Learning Spanish as a high school student can be incredibly beneficial for your professional and academic life.
Knowing a second language can result in a plethora of opportunities for your future. It will make your college and job applications stand out from those who don't know a second language. Universities and companies are interested in having people who speak more than one language because it shows that the person is perseverant and smart.
Learning a new language is not easy, and schools know this! That is why you will get the recognition you deserve from future institutions and dream jobs.
You will also have the opportunity to travel, have international experiences, and meet people from a different culture than yours. You can study abroad in a Latin American country or Spain and travel to breathtaking destinations knowing that you can understand the vocabulary in a train station or be able to ask for help if you get lost.
Finally, along the way, you will develop communication, problem-solving, and memory skills! Learning a new language will make you a better communicator because your brain will learn to say things in new ways.
You will also become a better problem-solver because as you learn the new language you will expand your perspective which will help you see different solutions to your problems.
Lastly, you will enhance your memory skills because you will have to learn an entirely new vocabulary, new grammar rules, and so on.
As a high school student, you probably have a ton of electives to choose from, and we would strongly advise you to take a language course. If Spanish is your chosen language, continue reading to see what exactly it is they are going to teach you in your Spanish classes.
To get more information go check out our guide to Spanish in high school.
Learning to understand a language is probably one of the first things that students get a grasp of. If you cant understand a language is probably hard to start speaking it!
A child learns the language because they are constantly hearing their parents and family members talk to them in it. This means, that students who are learning Spanish should also find ways to constantly listen to the language.
If you have class three times a week and you don't practice at home, it's unlikely for you to ever learn Spanish. However, if you practice at home, with friends, play music, or watch TV and movies in Spanish, you will get used to hearing the language and you will learn it much faster.
Listening is a core part of any language course. In class, your teacher will make you hear different audios in Spanish and later on quiz you on the content.
Audios are a big part of language courses. Having students listen to an audio of a conversation between two or three native speakers helps them get a grasp of the language much faster, compared to having them talk to each other and only hearing other learners speak.
If you want to practice from home, you can go online and find free Spanish audios. Listening to one audio per day will help you improve your listening and your Spanish skills.
Finally, keep in mind that Spanish is a language spoken in 20 countries and 2 different continents. The dialect and accent of the language changes depending on the continent, country, and region of a country. This means that Spanish in Spain sounds different than Spanish in Argentina. And that Mexicans from the north sound different than Mexicans in the South.
So, don't get frustrated if you've been learning Spanish for five years and all of a sudden you meet a Bolivian who has words and an accent you can't fully comprehend!
Learn about the different types of Spanish classes that are offered in high school.
Learning to speak is probably one of the biggest goals of anyone learning any language. Languages are about communicating oneself through words, whether it is through writing or speaking.
You'll probably remember that as a child you were also asked to put together more than one oral presentation for your English classes. Keep in mind that now that you are learning Spanish, you'll have to go through a lot of the stages you went through while you were learning English.
As a Spanish student, you'll probably be required to do more than one oral presentation in front of the entire classroom. Students are usually asked to do a presentation about a country, a culture, tourist locations, or pretty much anything that can showcase the student's abilities.
Learning languages is about practicing your conversational skills in public. You'll probably be asked to practice in the classroom with other classmates, outside the classroom with friends or family who could help, and by yourself in front of a mirror.
The goal is for you to spend enough time practicing that speaking in Spanish becomes natural, automatic, and easy. Speaking lessons tend to be the best because students tend to mess up or get confused and you can get a good laugh out of your friends or vice-versa!
Speaking lessons will also help you develop important skills that'll come in handy once you go to college and during your work life. As you get used to standing up in front of a classroom and doing a presentation in a foreign language, you'll learn to lose stage fright.
There can be nothing scarier than messing up in front of an audience. However, if you mess up (which can happen if you do a presentation in a foreign language) but get back up and overcome the obstacle, you'll conquer the fear and become an excellent public speaker.
Find new ways to practice Spanish outside of school.
Learning to read in a new language can be challenging but once you get a grasp of it you'll become an expert. However, we are not saying that if you learn to read an essay in Spanish you'll be able to read and understand Don Quixote.
Everything is a process and with practice, reading will become instinctual.
Remember that your teachers won't sit down with you and supervise how you read each line of a paragraph. The goal of a reading lesson is for students to get a grasp of things so they can practice from home and develop the skill on their own time.
If there is a verb, adjective, or any word you don't understand you should highlight it, go search for its meaning, and write it down right next to it. This way when you study and go back, you'll have the information right in front of you and you'll learn what the verb, adjective, or word is much faster.
Keep in mind that practicing your reading can help you improve your grammar and essentially your writing skills.
Finally, another core aspect of any language is learning how to write properly.
Learning vocabulary, grammar, and syntax can be a bit overwhelming. However, don't forget that you won't learn a language after one lesson or one year of lessons. You'll have a lot of time to practice, work, perfect, and learn Spanish.
In the writing portion of your lessons, you'll first start by learning basic vocabulary like objects or verbs. Learning verbs is very important because they make part of every sentence as it is knowing the name of objects.
Once you are done with verbs, nouns, pronouns, objects, adjectives, you can move on to sentence construction and paragraph building.
For your writing classes, you'll be asked to do a lot of writing assignments on various topics. To improve your writing skills it is best if you practice constantly and pay attention to mistakes you're probably making.
You may ask your teacher or tutor to sit down with you and go over your mistakes so that you can correct them and learn properly.
Keep in mind that learning Spanish will be a long process and it'll take you a long time to do. There are no shortcuts to learning a language so make sure you are honest with your work and you include all your mistakes in your work because you can only learn from them. Your education is important and cheating won't get you far!
What are the benefits of learning a new language in high school?
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