what is the best way to learn how to speak spanish?

i work in a preschool and i have six spanish speaking children in my classroom, three of the children are bi-linqual they can speak both spanish and english the other three can speak some but i want to learn how to speak spanish b/c i feel that if i am going to be successful at my job as a teacher i need to be able to communicate with all my children and i feel that the hispanic children would feel more comfortable if they knew that when they entered our classroom their was someone who can speak their lanquage. we do not have a translator in the building at all and i think that this is a disservice to the kids in my room…i have tried to listen to spanish tapes but it does not seem to be working i seem to learn more from the children b/c they teach me certain words and phrases in spanish but i want to learn more b/c i feel it is necessary to service not only our children but their families as well….

50 Comments

  1. First of all, as a hispanic woman, I want to thank you on behalf of those hispanic children in your classroom for making an effort to help them and their families in this foreign place to them (it isn’t easy to live in a place where you do not understand most anybody). Second here is my advice: try to get some vocabulary going, but mainly try to watch one of the spanish speaking channels on t.v. When I first moved to the states, t.v taught me what school didn’t. You will probably feel frustrated at first because you won’t get a word out of it, but with time, you’ll begin understanding, it takes few months, but trust me it works!. I also suggest reading children’s books in spanish or try children’s movies, they have a very easy and basic spanish and are also very helpful. Last, enjoy learning it and do not give up easy

    Buena suerte!!!!!

    Alejandra

    chilena
  2. order tapes or (cds) . Many have divided sections for beginner or advanced. Try amazon or Barnes and noble. To make it easier try your local library.

    wanda t
  3. you will learn the most from your students and other Hispanics. I took Spanish in school and learned very little. I got a job with 75% Hispanic workforce. I can carry on a decent conversation in Spanish and learn more every day. Pictures are good also – you don’t understand what the are saying give them a pen and paper – a picture is worth a 1000 words.

    ejadeclark
  4. I took Spanish all through junior high and high school, but I learned the most by going to Spain as an exchange student. I’m guessing that’s not an option, so find someone that’s fluent and talk to them as much as possible.

    2adorablelittlegirls
  5. Hola. Talk to the kids in your class. They will help you learn to speak the language that my be numero uno in the near future, in the U S of mucho hispanics.

    har101
  6. I found a website with a FREE download. It could be a good help. You may be able to find a few phrases that you could surprise the children with, once they see that you are making an effort I bet they will teach you more than any tapes/cd. https://www.byki.com/

    les.hadley@btinternet.com
  7. maybe you can contact some sort of group of spanish-speaking people. Try to find an embassy or consulate near your house/work, and go to a speaking workshop. To learn to speak spanish, you must… speak. Try to translate some texts, in order to be familiar with the syntaxis, verbs…

    Alex Ortiz
  8. Learning a language is often most difficult to do because you don’t have enough exposure to the language and English constantly corrupts what you do.

    Sign up for a class, it’s the best way. This way, you can learn proper spanish grammar and start picking up verbs and basic vocabulary. Maybe the children can help with vocab, but probably not with grammar and verb conjugations.

    When you feel that you have basic proficiency in the present tense, the present progressive, and the preterite tense, buy yourself a spanish newspaper or watch some spanish tv. write down the words you don’t know and look them up with a Larousse dictionary (best for languages). Then read the article loudly and clearly to gain proficiency in speaking. Try and converse in spanish only with your bilingual students.

    You might even consider a trip to a Latin American country (I reccomend Mexico, Spain, Chile, or Argentinia) and then try and speak only spanish there. No english! You’ll be surprised how fast you pick things up when you have to.

    Congratulations on wanting to learn such a beautiful language. It’s really fun to speak and listen to, and it rolls off your tongue like honey. Also, you can use it in 20 nations!

    Good luck,

    The Wise One

    TheWiseOne
  9. I think it is very nice of you to learn how to speak spanish for other kids. i love to see people do that. you should get some books on Spanish and learn some common words that the kids use often and you should learn to speak some of the answers to queations that they ask. you should also take lessons or you could get a tutor to help with Spanish. GOOD LUCK!

    soccerstar11
  10. try searching on the net. if you don’t have internet try checking out a library book at a public library. here are the words to count in spanish all the way to eight. oonoe, dolce, treyce, quetroe, sencoe, seyce, seenty, ocho

    pandagirl95@sbcglobal.net
  11. i could help you if it was with German but its not. So buy/order cds tapes books etc… from school book store office store any store that would have that stuff take a spanish class make friends with a spanish person who speaks both spanish and english.

