It is widely known that the best way to become more fluent when speaking a language is by practicing. The trick is to relax and let go of your fear, though the most important thing, when attending a Spanish language exchange, will be to avoid certain attitudes that tend to repeat among students of Spanish. Which ones are they? We got them. Don’t let them out of your sight!
We have already talked about how to overcome your fear of speaking Spanish. No doubt, that is the main problem Spanish students face throughout their learning process. However, sometimes it is not only shyness and fear that hold us back from feeling more confident and jumping in any conversation where everyone’s is speaking Spanish. Also, certain attitudes and bad practices are to be avoided in a Spanish language exchange so that you can learn Spanish properly, which it is all about. And, you should also take into account that, to these sessions or language exchange groups, we should always go with a proactive and positive attitude to reach the ultimate goal: speaking Spanish without fear.
- No need to say that attitude is always important when learning. If you decide to go to a Spanish language exchange, either in class or in a pub with this kind of activities, you will see that learning, participating, collaborating and fitting in are essential. Always leave negative attitudes aside.
- Do not pretend to be the center of attention. On some occasions, we all want to make ourselves invisible or keep the spotlight to ourselves. If the latter applies to you, remember to leave some speaking time for the other students as they also want to speak Spanish. They also want to learn and get some feedback.
- Don’t get frustrated if you have a bad day in a Spanish language exchange and you feel that you are not progressing or learning anything. You must give yourself time. We are all different and everyone can have a bad day. Don’t worry!
- If you know what topic you are going to talk about then, why not preparing it at home so that you can feel more confident? This way you will make sure that you already have some resources to communicate properly. When listening to other students try to spot some of the mistakes they make and make sure you don’t repeat them when you speak Spanish.
- Be prepared. Bring a dictionary, a notebook and something to write with you just in case you happen to find a new word, expression… that you want to memorize. Spanish is not your modern tongue so, if you don’t write them down, you will forget them.
- Learning Spanish and becoming fluent when speaking is a matter of time. If you get stuck when speaking because you don’t know a word in particular, don’t worry. Just try to find synonyms.
- Don’t speak with the same person the whole time, perhaps trying with a different one sitting next to you might be a good idea. Try to be active in all conversations. Ask general questions in the group, start a new topic of conversation and try to count on everyone who has attended the same Spanish language exchange as you.
- Go through what you have learned at home. For sure you’ll find a topic that was interesting or new.
- Why don’t you keep contact with your fellow language exchange students? As you know the social part is very important when learning Spanish. Do activities and go to places with your language exchange friends where, apart from meeting new people, you could practice the language.
- Needless to say that if you find someone from the same country as you, stay away from each other! Experience tells us that you will probably end up talking the same language and not learning Spanish.