The use of different strategies to learn Spanish faster and easier (I)

The use of different strategies to learn Spanish faster and easier (I)
Learning Spanish will offer you lot of benefits. As a professional, you will get great success in business, you will earn more money than speaking just one language, when needed, professionals like engineers, doctors, lawyers, journalists and other can communicate directly with Spanish-speaking co-workers, patients, clients and interviewed people. You will be able to read the news, to listen and enjoy music in Spanish, watch and understand videos and films, interact with Spanish speakers, and much more. You will learn this language faster and easier if you put into practice some learning strategies.
Many researchers have found the use of different learning strategies to be highly useful when learning a new language. Oxford’s taxonomy (1990) suggests the use of memory, cognitive, compensation, metacognitive, affective and social strategies.
In this paper you will learn about some memory strategies and how to use them. Oxford defines memory strategies like “mental processes for storing new information in the memory and for retrieving them when needed.” Different techniques are used to remember stored information. When learning Spanish it is useful to use the strategies of grouping, associating, placing new words in context, using keywords, and using mechanical techniques to memorize.
How to use the memory strategies
Memory strategies “involve the mental processes for storing new information in the memory and for retrieving them when needed.” (Oxford, 1990). Oxfords considers four sets of memory strategies. They are creating mental linkages, applying images and sounds, reviewing well and employing action. This article we will be about the strategy creating mental linkages. Retrieving information you have gotten will be easier when using this strategy. You can create mental linkages when grouping, associating and placing new words in context. (Oxford, 1990)
  • Grouping or chunking: This strategy deals with breaking up long statements into units or chunk of words. Use graphic organizers to place the vocabulary into categories. See the following examples of grouping classifying similar items.
If you are reading a text on animals, get the vocabulary on animals and place them according to their similarities.
Animales de la granja (Farm animals) Animales salvajes (Wild animals)
Vaca (Cow) León (Lion)
Perro (Dog) Jirafa (Giraffe)
Gallina (Hen) Elefante (Elephant)

Animales que pueden volar Animales que pueden nadar Animales que pueden
(Animals that can fly) (Animals that can swim) caminar (Animals
that can walk)

Mariposa (Butterfly) Ballena (Wale) Perro (Dog)
Ave (Bird) Pez (Fish) Caballo (Horse)

When reading or listening to some material, you can also group following grammar categories:
Sustantivo (Noun) Verbo (Verb) Adverbio (Adverb) Adjetivo (Adjective)
Mesa (Table) Bailar (to dance) Felizmente (Happily) Bonito (Beautiful)
Silla (Chair) Cantar (to sing) Duro (Hard) Happy (Feliz)

  • Associating: This strategy consists in linking new information to that already known. You can associate new words of the new language with one that looks and sounds similar in your native language. Also, you can associate new words in Spanish with words that look and sound similar in Spanish and that you already know. Similarly, you can associate the new word in Spanish with one that you already know in Spanish and has the same meaning or synonym, in this language.
Some examples of words that look similar in Spanish and English.
Spanish English
Hospital Hospital
Hotel Hotel
Secretaria Secretary
Piloto Pilot

Some examples of new words in Spanish with one that you already know in Spanish and has the same meaning, or synonym, in this language.
New word in Spanish Word already known in Spanish that has the same meaning
Feliz (Happy) Contento (happy)
Saltar (to jump) Brincar (to jump)
Coche (car) Automovil, carro (car)

  • Placing new words in context: This strategy consists in relating new words with the context where it is being said.
For example, a word can have different meaning according to the context. Let’s consider some examples below.

- The word “rico” in Spanish. It can have different meanings (taste= delicious or economic situation = rich). See the following sentences.
Este pollo sabe muy bien. De hecho, está rico (This chicken tastes very good. In fact, it is delicious)
Ese hombre tiene mucho dinero. Él es rico. (That man has a lot of money. He is rich).

- The word “Cerca” means short distance, or “near”. It also means a barrier to mark a boundary to control access, or “fence”. Note the following statements.
Mi casa está cerca del banco. (My house is near the bank).
Mi patio tiene una cerca. (My yard has a fence)

Now that you have learned about the use of some memory strategies, I invite you to put it into practice and go for more SPANISH! The use of some other memory strategies will be explained in further articles.





11 de marzo de 2020
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Liliana Salcedo

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My name is Liliana Salcedo. I am from Venezuela, but currently I live in Ecuador. I am graduated in Modern Languages and have got a Master Degree in Language Teaching. I have been a language teacher for more than 20 years. During this period of time I have taught English and Spanish for foreigners. I have had students from different countries like Canada, Alaska, The USA, Germany, Japan, Brazil, Denmark, Holland and many others. I want to continue teaching Spanish for foreigners on line as I am passionate about teaching languages, especially, my native language, Spanish, its traditions, music, gastronomy and general culture. IN trelation to my classes, first of all, I like my classes to offer a relaxing, friendly and very funny atmosphere, so that it promotes lot of interaction. I like my students to feel comfortable, be confident and highly motivated so that communication is developed easily and fast. Also, I am very creative as I do not like boring lessons. To get this, I use a combination of methods such as the communicative method, the natural approach, the community method, the direct method and others. Also, I help the student to discover what their learning style is and which learning strategies work best for them (cognitive, metacognitive, social and affective strategies). I will help the student to improve your language in the four skills: listening, reading, writing and speaking. Grammar, vocabulary and phonetics will be taught while discussing about topics that are of your interest and adapting them to your level of knowledge.
Flag
Español
globe
Venezuela
time
Nuevo!
Habla:
Español
Nativo
,
Inglés
B2
My name is Liliana Salcedo. I am from Venezuela, but currently I live in Ecuador. I am graduated in Modern Languages and have got a Master Degree in Language Teaching. I have been a language teacher for more than 20 years. During this period of time I have taught English and Spanish for foreigners. I have had students from different countries like Canada, Alaska, The USA, Germany, Japan, Brazil, Denmark, Holland and many others. I want to continue teaching Spanish for foreigners on line as I am passionate about teaching languages, especially, my native language, Spanish, its traditions, music, gastronomy and general culture. IN trelation to my classes, first of all, I like my classes to offer a relaxing, friendly and very funny atmosphere, so that it promotes lot of interaction. I like my students to feel comfortable, be confident and highly motivated so that communication is developed easily and fast. Also, I am very creative as I do not like boring lessons. To get this, I use a combination of methods such as the communicative method, the natural approach, the community method, the direct method and others. Also, I help the student to discover what their learning style is and which learning strategies work best for them (cognitive, metacognitive, social and affective strategies). I will help the student to improve your language in the four skills: listening, reading, writing and speaking. Grammar, vocabulary and phonetics will be taught while discussing about topics that are of your interest and adapting them to your level of knowledge.
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