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Plan for Success
Have a clearly defined roadmap for your progress.
If you don't know where you are trying to go, chances are you won't accidentally find yourself there. To be able to communicate effectively in Spanish, beyond the broken Spanish you can get by on during the city tour segment of your resort vacation, there is a ton to learn. Most language schools market "learn Spanish fast" or "the easy way," but that leaves students thinking they're doing something wrong when they inevitably encounter difficulties. We here know the truth, that the journey to effective communication is long and arduous and it takes time, effort, and patience. With the three-year roadmap laid out by De cabo a rabo, there's no question where we're going and, likewise, no question where we've been; the road will always be illuminated for you. Additionally, with your progress checklist, you'll be able to check in with yourself every unit to make sure you are staying on the road to success. We're all here for the love of Spanish, but you might also have your own personal motivations. Perhaps you are hoping to travel through Spain or Latin America and want to be able to do more than just tackle everyday situations. Maybe you want to work abroad in a Spanish-speaking country and "travel Spanish" won't cut it. Maybe you want to work with Spanish speakers in your own country. Maybe your partner is a native Spanish speaker and you want to be able to communicate and build strong relationships with your partner's family. Keep these personal goals in mind and ask yourself periodically if you are on your road to success.
Set aside the time and space to study, work, and practice.
Many language schools throw around the word "immersion" as though it were a teaching method, but the truth is that immersion isn't what the teacher does inside the classroom, but rather what the student does outside of it. So, regardless of how many class hours you take per week, if you want to make meaningful progress, you need to dedicate time to working with the language every day, in one way or another. If it's not a regular part of your routine, you'll find yourself spinning your wheels for years.
Be an active participant in your own learning.
If you've ever been on a rafting trip, you know how scary the prospect of falling out of the raft can be. Well, learning Spanish doesn't have to be so scary, but imagine that you've fallen in the water and people on the riverbank throw you a lifeline. They do their best to get the line as close to you as possible, but the rest is up to you; you have to be an active participant in your own rescue. Learning a language is like that. Your teacher will throw you a lifeline and try to get it as close to you as possible, but you have to swim to it, fight to make up any gap, and in this analogy, it means you have to ask questions when you don't understand; really contemplate and analyze the grammar, not just read it once; practice the vocabulary in as many different ways as you need to; bring outside examples to class that you are confused by; etc. You have to be an active participant in your own learning. Don't wait for Spanish to come to you; go after it!
A Little Language Inspiration
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