The city of New York is known as a major metropolis for art, fashion, history, food and culture. It is a city on many traveller’s bucket lists due to its endless stream of available activities for people of all ages.
If you are considering moving to New York City permanently or already live in the city, it is no secret that knowing a second language such as Spanish in this multicultural hub will benefit your time living here.
If you are just starting out as Spanish students, your options for Spanish classes and spanish tutors in New York City are endless. If you are a parent living in New York City raising young children, enrolling your kids in Spanish classes is a great way to keep their brains occupied at a young age.
Continue reading below to see where you can find Spanish tutors in New York City.
Benefits of Learning a Second Language
If you’ve taken Spanish as a second language during your primary school years, you may be thinking of picking up the language again or dusting off your rusty beginner Spanish skills. Believe it or not, there are many benefits to being a lifelong learner of new languages as well as practising and conversing in a language that’s not your native one.
One key benefit of practising or learning to master a second language is to improve your memory. In fact, multiple scientific studies have found that bilingual children performed better than monolingual children on tasks requiring good memory abilities. This is likely due to their knowledge and learning of a second language vastly improved their ability to memorize and absorb new information.
Another great benefit of studying a second language online, at university, or on your own is a higher attention span and improved focus. In our age of digital distractions and social media, it is getting more difficult than ever to stay focused and concentrated on a single task. But speaking a second language can improve your college or work experience!
An accomplished bilingual person can easily switch between different languages, giving their brain the multi-tasking skills needed to use the appropriate language for the situation. This in turn gives their brain the practice it needs to filter information and become better at blocking our noise and distractions.
One more benefit of studying a new language is a bigger brain! A Swedish study done using MRI has shown that certain parts of the brain were bigger in people who are fluent in a second language, likely due to greater use.
Why Learn Spanish in New York City?
So, now that you are convinced knowing a second language is right for you, it’s time to start. If you are a student in New York City, or if you are living, working, or raising a family in New York City, understand that you have numerous resources available to use for your Spanish journey.
The most obvious reason to learn Spanish by tutoring, private lessons, or on your own would be to improve your career and life by connecting you to many whose mother-tongue is Spanish. And in a multi-cultural hub like New York, there are plenty of native Spanish speakers for you to connect with.
When you enroll in a Spanish language course with a dedicated teacher or tutor, you’re also gearing yourself up on the way to success. Perhaps starting off with being qualified for more job openings in today’s competitive job market, being a bilingual employee can open doors.
To illustrate, a recent survey of Spanish speakers living and working in New York State has found that they make up 16% of the population! This percentage is even higher in New York City itself! As a result, former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg has started the tradition of addressing New Yorkers in Spanish, while Mayor Bill De Blasio has often used Spanish in his public speeches.
If you are interested in working in politics, or at any customer-facing role, knowing a second language like Spanish can help you engage better with your customers or clients. At the same time, it signals an openness and awareness of those who may be different than you.
Spanish as a Second Language for Kids
In the United States, Spanish as a second language is common for many children. Often, it is the first foreign language they will come into contact with while at school.
Spanish is a great language to introduce to children as it uses a similar alphabet as English, and it also uses phonetic spelling, allowing youngsters to sound out the letters instead of having to memorize a myriad of characters like in Chinese or Japanese.
For parents with young children, you have access to many resources which can improve your children’s Spanish skills in New York City. For one, consider enrolling your child in a bilingual play-school or pre-school so their brains can get used to the sounds of Spanish words.
Many language associations can also provide assistance either by offering free language lessons or hosting meet-ups and gatherings where adults or children can practice together.
Tips For Improving Your Spanish Skills
When it comes to picking up any second language, there are four important aspects to master before you can be considered fluent in it. These three aspects are listening, speaking, reading, and writing which most students pick up during their Spanish education.
To improve your listening experience, start off by playing recordings of simple sentences. You can play them at half their normal speed to pick up the small nuances of the language. Overtime you can graduate to regular playback speeds to see how your skills measure up.
Out of all other skills, teaching and learning speaking is one that can be the most difficult to practice for Spanish learners. After all, if a pronunciation sounds right to you, it may sound wrong in the ears of a native Spanish speaker. This is why it’s important to practice your Spanish speaking abilities with a live audience or a practice group, ideally with a native speaker.
Reading Spanish is similar to English, as both are phonetic and follow a similar alphabet. But before you start, it is important to have an understanding of basic Spanish vocabulary to build up your reading comprehension, as picking up new vocabulary is the foundation of understanding a new language.
After you have built-up a sufficient Spanish vocabulary and can read basic texts without problems, you can graduate to writing and composing your very own pieces, perhaps even short and simply stories, in Spanish!
Finding a Spanish Tutor in New York
Living in New York City, you are surrounded by many talented individuals who are often highly educated and qualified who can provide tutoring services. This makes being a Spanish student in New York City a delightful thing as you have many options when it comes to choosing language buddies or a dedicated tutor.
If you are self-taught instead of being a student at university or a language course, it can be difficult to get started simply because it’s hard to know where or how best to start. Finding a Spanish tutor or teacher in New York can help make the transition to learning easier.
For one, a tutor can introduce you to the right textbooks and workbooks that can help you get started. Usually, tutors are also highly involved in the community for the subject that they teach. Similar to how a piano tutor might know all the other piano players and teachers close to your neighbourhood, a Spanish tutor might introduce you to other Spanish teachers, learners, and speakers to form your own community.
If you are looking for a Spanish tutor for young children, a tutor can help by giving the child individual attention! This way, your child can study Spanish in New York at their own pace as well as focus on improving areas where they are lacking.
Making Spanish Fun
Finding ways to make learning Spanish a fun endeavour can help you become a life-long Spanish speaker and learner. There are several ways you can do this.
The first way is to simply switch things up! If you are studying with the help of a teacher and a textbook, the text can get boring after an hour or two. Consider watching one of many Spanish videos, newscasts, or getting specialized tutoring that can be found on Youtube and the internet nowadays to inject some fun into your readings.
A second way is to use technology to enhance your studies. Like most hobbies, mastering a language such as Spanish requires trial and error. And using technology like smartphone or tablet applications can help you test your progress to see where you measure up against the rest of the online language learning community.
The third and unconventional way is to consider getting a native Spanish speaker as your pen pal! Of course, to do this you should have more than an intermediate understanding of Spanish. Once you do, you can either find a language exchange buddy on specialized websites or language apps that pair you up with strangers from around the world interested in language exchange.
Whether you communicate via text, snail mail, or instant message, you are bound to get all the practice you need to succeed and have fun while doing it. So what are you waiting for? Go out and have fun speaking and learning Spanish!