How to Keep From Forgetting High School Spanish & French
I think we can all agree that high school kinda sucked. The food, the early hours, the people, and the stupid drama definitely weren’t my personal favorite.
But you know what’s even worse? The idea of going through that entire experience just to forget the few useful things you learned.
When you leave high school and forget to keep up with the language, you start losing the level of fluency you once had. Believe me, I’m speaking from experience. I let myself fall out of touch with my high school Spanish because I always had something else I would rather do and kinda thought it was a lost cause.
But here’s the thing. All the information you spent so much time learning didn’t just escape your brain and float away into the sunset once you graduated. Although you may not be capable of reproducing vocabulary and grammar in the same way you used to, you could definitely get back to a respectable level of fluency by dedicating about thirty minutes a day.
It may seem like it’s not worth the effort, but believe me, your bank accounts will be thanking me later. In this day and age of globalization, knowing multiple languages will automatically make you valuable to future employers. By sacrificing about one episode of Netflix per day, you could regain your knowledge of the language and even add onto it. Here are some tips on how to most productively spend those minutes.
Websites and apps
There are so many cool apps and websites dedicated to helping people gain a basic understanding of a language, not to even mention all the books out there. I really love using Duolingo and Teach Yourself because they explain each lesson well and have a diverse range of exercises. And since they both have app versions, you can do the exercises while waiting in line at Starbucks in the morning.
This is my favorite way to expose myself to another culture. Make a habit of listening to music in another language when you’re walking to class or playing background music while putting on makeup. It’s fun, lighthearted, and will help you grasp the language sooner.
TV shows and movies
Watching TV shows and movies in another language exposes you to the way native speakers utilize the grammar and vocabulary you’re already learning. Watch it regularly until you don’t need subtitles anymore. You’ll be able to comprehend the language sooner, while having fun with being way too involved in some guilty pleasure soap opera.
Reading is great for improving vocabulary. Pick a relatively easy article, like something simple from Vogue France, and write down the words you don’t know or remember. Then look them up and work hard at memorizing them. Exposing yourself to articles from different genres and revisiting the lists of unknown words will help you produce impressive vocabulary soon enough.
If you’re like me, then you’re constantly embarrassing yourself by talking to yourself in public. I know that you’ve probably heard that the best way to get used to speaking a language is to have conversations in the language frequently. Realistically speaking, it can be difficult and sometimes embarrassing to find someone to yell words at in a different language. So something what I do instead is just have my mental arguments with that one guy who bumped into me while I was waiting to cross the street and made me spill my coffee on myself last week in the language that I’m trying to learn.
It takes 21 days to form a habit so if you promise to do this for the next 21 days, you’ll be giving yourself a skill that will be very useful in the future. Good luck my multilingual beauties!