After having been successful in the process of learning Spanish, thousands of Spanish immersion students around the world agree on these TOP TIPS:
- It is important to diligently keep the Spanish lesson time in Spanish by avoiding using your native tongue, even though in the moment it could be much easier to do so. Struggles to understand, and even the frustration, is part of good Spanish immersion lessons. Remember, the magic of immersion requires that only Spanish be heard and utilized in class.
- If you do not understand details in class, ideally ask the teacher for clarification, not other students. Memorize phrases like: “¿Cómo se dice...?” and “Qué significa...?” to use with the teacher. Asking the teacher for clarifications is part of your language lesson time. If other students help out in English, you may gain on the short run, but it could overall minimize the effectivity of the process. Suggestion: develop your skills in fast dictionary use.
- Do not expect all Spanish rules or vocabulary to “make sense”. Some of it just won’t or may, but only a few years later; as such, you may consider reigning in a bit on very detailed “why” questions. A good (serious) Spanish student will leave class with a handful of unanswered questions or confusions jotted down. These make up your “personal homework”; dedicate time to this personal homework every day, using any/all people or written resources you can find - from your lesson materials, on-line resources, dictionary, or ask your teacher later.
- The state of not understanding everything in class or around you is NORMAL, it is important to be accepting and not let it affect you emotionally. Being immersed in a sea of Spanish, of which you understand only 50% can produce very good language learning. Auditory (aural) training in hearing solid, uninterrupted Spanish is one of your most important language learning goals. In scenarios where you understand very little it is important to analyze that you are not being affected by an emotional or attitudinal block: a good strategy is to breathe deeply, loosen up, get positive, say “I will learn”.
Also remember that Spanish immersion lessons should look and feel differently from any other class you have taken.