    midgett89
  12. This how I learn to speak Spanish! You take a night school
    class for adults in Spanish. The things I feel our important is telling time, learning the calendars, and the
    learning the conjugationing verbs on tape. Find someone to
    make tape that is hypnotist for night or day. First put on the hypnotic and than the lessons you want to learn like than put on the rest of tape hypnotic to bring you back.
    Talking people in Spanish helps. On vatications go a place Mexcio where have to speak Spanish and don’t forget to think Spanish. This may also help is the Berlitz Self-Teacher, and read in Spanish.

    jester9206@sbcglobal.net
  13. Try to learn by speaking with Spanish speaking people. The question is practice, try to learn the basics in the classroom, like orders, mandates, questions, polite phrases.
    I have never known anybody who has learn just by tapes or videos, and you don’t have the time. Socializing is great. I remember a experience I had where I went with some people to a market and we talked and learned useful phrases.
    And the most important, never give up. One day you will be surprised when you start understanding what your kids say.

    wazup1971
  14. Actually when I was in High School and a member of the Spanish Club-class, I offered my services of going to the grade school (actually it was 2nd grade) and held mini spanish classes for the entire class- (I used flash cards, books and pictures)this helped the spanish speaking kids get into the class-because they were being helpful-and the other kids got to learn spanish also! If you approach a high school spanish teacher, maybe one of the students might actually get into doing this for your class and this would also help you learn–you and the kids could quiz each other–

    whylorna
  15. Find out which method works best for you. You might want to try conversational Spanish. Learning phrases that are commonly used in conversation instead of trying to learn the grammar of Spanish.

    super
  16. You are a very special person,most would say "They need to speak English".I get so tired of that.I never dreamed I would ever speak anything ,but English,but when I became attracted to Hispanic men (only) I learned to speak their language quickly.

    alwayscurious
  17. Do what works best for your style of learning. Traditional methods of lessons or some form of continuing education through a college, university, or other institution might work. However, do not forget the powers of being submerged in a community and the effect it can have on one’s understanding of other languages. Many expatriots in the 1930’s who went to Paris or other parts of France never spoke a word en francais upon arrival. However, when one needs to eat, commute, or even go to the bathroom they will eventually learn what is needed. There is also spanish language tapes/cd’s and cd-roms available at Barnes and Noble or Amazon. Personally, I just watch a lot of "Latin Lover" on telelatino network. Sure, I may not have mastered the Spanish tongue… but I do have a greater appreciation of Mexican plastic surgeons and the body waxing industry down there. *shrugs* haha, do what works best for you. Try everything , until something works. It will eventually. If Schwarzennegar can pick up a few spanish phrases, anyone can.

    rollstuhlwolf
  18. Well if I were you, I would go to Spanish classes for beginners that are adults. I know they have some because my mom’s friend started speaking Spanish. She evaluates teachers and how they teach the class, and she often talks with the class. The class has many Spanish speaking students. That would be my best advice…just find a class. If you can’t do that, you could get a Spanish tape to listen to in the car on the way to the school.

    crazie4cowz
  19. I’m suggesting multiple things, because trying only one suggestion will get you nowhere. Number one is keep talking to your students. They can continue to teach you Spanish fraises, and creating that bond you get when interacting this way with them is another way to make them feel comfortable around you.
    And keep listening to those CD’s and tapes. No matter how corny they are, they help you practice your accent out loud, and practice makes perfect. Since your a teacher I don’t have to tell you.
    Also, books don’t hurt. Go to your library and find some books on Spanish grammar in the dialect that you can speak to your students in.
    Also, if you have any Spanish speaking friends who are willing to teach you some of the language, go for it. Having someone help you one-on-one (once again, your a teacher, I don’t have to tell you) is so much better than just reading books or having conversations with discs.
    And also something that helped me a little – listen to some Spanish music. Find some native artists and listen to some of their work. Once you have the tune down, get the lyrics and an english translation. Shakira was just so helpful to my learning 😛
    Hope it works out for you – your heart seems to be in this.

    bunny_rocks92
  20. The best way to learn a new language is by listing it in a live conversation/environment. I don’t think that tapes will help you with your vocabulary, since Spanish is a real DIFFICULT TO LEARN language, there are tons of words that mean the same thing and at the same time mean opposite things. Conjugations are another story, OH MY GOD!

