If you are lacking inspiration to find the ideal resolution for 2020, you have come to the right place: learning a new language must become the major objective of this new year.
If you feel fierce about learning Spanish, doing an immersion program is the best choice. It can not be argued that in the beginning of the new decade, trips have become more affordable and it is quite easy to find a Spanish school in Barcelona or anywhere in the world.
This way you can mix pleasant holidays with intensive language learning. But first, let’s check all the reasons and advantages of being multilingual. Sounds fun?
Learning a Spanish second language: a key asset for americans
Spanish is one of the most widely used languages, with more than 470 million native people, it ranks as the second most spoken language behind Mandarin Chinese. Learning Spanish gives access not only to Latin American countries but also to the United States.
In fact, many companies use Spanish to negotiate. According to the British Council, 34% of British companies said that Spanish is “useful for their structure”. This is due in part to the fact that it is the language used in high-growth markets and by emerging powers in Central and South America.
From the American point of view, Spanish is also essential since it is the mother language of more than 41 million and there are around 60 million hispanic people living in the United States. Hispanics are the main minority in the country (17% of the population), according to the Pew Research Center.
This means that even living in the United States, Spanish will be useful in everyday life.
Why learn a foreign language?
Mastering Spanish opens the way to learning many other Latin languages such as Portuguese, Italian and French. Speaking a connected language will make it easier for you to share your ideas and have more impact by presenting them.
It will also open up new travel and immersion opportunities in Central, South America or Europe. Spanish is also the third language used on the internet.
So, why learn a foreign language? Mainly to acquire superpowers: you will be more confident, develop your memory considerably, enjoy your trips much more and, last but not least, increase your employability and even earn more money.
It almost sounds like the New Year’s resolutions jackpot, doesn’t it? So that everything goes as smoothly as possible, here are some tips to follow once you have fiercely selected the language of your choice.
1. Be realistic
I wouldn’t play the spoilsports, but you probably won’t be fluent in Spanish in a week or even a month; however, you can learn to count to 100 in a week or memorize the conjugation of 10 irregular verbs in 10 days. The more achievable your goals, the more you will be able to reach them – which will make the experience much more satisfying.
2. Be specific
Declaring that you want to learn Spanish is a great resolution, but setting yourself a specific goal will be more effective. You might like to be able to watch a Spanish movie without the subtitles by the end of the year, read a book without ever consulting the dictionary or go to Barcelona and order some “tapas” like an authentic Spanish?
Good (and rewarding) resolutions lead to tangible results, so make sure your language learning program has a specific target and can be broken down into small steps.
3. Choose your method
There are a multitude of language learning tools on the market: audio files, podcasts, applications, study trips abroad, tandem learning and, of course, online or traditional courses. Make sure you choose the method that works best for you: if you don’t like to learn solo, podcasts may not be the best solution – instead, find a study partner or join a course.
Finding the ideal method may take some time, but it is an important part of your learning experience, necessary to reach your goal.
4. Anticipate any pitfalls along the way
For a few days, or even several weeks, nothing will go the way you want, you may be overwhelmed at school or at work and Spanish grammar will become the least of your worries, even if you desperately want to go in Spain and admire the architecture while tasting churros.
If you have neither the time nor the energy to worry about adjectives and adverbs for a week or two, this is absolutely fine.
Don’t give up on your project – get out of your shell and get back to work where you left off.