Wow, 2 weeks of March down already!
I am currently in my 3rd Spanish language/gramar class, but am struggling with my conversational Spanish now. My brain is so packed full of information now that I fel like I am hitting a Wall. It is disappointing and discouraging since I have been living here for three months, but since I am not as submerged in Spanish as I expected I am not progressing as quickly. Also, its important to remember that learning another language is no easy feat. So it should be expected to go through a period where you feel stuck or are just not speaking as much. At least that is what I tell myself to get by right now! The language clases here are very intensive and we cover a semester’s worth of material in 4 weeks, so I am just focusing on enjoying my time and not studying 24/7 since I will have time to continue to study what I am currently learning once I return home
My advice to students learning a new language, especially in another country:
1. Give yourself time. Immersion helps A TON, but if you’re like me and am not being as immersed as you expected, then don’t expect the exact same results. If you are speaking a lot of your native language still it will be harder to switch to Spanish-mode (or any other language that you learn.)
2. TRY to immerse yourself! When I first arrived, there was ONLY Spanish for the first couple of days and I was worried that it would just be so exhausting to keep up. I almost wonder though if it has been more exhausting for me to keep switching back and fourth between English and Spanish. Once I have been using my Spanish more it comes easier and I start thinking in that language, so try to get to the point where you can start using the other language for everything!
3.Practice your accent. Thankfully a native accent comes pretty naturally with my Spanish unless I am really tired and start pronouncing words as if they were in English, but I know most people are not so lucky. It pains me to hear other students speaking with more advanced gramar than I know, but with such an American accent that sometimes I dont even know what theyre saying. If youve come this far to speak ‘Spanish, make the effort to REALLY speak it, and not just say Spanish words in English.
4. Enjoy and be proud of yourself! You are a very capable person and are learning something that gets harder to learn once you are older!