How to Keep Your Spanish Language Skills Fresh After Returning From Study Abroad
You just had the summer of your life; you’ve learned Spanish and managed to express yourself perfectly and fluently in a foreign country. But, like all good things, summer has come to an end, and you’ve returned home. What can you do to keep your Spanish skills fresh?
1.Don’t worry: It’s more common than you think – that fear that if you spend a few days back in your country without speaking Spanish, you’ll suddenly forget all your grammar. Have more confidence in yourself! It’s not as easy as you imagine to forget your language learning. Sometimes, all you need to maintain your level is a few occasional review sessions – just be sure to be consistent.
2. Get online! While you’re at home, you have the perfect tool to help keep your Spanish fresh. Visit websites in Spanish: it doesn’t matter they’re super-brainy newspapers or celebrity tabloids. And don’t forget to check out Youtube channels in Spanish!
3. Read books in Spanish: Thanks to platforms that sell books in digital format, we can now have any eBook in any language at any moment…and for a ridiculously good price! Of course, make sure to choose books according to your level. You may be tempted to start reading the greats like Valle-Inclán, Carmen Laforet or Borges, but to begin, start simple.
4. Subscribe to podcasts in Spanish: While you may not have a shortwave radio at home (how outdated!), you surely have a Smartphone, a laptop and a Wi-Fi connection. Visit any podcast service that offers content in Spanish! Download whatever program interests you (sports, literature, mystery…) and sharpen those listening skills!
5. Find out about the Spanish cultural centers near you: In many cities around the world there are cultural centers or houses (casas) linked to Spanish culture. No doubt there’s a cultural center in the town or city where you live! Get out to Spanish language exhibitions, conferences and film screenings.
6. Watch movies and TV series in Spanish: We recognize that it might be difficult to find Spanish language films in your hometown. But you can always configure the language settings of your DVDs to watch them in Spanish! In addition, if it’s a movie you’ve already seen in your native language, you’ll understand the Spanish even better.
7. Talk to yourself! .. maybe it’s not the best idea if you’re out in public, but in the privacy of your own at home you can easily get in front of the mirror and practice occasionally. You can even record yourself with your phone and document your progress!
8. Express yourself and get creative: A great and very productive way to keep practicing Spanish is, for example, writing poetry, short stories … and even songs!
9. Stay in touch with your classmates: This has two benefits — you will not only maintain your friendships but you’ll also continue practicing your Spanish. Write to them or comment on their social networks (it’s also a great way to practice the colloquial expressions and slang you’ve learned).
10. Motivate yourself in Spanish: We know it sounds a little strange, but try to do your day-to-day thinking in Spanish. How would you say “Today is my day” or “I don’t hate Mondays” in Spanish? Or how would you translate that poster you saw on the train that said “What if you’re right and they’re wrong?”
Of course, these are just some suggestions. You can also create your own methods to polish your Spanish until you return to another one of our destinations! By the way, what are some tips you have?