If you’re reading this you have some memory of high school Spanish classes. More specifically you have memories sitting either in the front or back of the class making your best effort to memorize vocabulary words and grammar. Now, not all of us are the perfect ace student who can stuff down all of that input and then output it perfectly years later (yes I know a person who actually kept their highschool Spanish). Some of us just don’t make use of the language enough in that highschool period for it to stick. So as a result it gets locked somewhere in the back of our brains only making its appearance when you see or hear a familiar word. I think I managed to describe the scenario perfectly just now so let’s get into how you can revive your high school Spanish.
The first thing you should know is that you never really forget a language once you’ve studied it for long enough. So don’t think of it as starting from a blank slate. Rather think of the situation as dusting off a bookshelf (it’s just going to be a lot of dust to brush off).
Baby steps. Baby steps. Baby steps. Do you know when you just start working out after months of being sedentary? In some cases your muscle memory allows you to get back into the routine faster, in other cases, your body goes through an adjustment period. I recommend that you start with 10 Spanish phrases a day for the first week. Bonus points if you’re refreshing your Spanish for a special topic.
Okay, so if you’re like and you’ve studied Spanish for 12 years, you should know more than enough Spanish terms and phrases to get you through basic and intermediate content. Find some Spanish newspapers, articles, storybooks and just start absorbing content. Well, actually I wouldn’t call it “absorbing”, it’s more like you’re refreshing previous connections that were already made in past.
I recommend you give LingQ a try for a massive library of Spanish language reading passages. LingQ provides passages from newspapers, essays, tv shows scripts, and pretty much any for of written language available. Just sign up, select Spanish and start downloading passages to read and analyze.
This point is similar to reading but it’s listening. Listening in language learning is considered the most important part of any language learning journey. How can you progress in a language if you don’t know how it sounds? But the good news is that you hopefully already know how Spanish sounds having studied for so long. I recommend immersing yourself in Spanish however to get used to the general flow of the language.
The first things you want to give a try are:
Consider this end game to revive your high school Spanish. Find a native Spanish speaker to really make those final connections in your head. Native speakers are preferable here because they are more likely to use more natural expressions and phrases to help you build up your Spanish. However in the event that you can’t find a native speaker, practicing with other Spanish language learners is also a good idea. Once you find someone you can speak Spanish with on a consistent basis, you’ll have your Spanish back in no time.
Here are some language learning websites where you can get in contact with native Spanish speakers. Some of these websites are free while others are paid but overall you’ll be sure to have an incredible language learning experience.
While I cant give you an exact time frame on how long it’ll take to revive your Spanish, I can tell you that it will take significantly less time than you think. Taking into account that you already studied the language to some degree of proficiency, you’re really just doing one big extensive review of what you already learned and reinforcing it with passive and active practice.
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