When Frustration Makes You Wanna Quit.
So, you have been studying Spanish for some time now and even though you might understand some words or sentences and say some, you feel you are stuck and you are not learning anymore. You might even feel that Spanish turned into a monster and you are starting to hate it. You don’t understand its rules, too much grammar, too many words etc. Here you will see some suggestions for you to overcome the frustration at learning Spanish (or any language).
5 Suggestions to Overcome Frustration
1 . Make some reasonable goals: Learning a language takes time, no matter what some people promise you about being fluent in two or three months, unless you are 24/7 dedicated to think, listen and speak the new language, this goal seems a little bit unrealistic (and we all have a life). Learn three new words per day; use them in sentences you already know how to make. Talk about a different topic every time you get a chance (your house, your pet, what you did yesterday). Try to get in touch with people who speak the language and ask them to listen to you and see if they understand you. Make a monologue for one minute and increase the time every week. Record and listen to yourself and catch the mistakes.
2. Remember what made you fall in love with it. Yes, it sounds like an advice you would give your friend about their romantic relationship, but the truth is that you kind of need to love or at least like the language you are learning. Also, listen to music just for the sake of it, watch a movie just to entertain yourself, read about the country where you want to go and speak this language. You might find it easier to deal with the difficulties.
3. Know you will mess up (a lot). When you are learning a new language you are learning a new skill. This language has been the result of hundreds of years, modifications, additions and evolution. It is normal to omit a word, a preposition, an article, you name it. Guess what: It’s OK. If you know how to ride a bike maybe you fell down a couple of times while you were learning, maybe if frustration was too much you even kicked your bike, eventually you got the hang of it and learned to ride. With languages it is quite similar. You listen to something in a context, use it in the future in the same context, maybe people don’t understand you. Maybe you forgot half of the sentence. Eventually, with practice, you will speak. This is the normal path that everybody goes through when learning something.
4. Learn vocabulary that is relevant to you: Another way to deal with frustration. It will be easier to learn new things that have somehow a relation to your life or hobbies. If you like cooking, look for recipes in Spanish, make your grocery list in Spanish and learn the actions related to this activity. Also, listen to podcasts or watch videos of people explaining a recipe.
5. Ask for repetition and listen to natives: If you are lucky to have someone in your life who speaks Spanish try to talk with them or ask them to tell you a sentence, ask you a question every time you meet them. You didn’t understand them? Ask for repetition! Be nice about it and people will help you learn their language. You might feel shy thinking they will make fun of you, but most people actually appreciate it when you are making an effort to communicate in their language. If you don’t have anybody who can speak to you, then go online, watch videos, listen to music, watch a movie with subtitles in the target language (Spanish) and the watch it again without them. See how much more you understand now!