Teaching Yourself Spanish E-Book



TEACHING YOURSELF SPANISH – A Guide To Improve Your Spanish At Any Level

In this book, you will find resources, strategies and secrets that will help you advance your current level of Spanish. Although most of the information will be particularly useful for those who already have some Spanish proficiency, absolute beginners will also benefit greatly. No matter what your level, you will learn ways to take your Spanish up a notch, to get over a hump you may be experiencing, and to accelerate your learning in the most efficient manner.

Why teach yourself as opposed to taking a class?
There are obviously benefits to both approaches. Taking a class can be very beneficial especially for beginners with absolutely no Spanish experience. However, once the basic principles of pronunciation and grammar are in place, it is quite easy to teach yourself to fluency. Thanks to technology and the Internet, there are many Spanish learning resources available that allow the student to learn with interactive features such as audios, videos and games. Gone are the days of depending solely on a boring textbook to learn Spanish. The benefits of teaching yourself include:
• Saving money as it is much more affordable
• Learn whenever you want, based on your schedule
• Focus on developing your personal needs rather than being
slowed down by the needs of others in a class
• Learn at your own pace
All of this takes a degree of self-discipline, which is something the book addresses at length.

There are several philosophical points that will be addressed, but the two main uses of this book are:
1) To show how to simulate a true immersion experience, and

2) To help in developing a specific learning program to suit your needs, based on your background

Immersion – The typical Spanish immersion program involves going to a Latin American country, taking Spanish classes taught by a native speaker, avoiding communication in your native language, and staying in the home of a local family (usually optional but recommended). The classes typically meet Monday – Friday for 4-5 hours in the morning. Often they are really small, or one-on-one, like having your own personal Spanish tutor. The teachers are able to prepare lessons to suit your individual needs, and the classes are much more affordable than the cost of taking them in the United States. During the afternoons, evenings and weekends, students go on excursions to local areas of interest or volunteer at schools. Many programs include dance lessons and cooking classes that help to further immerse students in the regional culture. The longer one is immersed in the environment, the more the language is absorbed. It is probably the most ideal way to learn a language. However, due to time constraints, many are unable to take advantage of these opportunities. For those unable to travel, this book will show you ways to approximate an immersion experience using a variety of language-learning tools.

Developing Your Unique Study Plan – This book will also demonstrate how to create a plan of study that caters specifically to your needs and deficiencies in the language. For example, in my case, I knew I had a solid grasp of pronunciation and vocabulary, but I lacked the ability to construct natural-sounding sentences. Once I addressed that deficiency and developed that skill, I realized I needed to improve hearing the language, or aural skills. So I focused on that aspect. Now, as I am writing this, I can tell that my weakness would be conversation, or, putting into practice all that I have learned in day-to-day situations.

The trick is to be able to identify what we most need to focus our time on, and to be able to adjust as we go along. We also know that everyone has a specific learning inclination that works best for them, depending on individualized factors such as social upbringing, beliefs, age, brain chemistry, even genetics. Some do better with visualizations, others prefer a more methodical approach, while others are able to just dive into a language and soak up everything like a sponge. There’s no one way that works for everyone. Awareness of this will help you find the best combination of learning methods for you. You may not know right now what is best for you, but you will soon find out by exploring.

There are many Spanish learning programs and resources out there. Most all of them are useful. However, not a single one is complete. They all have strengths and weaknesses, pros and cons. We will be considering the various language skills (grammar, syntax, aural comprehension, pronunciation, writing, communication, reading, etc.) that are needed to master a language, and explore in depth which of the various learning programs are best for developing these particular language skills.

Fortunately, due to the popularity of Spanish, there are a variety of Spanish language programs on the market, making it possible to master the language without even leaving the house! But since there are so many options, this book will serve as a useful guide to help you determine which programs will be best for you. Ultimately this will also save you money and time.