9 Hardest Parts About Learning Spanish For StudentsBrooks
The world is full of rich experiences and adventures. It is also full of differences, and one of the most significant differences people will encounter when traveling is a difference in language. Language is the way in which humans communicate effectively to transmit information like needs, desires, and emotions, and it’s the best way to socialize.
Having a student engage with others and learn from other cultures will open the door to new experiences and a unique understanding of the world. However, these worldly experiences have an initial cost—it is essential to first go through some challenges to achieve growth and development as a learner.
The hardest parts about learning Spanish for students will vary depending on age, experience, and involvement with the language. Effective education techniques, development plans, patience, and certified teachers are essential for students looking to become successful Spanish speakers. However, even with these tools, students will face challenges like those listed here.
Encountering a New Culture
To fully learn and understand a language, it is essential to understand the language’s origin, where people speak that language now, and how life is in the area. Learning only from one side of the equation will make it more difficult to develop a connection with the language and learn properly.
It is important to immerse students in the culture of the language they are learning so that they can fully commit to learning. While visiting areas where native speakers can work with students to improve their skills is ideal, there are always ways to bring a culture to the classroom.
Learning as an Older Student
The early years of a human are critical for brain development; having the right experiences at the right time will make a positive difference. Learning a language from a young age, between two and eight years old, gives students the advantage of making quicker connections. After all, they have the help of a brain that tends to absorb and retain more information.
Learning a language as an older student could be more challenging, especially when the student didn’t have a relationship with the language growing up. An older student will have to retrain the brain to think differently, and brain neuroplasticity decreases with time. Meanwhile, starting at a young age will give a student the necessary tools and abilities to succeed.
Having Access to Different Learning Environments
Students who attend bilingual schools or institutions where learning a new language is one of the main focuses will achieve better development because they receive more exposure to the language. There are multiple ways in which someone can learn a language, from listening tests to vocabulary flashcards, but nothing compares to having peers to practice with.
Starting at an early age is essential for development, and proper language implementation from a K-8 Spanish curriculum will deliver successful results. Learning Spanish can be more difficult for young scholars who only interact with the language for an hour or less each day due to the school’s class structure.
Mastering Tongue Movements
English speakers grow up using specific tongue movements to produce the sounds in English words. For native English speakers working to learn Spanish, the differing tongue movements that this language requires can be a roadblock. One of the challenges students encounter while learning Spanish is that their tongues don’t reproduce the sounds the students are trying to form.
This is a real situation that could discourage some students from learning a new language because the words don’t sound like they are supposed to. Training the tongue with proper exercises while learning will make an enormous difference for students struggling in this regard.
Understanding Gender Words
English does not use the same gendered word system that many other languages do, Spanish included. Spanish has gender for virtually everything, and this aspect of the language influences verb endings and several other factors, making it more complicated for learners.
Unfortunately, there is no instant solution for helping learners understand which genders correlate with which words. The best way to learn is through experience and practice. There are considerable differences between languages, especially English and Spanish, but learning these differences will simplify learning other languages in the future, such as German or French.
Learning a Language’s Slang Words
People across the globe use slang to make up words for specific actions, things, or activities that only locals will learn and understand. Learning a language’s formal form will give someone a strong base, but it will not be the same as learning the native language with slang and regionalisms.
Exposing students to different settings in which they may hear Spanish is an essential part of expanding their minds, understanding, and vocabulary. Some Spanish slang words come from words in English, especially in countries like Mexico!
Incorporating Verb Tenses
Students will need to learn the basics of verb tenses if they want to describe an action in the right time and place. Verb tenses are hard in any language because it is a word variation that depends on the context of the sentence.
A fun way to learn and practice verbs is by writing down every tense on paper, making copies, and pasting them around the classroom or at home for reference. Verbs don’t change, and as long as students learn when to use them appropriately, they will be on the right track for future development.
Truly Understanding a Culture
As mentioned before, learning about a culture is a big step in the learning process, and sometimes traditions may seem weird or irrelevant. Respect is one of the main values students must learn because some things may seem completely different, but that does not mean that the other culture is strange.
Understanding a culture means having an open mind, which will make it simpler for the nuances of a language to click. There are different types of Spanish, which could make it more challenging to understand; learning Spanish from Spain will be very different from learning Spanish from Mexico or Argentina. However, they all derive from the same root language, and understanding this aspect will help learners succeed.
Only speaking Spanish in a classroom will quickly lead students to forget what they learned. Students must find a reliable source to practice with, whether that is a parent, friend, or tutor.
Constant practice, regardless of student age, will help language learners master a language and advance in their careers. After all, language creates connections and opportunities. Practice is also the best way to let go of nerves and insecurities.