Spanish is the second most widely spoken language in the world. Fluency in a second language can make your resume stand out from the crowd. But what's the secret to finding a new one quickly and effectively?
For beginners, immersion in the language combined with good weekly attending a language course can be very effective, but these are not the only techniques. If you would like to study abroad for a semester or a full degree in a Spanish-speaking country such as Argentina, here are our top tips for learning Spanish.
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Learning Spanish words as a basis
Learning related words
A great way to build your self-confidence and vocabulary is to learn related words that sound the same, or similar, or look similar in different languages - for example, German Vocabulary vs. Spanish Vocabulary. You will be surprised how much you already know.
Learn the 100 most used words
Learn the 100 most commonly used words in Spanish until you can remember every single word with no effort. You can print out a list of words and try to recite them one by one, or test yourself with flashcards on the go. By learning the most commonly used words, you will find it easier to form basic sentences later.
Before you get started, it's worth noting that not all Spanish-speaking countries speak the same dialect. In Buenos Aires, for example, people speak “español rioplatense”, which sounds very rhythmic, a bit like Italian. Speakers of this dialect would say 'vos' instead of 'tu', and the 'z' sound common in other Spanish dialects is more of an 's' sound.
Live with native Spanish speakers
One mistake while studying abroad is not spending enough time with native speakers. It can be tempting to meet exclusively with other exchange students abroad, but there is a risk that during this time the most widely used language will be English.
If you can, living in a shared apartment or with a host family with Spanish-speaking members is a great way to forge close relationships and study the language from home as well.
So, if you're talking about the latest Star Wars movie in Spanish or trying local specialties at dinner, living with native speakers can be a great way to learn about the culture and become fluent faster.
Take a Spanish course abroad
Language immersion isn't enough - you also need to understand the complexities and nuances of Spanish grammar to be able to speak it fluently. The good news is that there are many institutes in Spanish-speaking countries that offer language tuition for all language skills.
Many universities in Spanish-speaking countries also offer help here. In Buenos Aires, the best Spanish-speaking city in the QS 2018 Ranking of Best Student Cities, most universities offer international students some sort of language learning program, either for free or for a small fee.
For example, the Universidad de San Andres offers a four-week intensive language course that includes four hours of Spanish lessons a day.
Similarly, the Universidad Torcuato di Tella offers a 15-week Spanish course for international students, which is also complemented by English-language lectures on the history and culture of Argentina.
Practice your Spanish outside of the classroom
Learning Spanish in bars is one of those things abroad. If you want to explore the nightlife while practicing your Spanish, conversation clubs are a great way to make friends and get out of your comfort zone.
A so-called language tandem on site can also be helpful. You are connected to a native Spanish speaker and alternately speak Spanish and English.
Adjust the language settings of your smartphone and computer
There is no point in living with a host family or with Spanish speakers when your smartphone and laptop are in German. Changing the language on social media sites and on your devices can be a useful tool for learning languages - a best practice and you will get used to using common words on a daily basis.
If you've changed your smartphone to Spanish, you should download Readlang, a great language learning app that allows you to convert words you are unfamiliar with while browsing the internet into flashcards for later practice.