    I encourage you to find a local hispanic group from which you can get together from time to time and learn Spanish; I think that that it the best way to learn it. Also, if you have Cable TV and have access to some channels from Spain, Argentina, Puerto Rico, or any other Spanish speaking countries, turn your TV to those channels, have a dictionary with you, and get ready to learn. Oh, be careful with Spanish speakers that were borned outside their home country; SOME of them have adopted tons of Spanglish (half Spanish, half English) words as their regular "Spanish" vocabulary. Look for people that have moved to your country, specially if in the US, for not more than 10 years (???)…

    dioshy
  21. You are doing your best. Amable at that. The students will have more resect for you for trying than if you don’t.
    Perhaps ask the student to assis you to understand 7 speak their language????

    CaLaCo
  22. Its nice you want to learn their language but what about the other kids who are not Spanish but are from some other country? Do these kids a real favor and teach them English. It has been shown the kids who are taught in their own lanque do not do as well as kids taught in English. And to make it in America you have to speak the language. Even the parents of these kids want their kids taught in English. This way they can help their parents learn.

    pms
  23. Probably one of the best ways to learn spanish is to speak it with others. Start by learning basic stuff that you would say a lot, like "Hello" and "how are you". Things like that. Also practice makes perfect! Practice your spanish with your students a bunch. Also nobody learns it all in one day so you have to be patient.

    Hope I could help!

    squirt_011
  24. You have already received a lot of good advice, but I’ll add just a bit to all of it. First, I think you have been put in a difficult position in your school. Saying that, I suggest that you do what the military does for languages; immerse yourself in the most intensive class you can find at a community college or local university. Go beyond that and speak Spanish every chance you get. Go to stores owned and frequented by Spanish speakers, even talk to yourself in Spanish (you can answer yourself if you want). This could give you the quickest way to become somewhat conversant in the language. Then this summer, take your vacation in Spain. You deserve it. Have fun.

    Nightwriter21
  25. Two answers: First, the best way to learn any language is simply immersion. Get with someone who is a native speaker, and who has the patience to just talk w/you and translate. Back it up with a small portable dictionary. (Lang tapes are helpful only for accents.) Second: Let’s be clear – the best solution for the individual, child or adult is acculturation, and comfort in the language. Attempting more than a cheery "good morning" in the foreign language is essentially enabling disability – no help at all; actually a grave disservice, to the child, and to our country. Naturally, you will want a few instructions handy on a card for potential critical situations, for safety reasons, but the best service you could provide for these children is to force them to learn, by engaging them pleasantly but firmly in English. I know, I’ve done it. At one point, simultaneously, with students who spoke Russian, Swedish, and Spanish. Try that for fun!

    horsemaster
  26. Wow!!!! I have a lot of respect 4 you for wanting to learn Spanish for the sake of your students. Yes, i agree with you speaking Spanish will open new doors to your career. Being able to communicate with your Spanish speaking parents would benefit your students. You should try to go to Mexico or any Spanish speaking country to learn Spanish. Spanish is very easy to learn if you try to learn it. Good luck!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    chulies2006
  27. Classes really do help a lot, solo necesito habla un poco de Espanol para habla con su estudiantes. Translation: you only need to speak a bit of Spanish to speak with your students. What also helps a lot is finding a friend who speaks Spanish and talking with them or even taking a class with a friend who doesn’t speak Spanish. If you write in a journal at night try writing in Spanish or buy some books in Spanish and with the help of a dictionary go through them. Just try to immerse your self in the language and your Spanish will get steadily better. Good luck!

    smile!
  28. buy some baby books and videos in spanish to help learn some of the basics easier and listen to spanish radio and watch spanish t.v. in addition to taking a class and buy spanish the lazy way or for dummies for some quick tips

    pritty_pussykat
  29. Your best bet is to learn "school book spanish" and talk to native spanish speakers on a regular basis. It sounds like the children probably have someone in their family that might want to help you. Just be brave and talk to people whenever you have the chance. Take a class at a community college, or online for the book part.

    Mendi8a
  30. Yea, most tapes a rubbish! 🙂 Maybe talk to one of the child’s parents and explain that you are interested in learning Spanish. They may know someone who you could learn with. It is best to learn with a ‘teacher'(who may be just a friend) because you can hear spoken Spanish with out it being some recorded voice! If they don’t know anyone, search around. Community Colleges often have classes or groups for people who want to learn a language.

    Good luck!

    dragonrider395

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