I don’t like sweeping declarations (How I Met Your Mother reference, anyone?). Or commitments in general. I know that people say you should let someone know your goals to keep yourself accountable, but I’ve always found that as soon as the words come out of my mouth, my motivation just dies. Maybe it’s because I suddenly feel like I have to do something, but I’ve learned to keep my mouth shut and work on things on my own. But this is a blog, and I want to be able to share things here. So since I’ll be sharing things anyways, I might as well make a sweeping declaration: I will learn Spanish! I’ll try not to feel too pressured.
This isn’t a new idea at all; I’ve been wanting to learn the language for a while now. I took French in school and loved it, so I thought learning Spanish in uni would be fun. I was wrong. I couldn’t handle the intro class and dropped it immediately. I think I’m just too used to using textbooks, seeing the words, memorizing them, and learning the correct grammar structures. The first few classes consisted of learning the alphabet and numbers by repeating after the professor and I quickly learned that that style wasn’t my thing. I tried Duolingo for a bit after uni, but after ignoring the app’s constant reminders for months, I finally made the decision to use the textbook I still had from that intro course and teach myself.
It’s only been two days, but so far so good. The book, Exploraciones, comes with an online eBook that lasts a while (a year or two), activities, audio clips, self-tests, videos, audio flashcards, practice quizzes, tutorials, you name it. (You’ll need a new book for access to all that though. Luckily, I was forced to buy one for that intro class I dropped.) I’ll be taking notes (man, it’s been a while) and using Quizlet to make flashcards. If you’re interested and have a Quizlet account (free), I’d be happy to share!
One thing I am trying to figure out is the right pace. Too much information in one go and I won’t retain much of it, too little and I’ll get bored. My goal for November 2017 is one chapter; hopefully, I’ll get through it without using this momentum.
After about halfway through the book, I plan on watching Spanish-Language TV shows. Will I understand any of it? Probably not. But I can’t help but remember all those girls who learned Korean by watching K-dramas (and could speak it pretty well, I might add), and the fact that I magically asked for directions in Japan after years of watching anime and J-dramas (although admittedly, I couldn’t understand the reply). I’m optimistically hoping that watching some of the Spanish-Language TV shows on Netflix will be a fun way of picking up random words and phrases. We shall see.