How can I stop making so many mistakes when I speak Spanish?

I have been studying Spanish on my own for about three years now. I even do volunteer work at an organization that helps hispanic residents prepare for their citizenship exams and I lead a class in Spanish. But still, I just continue to stumble over words, use the wrong words, screw up grammar tenses and so on. I think that they understand me for the most part, but I am afraid that my Spanish just sounds like crap. How can I stop making so many errors?

4 Comments

  1. Practice makes perfect, and it’s the only way to improve. Mistakes are inevitable; the more you try to avoid them, the longer they hang around. Try speaking slower and thinking about your sentences a bit before actually saying them. Don’t try to translate it mentally from one language to another because that can get frustrating and time-consuming. You can also practice common phrases or conversational topics with yourself during your free time if you’re scared of making mistakes in front of other people. Whenever you converse with native Spanish speakers, you can also ask them to correct you where appropriate so that you’ll (hopefully) remember to not make the same mistake again.

    annely
  2. practice makes perfect! You can’t magically begin to stop making mistakes – learning is all about trial and error 🙂
    I have problems speaking english the majority of the time… and that’s my first language :L xx

    Naomi
  3. The problem with self-study (is this what you mean by studying on your own) is that you have no teacher/mentor to correct your mistakes.

    As a consequence, you will continue making the same mistakes, as no-one will let you know when you a making them, correct them for you, and you have no source of feedback on how to improve.

    If you can’t afford classes/coaching – a language exchange could be an option. Arrange to meet regularly with a spanish speaker who needs to improve their english. Speak for a while in english and a while in spanish – and you both coach each other and help each other improve.

    Twig Step

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