There are lots of Spanish learning programs – they have a serious curriculum and a structured series of lessons, based on vocabulary, grammar, and basic conversation. The problem with most of them is that they are a bit boring. If you are a person who is thinking to yourself, “I like to have fun in Spanish learning,” then read on. Here are five great, fun ways to learn the language.
Mind you, none of these ways involves any structure. You will be immersing yourself in the language and gradually picking up speaking, and even reading skills.
Watch Spanish Soap Operas (and other shows)
Univision is an American TV station. It was established for Hispanic-Americans, and has some entertaining soap operas, not to mention sitcoms, sports, reality shows, and telenovelas for learning Spanish. As you watch over time, you will pick up vocabulary and sentence structure and gradually develop good speaking skills. You can also study Spanish weather reports – you’d be surprised how much vocabulary you will absorb.
Read in Spanish
Here’s a few options. You may not like newspapers, which can be a bit dry, but there is other reading materials that will certainly entertain you.
Read children’s books. They are fun, easy, and have plenty of illustrations that will help understand the text.
Read novels that you have already read in English. You know the plot and characters already. Now, you can read them in Spanish. You won’t get all of the words, of course, but you will begin to pick up more and more as you go along.
Read comic books – again, you can tell what is spoken by the pictures that accompany each block of text.
You can buy or access online learn Spanish magazine publications. They are especially suited for entertainment by featuring film stars and other famous people.
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This can be really fun. Be a “pretend” shopper and follow Latinos around in a store. Listen to their conversation. As they look at items and talk about them, you will begin to get the “gist” of what they are saying and pick up a lot of vocabulary that way.
Another great place is restaurants. Go to Hispanic neighborhoods and eat in restaurants there. Listen to conversations (you may have to watch too, so you can get an idea of what is being said by facial expressions and hand gestures).
Every pop hit in English has been translated into Spanish. You already know the words by heart in English. Now you can listen in Spanish. The translation is not word-for-word, but you already know that main point of the song. Gradually, you’ll pick up vocabulary and even phrasing structure by listening.
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Access “Gritty Spanish”
This is an amazing website that is all in Spanish, and includes not just music videos, but humorous episodes that make fun of Spanish learning. Be warned in advance, however. Some of these episodes are of adult content (e.g., two men in a bar trying to find a hooker – hilarious). From the actions of the characters in these episodes, you will be able to glean exactly what they are talking about.
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Use Social Media
You can search Facebook for people with definite Hispanic names. Send them messages asking if they speak Spanish fluently. If so, ask to “friend” them, and if they accept, explain your purpose and begin getting their posts. It is fun trying to figure out what they are saying, and you can always check with them to see if you are right.
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Learning a foreign language does not have to be serious, unless you have a serious purpose. If you are looking to develop a working vocabulary and a basic conversational proficiency, these five options will certainly get you there, if you commit to regular immersion into them.