Staying focused on learning Spanish
What tips/techniques do you recommend to stay focused on learning Spanish over the long haul?
I'm not exactly sure if I understand correctly, but here is my two cents: Think about why you are learning Spanish. I hope you are planning to use it, rather than simply have it on a resume. If that is the case, put yourself in situations where you can use it now. You may have difficulty, or have to describe your way around a word, but you will be reminded each time you are in that situation how far you have come, and how far you still have to go. For example. If you are learning so you can go live in another country, than try and find a pen pal/internet chat group with people from that country, research the places you want to go and get excited about your goal. If you are hoping to communicate with the hispanic population in your area, then start now. They won't mind if your grammar is a bit choppy. If you are hoping to teach it one day, then volunteer in a bilingual classroom. I know these take time, but so does learning Spanish, and there is no better way once you have a little grammar/vocab under your belt to really begin speaking it. As far as the nitty gritty, I used a ton of flashcards on ringed 3 by 5 cards to help me learn vocabulary. I made up sentences for each vocab word while walking between classes so I knew how to use the words rather than simply know what they meant. I DID take breaks occasionally so I didn't get burnt out, and I made friends with the students at my University who were from Spanish speaking countries and they were a huge encouragement helping me learn with out criticism.
You won´t have to worry about staying focused because you will soon be addicted to SpanishDict and will have a harder time staying away than staying focused.
Also use music, TV, and all media. Find stars and other people you admire from Spanish speaking countries and follow their careers. Use discipline. Don't forget to take encouragement from even the small advances you make. Another reason this website is so wonderful is that you get encouragement from others, badges, etc. and you make new friends.
I keep a pile of flashcards (self-made) by my bedside so that I can glance at them before sleeping. I usually do about 10-15 words per weeks and my vocabulary is greatly improved.
Also, I rent the latest hot movies and chose the Spanish soundtrack. That way I'm getting to see the new releases but learning Spanish at the same time. One fun thing I rented at Blockbuster.com was the old reruns of Bewitched...it's very funny in Spanish!
Buena suerte, amigo.
A support group!
SpanishDict works swimmingly!
Spanish-speaking friends, online resources, university classes, community programs or outreaches...things or people that motivate you every day to learn the language better!
That's what I'm looking for and gracias!