Thursday, August 8, 2013

1.) Study Spanish With Flashcards

Flashcards are the language learner’s best friend.  In this article we are going to share with you the importance of using flashcards and how you can use them to learn Spanish.

Why should you use flashcards?

Learning Spanish is really not that difficult, but it is time consuming because you have to spend an incredibly large amount of time memorizing new words.  Ask anyone that has ever mastered Spanish and they will surely tell you that they used flashcards like crazy to help them memorize new vocabulary!

The Language School has helped thousands of people learn how to speak a new language, and the first thing we recommend to our students is that they use flashcards to study. Whenever I notice that one of my students is doing well in a course, I ask them what they are doing.  Consistently they tell me that the first thing they do after class is to make flashcards with all of their new vocabulary and commit the new words to memory, before starting on their homework.

Flash cards are a great tool to use for several reasons.  First, they are small and you can take them everywhere with you.  Second, they can be used to memorize new vocabulary, phrases, and verb conjugations.  Finally, they can be used to study by yourself, with a partner, or in a group.  You can even make a game out of them!

So how can you use flashcards to study?

After class, find a quite place to study free of distractions.  All of the new words that you learned in class should be written down on one side of an index card.  On the other side, write down its meaning in English.

EX:  New Words





After you have made the cards {I suggest starting with no more than twenty}, start with the Spanish side facing you.  It is easier to start by going from Spanish to English, and the first step to speaking Spanish is understanding it.  Try to say the word out loud, and then it’s English meaning.  If you get it right, put it to the side.  If you get it wrong, return it to the back of the stack.  As you continue, your stack will get smaller and you will keep reviewing the words with which you need extra help memorizing.  Once you finish this, try to do the same activity, but this time going from English to Spanish.

EX:  New Verb Conjugations


Yo Como                Nosotros Comemos
Tú Comes              Vosotros Coméis
Él                           Ellos
Ella  Come             Ellas  Comen
Ud. Come              Uds.

Try to do this activity several times a day.  The first time you go through your stack, it will probably take you about ten minutes.  Each time there after will be shorter.  After doing this several times, you should not only have memorized these new words, but will be able to start using them and understanding them in everyday conversations.

Since the flash cards are small, you can take them with you everywhere.  Anytime that you have a few minutes, you can pull them out and study them.  This includes first thing in the morning, just before going to bed, breaks at work, or even standing in line at the grocery store.  The important thing with this is consistency and repetition.  Doing this ten minutes at a time, three times a day, is far more powerful than only once for thirty minutes, because it will keep the new words fresh in your mind.  It may sound like a lot, but in the long run doing this drill for short bursts frequently will save you a lot of time and ensure your success.

This is a great way to study by yourself, but you can also do the same activity with a friend.  Ask him or her to hold the cards and show them to you.  You can ask for hints this way too.  If you want to make a game out of it, try playing for points, money, or another interesting outcome {whoever loses makes dinner!}.

EX:  Phrases


¿Cómo estás?


How are you?

We can’t stress the importance of this activity.  It may seem daunting, but we guarantee that if you do this you will achieve great results and be on your way to speaking Spanish quickly.

For more information on Spanish classes in Denver, contact The Language School today.


Lisa Johnson said...

Great blog post. I use electronic flash cards a lot for learning vocabulary and grammar. I'm trying to get away from translating from English to Spanish, so I make vocabulary flash cards using image files rather than the translated word.

David E Stevens III said...

Thanks for your comment Lisa. What application do you use for the electronic flashcards?

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