Teaching Yourself Spanish Issues: 5 troubles just before the start
You want to learn Spanish as fast and easy as possible, and you have decided to do
that in the most effective way – by teaching
yourself Spanish .
You already know that studying a language by yourself is a mission possible, so you
are well aware what to encounter on your way.
Yet, you might however still feel somewhat confused. The good news is that some
features would come with time, so there’s no need to worry about. There are five issues however you’ve got to
consider before taking up with Spanish on your own, otherwise your self-study is not going to bring you all the
1) Problem: You don’t know what you need Spanish for
If you don’t know where you’re going, you will probably end up somewhere else.
Software developers have one basic principle – when trying to search the solution of a problem, first assume that
you have already found the solution.
This means to start from the end – to confess what you expect to see eventually, what your end goal is, how things
look like in your mind when everything will have been completed.
For example: if you are a sports fan, you want in 3 months to be able to talk in
Spanish all the sports you’re interested in – let’s say they’re basketball, soccer and tennis.
You want to understand everything you hear on your favorite sports TV channel and
you want to have a chat with some native Spanish speaking people – talking not only about sports but about common
things as well.
Result: You’ll have problems to choose a Spanish learning program, so you are
likely to choose a wrong program. You’ll have problems to make a plan and to set yourself targets, so you might set
Solution: List all the reasons which make Spanish attractive to you. Then think
that to make your wish(es) come true, you need to study every day in the first couple of weeks/months, and after
your beginner’s course is over – you should study all your life. You know, in life there’s no such things as free
lunch. Review again all the reasons, be fair with yourself. Is it possible that some reason(s) be
2) Problem: you have not assessed your current Spanish level properly
Result: You could choose the wrong program for you or set yourself unrealistic
targets – for example to be fluent in a month, thinking you are intermediate, which is actually not true because
your level is close to beginner’s one.
Solution: Be fair with yourself. Don’t mix wishes with abilities. Try to estimate
which skills you have and which skills you lack.
3) Problem: you don’t know whether you can find time to study Spanish
Result: If you are not able to find time to study regularly, it’s difficult to
both keep what you’ve learnt so far and expand your knowledge and skills. This means rather small or no progress
for you at all.
Solution: The most important is to study every day or at least 5 days a week. If
you cannot afford one hour a day, you could study half an hour. Or you could study 20 minutes but you really should
not miss a day off learning. Try to find the balance between what you should do to make progress and what you
should not do to get bored. Such a balance is very important. Don’t be too pushy with yourself.
4) Problem: you hesitate between two Spanish learning programs
Result: You don’t know which one of the two programs to choose, and hoping to get
the best of both in a shorter period, you intend to start two parallel studies. However thus you’d split your
energy, attention and time.
Solution: If you consider them really equally valuable, choose one of them to
begin, when you’re through with it, take the other one. This is the perfect solution – you get better by not
repeating the same book and exercises.
5) Problem: People are telling you that it’s not possible to learn Spanish on
Result: You feel confused and hesitating. You wonder all the time whether studying
Spanish by yourself is worth at all.
In my life I’ve heard stuff like this hundreds of times, if not
My parents, my friends, my relatives, my colleagues – everyone – would tell me
it’s not worth studying languages alone, that it’s not possible and normal to study language by myself, that the
normal way is to go to a language class – as though such a language class would be the placebo, the ultimate
painkiller, and that after completing such a class everything would be bed of roses.
I don’t see how a language class is going to help you if you are lazy and passive
person by nature, waiting always someone else to do your job for you. While being proactive the most natural what
comes to mind is inevitably “When there’s a will, there’s a way”.
Solution: Don’t listen to such statements at all. Just remember that your
motivation is that unique mix of wish, willingness, plans for the future, determination, ambition and passion that
make you feel wonderful.
Don’t let your motivation be killed by superficial advices or worn-out phrases
told by people who don’t have your willingness or don’t need Spanish like you do. If I had listened to all the
people I mentioned above, I would definitely not be able to get fluent in all these languages and I would not be
writing this now…obviously because I would have nothing to tell you.