Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Learning Languages

We already speak two languages at home, and recently have begun adding a third. We chose Spanish, because it is a language I already speak passably well, because it is one of the most widespread languages in the world, and because it has always seemed to me to be one of the easier languages to learn.

I recently read Fluent Forever, an excellent book about learning languages, which recommends learning pronunciation first, getting in the habit of daily practice, even in small amounts, using flashcards, specifically the Anki app (which repeats words at intervals shown to be the most effective).

I have used iTalki to learn Finnish, but I found an even more effective route for learning Spanish, the Homeschool Spanish Academy. It has been great! Every morning we speak to a native Spanish speaker from Guatemala for a half an hour. The prices are affordable enough to schedule a daily lesson--$9 a class, and $6.50 if you buy classes in bulk. We have had a different Spanish teacher each day, but they stick to a consistent course, and so it is not an issue.

There is homework to review. but there is nothing like a private 1:1 lesson to get you speaking the language quickly and easily.

Learning a language is most easily done in where it is spoken, so we hope to travel and enroll in a language school in Spain or somewhere in South or Central America. But until then this is a great way to learn.

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