When I learnt Spanish at school, technology didn’t play much of a part. Doing listening exercises from CDs and visiting the BBC Bitesize website was as technological as it got.
Fast forward a fair few years and I’m picking up my Spanish again, but this time there are so many creative ways to practise. Here are some of my favourites.
Watch YouTube in your chosen language
It’s hard even for me to believe now that there was no YouTube when I was at school. Now there are thousands and thousands of hours of Spanish at my fingertips. For Spanish I really like Hey It’s Priscila, who makes amazing DIYs and recipes. So useful for vocabulary! Now, they are native speakers so they talk FAST, but don’t be disheartened. It all helps.
Duolingo is an amazing free app. Some people claim they have become fluent using it, which I think is a load of rubbish, but it is fantastic for getting the holiday basics or brushing up if you already know some of a language.
This app has made a huge difference to me. Having a dictionary on my phone means I can look up a word whenever it occurs to me. It also doesn’t need data to work, so you can use it abroad without getting stung. Best of all, it shows verb tables and you don’t have to know the infinitive to look something up.
Be warned: this website is addictive! It’s basically a game where you watch a subtitled music video, and you have to type in the missing words. It’s great fun and a good way to find new artists in your chosen language. You can play here.
Listening to music in Spanish is one of my favourite ways to learn. I try to learn the lyrics and look up new words. You will need music which is clear, especially at first. For Spanish I love Alvaro Soler and Julieta Venegas.
Buy magazines online
When I was in Valencia I picked up a couple of magazines, and once I’d been through them I really wanted to get my hands on more. I found Unique Magazines online and ordered a Spanish edition of Glamour. I was impressed that it came within two days and will definitely use them again. Including postage Glamour cost me £5 so it is on the pricey side for a magazine, but since it will take me much longer to read than an English mag it’s pretty good value for money.
I hope that gave you a few ideas if you’re looking to boost your language skills!