What are some Spanish study strategies that have worked for your students?

Answering FAQs this week:

There are so so many ways to study Spanish. The trick is finding the one that works for you. (The joy is with Homeschool Spanish, you DO get to choose!) First, let's look at the main Spanish learning methods.

1) "Drill and Kill." - The traditional way. It's a method because it works. It's not fun, and oftentimes demotivating. But it works. In this method, the student writes out the target vocabulary words in a list. He reads them and studies them aloud throughout the week. More than twenty Spanish words in the list is too many.  How? Set aside a good 10 to 15 minutes three times a week, and then cover up the translations as you study. This method works for many students who naturally have good memories, or have been learning Spanish for more than a year.

2) Flashcards - This is the best Spanish Learning method, from my experience, hands down. With flashcards, you can get lots of repetition, the practice of writing out the words, and the ability to decrease the list to really focus in on the few that allude you. How? The trick is two fold: Making SMALL flashcards if the first trick. The brain is an interesting organ, and absorbs and makes judgements on perceptions about life which we aren't conscious. Putting a bit of information on a SMALL piece of paper helps the brain. It sends the message, "This is easy! This is simple!" The second part is studying only six or so Spanish Words at a time. Rotate those six words, putting the ones that you've mastered in your pocket, and the one you still need to review on the back of the deck. Your time is much better spent, with better long term memory than with any other method.  A bonus to this method is that you can lay out complete sentences with your cards. (You just need a few sentence starters)

3) Use it - When you learn a new word, USE it. Just like with English vocabulary: use it in a sentence.

Flip Flop Spanish Flashcards begin with "I like" and "I don't like," "I need," "I want..." You can add ANY noun or unconjugated verb to those phrases. 

For adjectives, we use the word plato as our base word: Necesito el plato _________. ("I need the ______ plate.") It makes us giggle, which is also a great method of absorption.

4) Labeling - For nouns, you can use post it notes, or the awesome pre-printed Linguanotes we carry in our shop. For tactile learners, drawing, labeling, moving flashcards around, and acting out the words is the key!

5) Games - As Flip Flop Spanish Families know, we LOVE games.
Spanish Bingo allows for coloring and cutting and then playing a game. Memory works as well by printing two sheets of word cards instead of one. Anything interactive like charades, mad libs, pictionary ("Paleta" is what we call it is See it and Say it (SiSi) ... all these games inspire accidental absorption. The relaxed atmosphere and intrinsic motivation triggers long term memory within relationship! Foster this method as much as possible.

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