Out of all the elementary, secondary, and high school students studying in the United States, chances are most have taken Spanish class or two. Some may have taken many Spanish lessons over the course of their public or private school education.
As a second language, learning Spanish can help you improve your memory functions and improve your brain health. With it also being one of the six official languages used in the United Nations, being fluent in Spanish is especially beneficial for those interested in pursuing a career in politics or international commerce. That's because many Spanish-spearking latin American countries are rapidly developing, so for those interested in investing or working for companies with businesses in those countries, having good Spanish skills will make you more employable.
Scientifically, studies have shown that after three months of studying a foreign language, a language student's brain grew in four places - namely the hippocampus, middle frontal gyrus, inferior frontal gyrus, and superior temporal gyrus. If that's enough reason to motivate you to enroll in a Spanish lesson, you've found the right resource! We will show you some guides and resources on how to find a dedicated Spanish tutor or teacher near you in the United States.
Where To Start Your Spanish Education
Whether you are a beginner student or an advanced learner, it might be difficult when you are first starting out with your education. One approach you can take when it comes to your Spanish education is to focus on memorizing vocabulary, Words are the foundation blocks of any language. They make up phrases which in turn can be built into full sentences to make paragraphs and long texts.
When focusing on Spanish vocabulary, a trick is to understand that some words occur more frequently than others. So if you focus your attention on learning these words that more frequently occurring, you will have a better understanding of the language in less time.
Another way to start is to build up your knowledge of phrases and short sentences. Once you have learned the basic vocabulary lists and short phrases, it's time to move on to simple sentences. Like a toddler first learning to speak, Spanish students can pick up bits and pieces, phrases here and there via partial or total immersion. Overtime, you will learn enough to string along these words and phrases in Spanish to put them into good use.
Finding Spanish Tutors Near You
When it comes to getting a private tutor for Spanish, you will want someone who can help you master the vocabulary lists while at the same time pronounce these words like a native speaker. For most people, their goal of learning taking a foreign language course is to gain mastery, and the best tutor or teacher can definitely help!
If you are not sure where or how to start finding the best tutor near you to meet your needs, you are looking at the right guide! If you have no connections to the Spanish speaking community or does not know anyone who is fluent in the language, be prepared to put some work into finding a suitable teacher or tutor. Luckily living in the digital age gives you access to numerous online Spanish courses and tutors at your fingertips with the help of websites like Superprof. Below we have listed some ways you can look for a perfect Spanish tutors near you to meet your learning needs.
Using Word of Mouth
Many people think of word-of-mouth as networking or making the right connections. Similar to getting a job, you can also use your relationships with the people around you to find someone willing to teach or privately tutor you in Spanish.
If you want to ask for recommendations, it's important to share your wishes for hiring a private Spanish tutor with everyone around you. Don’t hesitate to ask for recommendations straight up to be more direct so there is no room for other interpretations.
Finding Tutors Online
With an internet connection, the world is at your fingertips. You can use it to narrow down your searches for any business or service you require, including a search for Spanish tutors. Consider using social media websites such as Facebook. Making a public post on Facebook can reach all your friends and friends of friends. Even if you don’t know a lot of people in your life who have taken Spanish courses, Facebook groups are also very helpful as you can ask fellow students on where they take their Spanish lessons or how they hired their tutors.
Other digital resources to consider include websites and forums run by your local public library where local tutors will post their contact information, where you may find postings from small and private Spanish language learning schools near you to enroll in. Also, using video sharing websites such as Youtube, you also have access to countless videos and online courses posted by other people around the world to help you learn.
Ways to Improve Your Spanish Skills
When it comes to learning any second language, there are four main important aspects to master. These skills are reading, writing, listening and speaking. As long as you have these four basics covered, you may find yourself reaching fluency in Spanish in no time.
Learning Reading Skills
If you are a native English speaker, you may be pleased to learn that reading Spanish is not entirely difficult as the language uses a similar alphabet as English. A great way to start practising reading is to immerse yourself in the language altogether. You can do this by finding Spanish magazines, newspapers, and publications online.
A fun way to practise your reading skills is to use children’s story books as your textbook. If your reading skills are in the advanced category, consider reading feature-length articles or investigative journalist pieces, or whichever books that match your interests. Some credible Spanish publications you can use are Mexico’s El Economista, Madrid’s El Mundo, and for those wanting a girly magazine, try the Spanish version of Elle.
Perfecting Writing Skills
There are many university courses available that teaches writing lessons in Spanish. If a university or college experience is not for you, you can still improve your writing! But before you start, you will need knowledge of basic vocabulary to build sentences.
If your Spanish writing level is not high enough for writing longer sentences, you may find it easier to skip the teaching of a university teacher and go off on your own. To start, you can make short lists instead of writing paragraphs, and simple way to write lists is to use Spanish to make weekly grocery list or a daily to-do lists.
If making grocery lists and to-do lists in Spanish is not challenging enough for you, you can level up by keeping a Spanish journal to jot down your daily thoughts and feelings. Start by describing simple activities in basic words and slowly progress to describing complicated thoughts and feelings in Spanish.
Practicing Listening Skills
Listening skills help you comprehend and maintain conversation. You can improve your Spanish listening skills by playing recordings in the form of audiobooks, which you can either purchase online or borrow from your local public library’s digital resources.
If you are struggling with understanding the sentences, try playing the recordings at half their normal speed. If you have tutoring sessions scheduled with a private teacher, ask your tutor to speak to you or read you different Spanish texts so you can practice. You can start off by reading the printed text and gradually move on to just listening without the text or subtitles.
Lessons in Speaking Skills
Speaking skills is one that can be the most difficult as it requires courage and quick-thinking when it comes to making actual conversation. With the guidance of teachers, you can learn to master the nuances of spoken Spanish. If you do not have a tutor or teacher with years of experience to help you, consider joining a language exchange group either from your local Spanish school in Chicago, or from online groups.
If you live in an isolated neighbourhood, don’t have a reliable mode of transportation to travel to physical meetup spots, or are staying in for health reasons, you can still listen to the teachings of native Spanish speakers online! Using online meeting applications such as ZOOM, you can taken online private classes and hold meetup sessions with language exchange buddies.
Staying Motivated in Your Education
Like with mastering any skills, learning Spanish requires patience and time and perhaps some tutoring sessions. And not to mention the energy and focus to process a new teaching. Some days, the road to total complete mastery might seem so daunting that you just want to give up. Luckily there are some ways you can motivate yourself.
One way to get yourself into a productive mood again is to set tiny goals and have trusted teachers or regular classes to keep you accountable. If you have a good experience with your lessons, it also helps. Try setting tiny but achievable goals to help you stay motivated.
Another way to motivate yourself is to find a buddy or take a professional lesson when you are feeling stuck. A buddy can hold you accountable while a proper lesson can help you realize new concepts or approach your learning from a different view.