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As we mentioned before, learning a language means learning from the culture that has created it. The more you get involved in cultural situations, the better you will understand and feel the need for each new word. When learning Spanish you will have tons of possibilities, from music to cooking, dancing among others.

Tasting local food, asking about its recipe, asking information about the area and writing down directions, offering help at the hostel or host-family where you are staying will give you a wide cultural vision and the opportunity to learn new words, phrases, etc.


Students learning how to prepare "empanadas"


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Develop your listening skills naturally and bridge the phonetics barriers. Whether you are in an immersion Spanish program or not, you have many possibilities to expose yourself to Spanish sounds, let´s see how:


Listen to people talking on simple situations. Try to get the global ideas from any discussion you hear. The easier, the better. While shopping, on the bus, in church... any cultural situation that you can understand will be a great source of words and useful phrases.

listening  listeni

At home:

Get some good music tracks, try to find those where Spanish is clear, so you can repeat the lyrics. Since memorizing by music is much easier, this will remain in your memory for a long time. Find some tv interesting programs and podcast of your interest. You do not need to understand every word; thus you get familiar with sounds and learn phonetics in a natural way.

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Notas cuaderno

Pay attention when a native Spanish speaker is speaking and try to get notes... these notes will be much useful and real than most Spanish phrasebooks.

You can create your personalized Spanish phrase book and vocabulary list. It is important that you make sure you understand in which context you can use them.

When starting off, try to register those words and expressions that deal with your current lifestyle. If you are traveling, phrases like the following can be very useful:

• "Soy de... (your country´s name)"

• "He estado en ... (places you have visited)"

• "Soy... (your profession)"

• "Quiero visitar... (places you want to visit)"

• "Me quedo en... (the lodge where you are staying)"

Little by little you will naturally encounter other words or phrases that you will want to add to this list. 

Keep one special section for words more relevant to you and mark it with a sticker so you can find it quickly in case of emergency!

Gabrielle, from the US


Rachel, from Canada

Penny y Roberto de UK

Jesse and Leslie, from Seattle

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