People learning any language face a variety of challenges. Grammar and vocabulary can be pretty problematic, but many people have no access to native or fluent speakers to turn to. Luckily, even people living far from the language’s origin can patch different resources together to learn more quickly.
Most of us remember studying with paperback and hardback books full of grammar, vocabulary and expressions. As outdated as they may seem, book still offer the fundamentals in a portable format. They also give learners a chance to think about what they have read in a way that’s harder to do on the computer. Getting offline and away from distractions helps people focus on what they are studying, and it makes a very big difference.
Along with traditional books, e-books have begun to change the way people pick up a new language. Online publishers put out long tomes on language, but they also offer smaller, more specialized books. Learners can use these to customize their language program according to their strengths and weaknesses. New books come out nearly every day, so students will find almost anything imaginable to improve their skills.
To complement these resources, many students turn to audio books. This can really help flesh out tricky pronunciation issues that arise. Nothing beats hearing a native speaker hit the exact sound for a word or syllable. Also, audio books can save time for people with busy lives. Instead of wasting that commute to work on frivolous radio programs, music or just silence, drivers and passengers can turn this time into hours of practice. And that’s why I ultimately decided that books with audio was the best way to share Spanish at Home.
Learning a language rarely comes easy to anyone. Only a small percentage of people find speaking and listening in a foreign language intuitive when they begin. However, with the right combination of tools, anyone can make significant strides in understanding and even producing their second language of choice through home study.