• Develop Your Language Skills


    Building & Studying Vocabulary

    Recognizing words and piecing them together into phrases and sentences is essentially the key to learning another language. When studying for a test or just daily use, follow these tips to learn your vocabulary faster and with ease:

    1--Speak it. Say each of the words you're trying to learn out loud. Use different tones and intonation for each word. Say the words in a funny way, slowly, quickly, however you like to become more comfortable.

    2--Be creative. Make flash cards with the words. Use your words when texting a message to a friend, perhaps even a classmate. Write the word in rainbow colors. Categorize your words into 4-5 sections. Put reminders on the bathroom mirror at home or around the house. Quiz a buddy or sibling.

    3--Start with a little. Isolate the words that are easy and set those aside. Choose the more difficult ones and practice just a couple each day until they become familiar. Then add some more.


    Speaking Skill

    Speaking in any language allows you to express who you are, how you feel, what you desire, and what you'd like to know. Develop your speaking skill byfollowing this advice:


    1--Don't be afraid to make mistakes. Even when we were little ones using English oranother language we made mistakes. By being corrected we learned to use language better.

    2--Pay attention to the sound of the words. Watch your teacher speak the words. Notice how the mouth moves and mimic the motion. Watch yourself in the mirror at home to see if you are matching the mouth shape. Practice saying the letters of the alphabet aloud and enunciate. Pretend you're an actor trying to get a role in an upcoming movie.

    3--Choose favorite expressions. We all have preferred words and phrases that we use repeatedly - sometimes we use these too much. Select 2 or 3 favorite words or phrases in the language you're studying and use them throughout the day.

    4--Don't get stuck. If you don't know a word, substitute others that you could use instead even if they're not ideal. For example, you want to say someone is a cook, but you don't know the word "cocinero". Say instead that this person works in a kitchen at a restaurant.

    5--Use your body language. Gesturing often helps with communication and will assist you in getting past words that you can't seem to verbalize.

    6--Ask for repetition. Don't be afraid to say "No comprendo"or "Repite, por favor" when you need to hear something again. We do this everyday in our own language when we ask "What'd you say?".


    Reading Skill

    You must read in order to comprehend the written word. When you read you discover new information about the world you live in and about yourself. Here are some tips to help you become a better reader in any language:


    1--Start with the basics. Choose easy-to-read stories, advertisements, orother texts. Then build to more difficult readings as you feel comfortable.

    2--Get a variety of resources. Seek out things to read on the Internet, safeand familiar social media avenues, websites for Spanish-speaking companies and services, magazines, cartoons, packaging labels on food and other household goods, restaurant menus.

    3--Look for cognates. The romance languages contain words that have similar roots and thus they are spelled and spoken in similar ways. Search forthese and associate them with English to help you find their meaning. Spanish contains many cognates. Try to read these Spanish words for example: mapa,elefante, artista, carpintero. Based on the spelling of these words you can tell they correspond to: map, elephant, artist, carpenter.

    4--Take advantage of visual cues. Many writings contain photos or other visuals to assist in your comprehension of a text. Use these to help you understand.

    5--Scan for initial meaning. Your brain is set up to take in information and process it as quickly as possible. By scanning a document, your brain will naturally pick out words that it sees as meaningful and begin to make sense out of them. Do this first before attempting to read anything thoroughly to allow your mind a chance to put the reading into context.


Last Modified on February 5, 2019