How to Succeed in Spanish
Learning a second language here at Bainbridge High School is probably very different from the way you learned English. Here are some ideas for studying that will help you learn to understand, speak, read, and write in Spanish more easily.
- Begin to study the vocabulary, verb forms, and concepts as soon as they are introduced in class. You will enjoy more and get more involved when you understand what is going on, and that takes effort on your part. If you do not understand the concept at the end of the second day, seek help from me ASAP! Waiting until before the quiz/test to study and/or to get help is too late!
- Study every day for at least 15-20 minutes. Learning a language is like sports or music practice. If you study a little every day you will improve much more than if you studied straight through for hours. Studies show that you are able to learn and memorize at least 7 new vocabulary words every day.
- When you study, study actively. If you just sit and look at the book, you are not studying.
- Read explanations carefully, then check yourself to see if you understand them.
- Say vocabulary words out loud for practice. The pronunciation is important.
- Write the vocabulary words on a sheet of paper and then quiz yourself. Try to give definitions, examples, synonyms, and antonyms in Spanish for the vocabulary words.
- Act the verbs out. Associating actions with them will help you remember them better.
- Write the infinitive of a verb on a sheet of paper and then write out the conjugations and say them.
- Study with someone else. If you can explain it to her/him, you understand it.
- Pay attention in class. In your day-to-day life you might not have many chances to hear Spanish being spoken. When another person is answering a question in class, answer it yourself in your mind and then listen to her/his answer.
- Be sure to understand what you are to do and what you are practicing when you have time to work in pairs or groups. This is an excellent time to seek help.
- When you are reading and there are words you don’t know, don’t look up every word. Read one or two paragraphs to get the general idea, then look up one or two words if you still don’t understand.
- Look at your work before you turn in assignments, a quiz, or a test. Missing accent marks or misspelled words not only lower your grade but can change the meaning of a word completely. Also, when you get an assignment, a quiz, or a test back, look at it to see what kind of mistakes you made so you know what to concentrate on when you study.
- If you don’t understand something, seek help from your friends or from me right away. Don’t wait! Each unit we cover is built on the material from the units that come before it. The sooner your question is answered, the better you will do in class.
Remember to practice, practice, and practice!