Make a Spanish-learning weekly planner and maximize your language learning
Speaking to several language learning friends I’ve come to the conclusion that nowadays most of us are self-learners and are learning languages on our own through different means. Some of the various activities self-learners do to achieve their language learning goals are:
- Purchase self-learning language books
- Install a language learning app on their mobile
- Download podcasts
- Listen to music on the target language
- Exchange conversation with native speakers
- Follow Facebook pages with language resources
And many more…
But how can we make the most out of this experience? Some people end up abandoning because they don’t know how to organize their learning and make progress, instead of getting stuck in basic vocabulary and grammar.
These are some ideas for you to organize your week and maximize your Spanish learning in a methodical way. It’s recommended that you plan several study weeks in advance so that your can set a clear order of topics and you will later able to see your progress.
This is an example of someone devoting 4 hours a week for Spanish learning, you can later adapt it to your own schedule:
1) Grammar Day! Devote one hour a week to study Spanish grammar. Spanish grammar is complex and needs time to learn and get it right. Take at least 30 minutes to study a grammar topic, and another 30 minutes to practice it with some exercises. Here you can find some coursebooks we recommend as well as websites:
Complete Spanish Grammar (Book in digital and paperwork format with all explanations in English)
Basic Spanish (Grammar book in a contextualized format, including vocabulary)
SpanishDict (Website with free grammar explanations and a final quiz to test your comprehension)
2) Reading and listening comprehension: One of the great parts of learning a language is to be able to truly understand the meaning of what you read and listen and start to feel connected to the story or article, etc. Take one hour a week to read a text in Spanish (you can alternate between reading a text or listening to a podcast or audiobook), underline all unknown words (for listening practice you can get the transcripts), look them up in the dictionary, take notes, and answer questions to check your understanding. It’s great if you can get texts or listening activities that provide both comprehension questions and the answers so you can later check. Through reading and listening you can also learn vocabulary and record them in lists for further study. Here we share two ideas!:
Spanish reading and comprehension (book that provides plenty of texts in different styles for reading comprehension practice)
Veintemundos (Online Spanish magazine with both text and audio + follow-up activities to check understanding)
3) Develop your writing skills: One thing you can do to work on your writing skills is to write your opinion about the texts or audios you’ve been working on during the week. Also, you can set some writing tasks for yourself, and complete them. Some examples are:
1) Write a letter to a friend telling them about your last holidays and inviting him/her to come to visit you next summer.
2) Write a film review on the last movie you’ve seen, and whether you would recommend your readers to see it.
3) Write a formal email to request information on a holiday package.
Another great idea is to have a language buddy with whom you can exchange emails or whatsapp messages in Spanish, and ask him/her for their feedback.
Once you’ve become more proficient you could have your own Spanish blog!
A book we can recommend to help you get started is this one: Spanish Sentence Builder (A Book that helps you to write correct sentences in Spanish)
4) Boost your fluency: Once a week you can take a private tailored lesson with a native tutor. This hour of conversational practice will help you become more fluent; be corrected on the spot which will allow you to speak more accurately; learn first-hand views on current affairs in your tutor’s country; learn about your tutor’s lifestyle and traditions in his/her country of origin, and so on. Having a tailored class is a great way to learn what you’re interested in and what you really need. You can take the class as an opportunity to share what you’ve been learning on your own during the week and to get feedback on your self-learning.
You can download our Spanish-learning Weekly Planner from here.