There is a reason why most people learn more efficiently when they can see examples. Positive reinforcement. When you hear a correct Spanish phrase multiple times, the structure will gradually become embedded in your brain. How can we boost this process using our normal study techniques? Hearing or reading Spanish helps to embed it. So does writing it, and best of all is speaking it out loud to yourself. So instead of doing a bit of Spanish reading one day, then some writing in Spanish, and finally speaking Spanish with a friend, try to combine them all in one intense burst of positive reinforcement.
Here is an example,
- I start by listening to a story that interests me on the BBC Mundo news podcast.
- Then I read the same story on the BBC Mundo website.
- I write down and look up any unfamiliar vocabulary.
- I read the same story again on other news sites such as El Pais, to get a differently expressed version of the same facts.
- I speak some of the sentences out loud to myself.
- Listen again to the podcast. It should all be a lot clearer now, if you missed things the first time around.
- The next time I meet with a friend or an intercambio I will be able to talk confidently about this subject and reinforce all of the vocabulary and expressions associated with it. Because I am familiar with the details of the story I will be able to have a more freely flowing conversation.
To use positive reinforcement while you study Spanish, you can give yourself small rewards for completing tasks or reaching goals. For example, if you complete a set of Spanish vocabulary flashcards, you can allow yourself to take a break for five minutes or have a piece of candy. This will help you to stay motivated and focused on your goal of learning Spanish.
You can also use positive reinforcement with other people who are studying Spanish with you. For instance, if someone correctly answers a question in class, you can praise them for their achievement. By using positive reinforcement, you will create a more enjoyable and successful experience while you study Spanish.