Most of the students struggle to be able to speak Spanish like a native. And, let’s face it… It’s not easy!
Everyone wants to learn Spanish as fast as possible and without much commitment. Fortunately, ever since Spanish schools began to adopt the guidelines of the MCERL, which were gathered and systematized afterwards in the curricular Plan of the Cervantes Institute, communicative competition has become more important.
To speak Spanish like a native, work on your communication skills.
This focus, even though it began in the sixties, is now more important than ever having a bigger presence, especially when it comes down to learning a second language. In this sense, what the communicative competition focuses on in the learning process is the student. The student is the protagonist. The oral abilities applied here (comprehension, production and interaction) are the fundamental base that support every communicative approach.
Having said this, the main complications a student can face when learning Spanish are none other than cultural impositions. Let’s take a look at some examples:
- When a student comes from Germany that already gives us clues regarding their learning profile. Even if we generalize, it is inevitable to think that these students will tend to structure all of the concepts that go into it. German students usually don’t dare give in their language intuition, because their language is way different than Spanish.
- It is completely different from Italian students. As their native language is quite similar to Spanish, they tend to use their improvisational component much often, as it usually works just well.
- When it comes to Chinese students, they will give a lot of importance to the components of the language that the descriptors of the MCERL minimize in the initial level, all of those that are encompassed in the fluidity (phonetics, pronunciation, prosody, rhythm…). An American student will tend to mediation and shy away, etc.
Make sure you practice and make mistakes. That’s the best way to speak Spanish like a native.
All of these things come into play in the day to day of a Spanish School. The importance of the learning process of a language will always fall upon the figure of the student, keeping in mind where they come from and their cultural baggage. What we know about them will help us to customize their experience. We already know the results this will bring motivation, integration and satisfaction. The objective that is pursued by any Spanish School.
If you really want to speak Spanish like a native, once and for all, you need to boost your communication skills, together with your conversational abilities. And, in order to achieve this, we have prepared a list of 6 super tips that will have you speaking Spanish with fluency and accuracy in no time.
#1 Tip to speak Spanish like a native: make mistakes when you talk.
It’s easy to think that if you make a mistake you don’t learn how to speak correctly. However, this isn’t the truth! Besides, you can find yourself in humorous situations like what happened to me in my own class:
STUDENT: Esta mesa tiene dos cojones (This table has two bollocks)
(Teacher looking in misbelief).
TEACHER: La mesa no tiene cojones, la mesa tiene cajones
(the table doesn’t have bollocks, it has drawers).
(class burst into laughs)
Adam learned a new word that day thanks to his mistake.
#2 Tip to speak Spanish like a native: write down everything you can.
If you write down what you understand and you add something from your own mind, something you have learned, for example, you will improve it a lot. One example: you know how to say “Hoy es un día bonito” and “I’m tired”. That day you learn the word “aunque”, which lets you connect phrases by adding the restriction. So, why not try to use connected phrases with this word:
“Hoy es un día bonito, aunque estoy cansado y no quiero salir”
#3 Tip to speak Spanish like a native: every day, a ‘Word of the Day’.
Of course, learning Spanish has to be a game! One day in class we proposed that each student had to choose one favorite word. The more they used the word, the better. The funniest part is that it creates forced situations and it always ends up being funny. That’s the important thing, laughing is a brilliant catalyst for learning.
#4 Tip to speak Spanish like a native: get out of your comfort zone.
If you want to learn Spanish, you can’t be conservative. The attitude always has to be purposeful, active, and never passive. Talk, produce conversational situations and take the initiative. If something goes wrong, I recommend going back to tip #1.
You go, girl!
#5 Tip to speak Spanish like a native: your house is your play zone.
One thing must be clear, learning a new language doesn’t end outside of the classroom. A language is something that is alive, that palpitates in the street and that you are going to use in any situation. In this sense, the best thing is to naturalize the idea that the Spanish language will be in contact with you always. Transform your house and divide it into linguistic zones. Make the most insignificant act an excuse to continue practicing Spanish.
#6 Tip to speak Spanish like a native: leave the TV/radio on.
Chomsky, even though many of his theories have been surpassed, said something that in a certain way is true: we have a deep grammar that activates little by little. If you leave the radio on o the television will unlock in the long term a shocking easiness to auditory comprehension. You will relate concepts more quickly and in an even more natural way.
Make sure you really follow these tips and that you are constant with them and you will make real progress while learning Spanish in a fun and positive way. Remember to not worry about mistakes as they are a natural and essential part when studying Spanish. As the only saying goes: the only way to get better is by making mistakes.