using your new language in meaningful ways. Your goal of speaking Spanish is closer than you think.