Taking an online course for the first time? As an online Spanish teacher for almost a year, I can tell you that face-to-face classes are not quite similar to online lessons, and there are many aspects to consider.
The accessories you must have (headphones and microphone), the Internet stability, the silence of the place in which you receive the class are just some of them, and while at first switching to online classes may sound a little intimidating, the benefits of studying like this are much more and believe me, once you overcome this learning curve and start studying, you will not want to go back to face-to-face classes. Not sure? Check out this, the number of resources and activities that you can do online is incredibly more entertaining and effective.
I invite you to read these 8 effective tips if you are getting started with the online study but if you haven’t decided yet, check out my classes to see what these are all about. It’s never too late to start studying a new language, I’m waiting for you!
1. Get a planner
Find a way to get organized, in which you can divide your week into daily activities. Here you have a video in which they teach how to make an agenda in a very simple and practical way. In this way, you can include the spaces you really need and remove or add sections to your preference.
2. Prioritize your study
Try to make a list of what you need to prioritize and plan your time to study different things every day. For example: If what you find most difficult when speaking Spanish is listening and understanding words, then it may be good to focus more on listening activities than other skills. Having two or three weekly sessions with active listening activities will make a difference in your learning.
3. Find a quiet moment among your daily activities
Try to have your study sessions during quiet moments of the day to help you concentrate fully on the activity you are doing. It is tempting to do some Spanish activities while we are on our way to work or waiting for a friend to show up at the cafe or even while waiting for the bus, but the problem about studying at these times is you won’t be focusing fully on the activity and therefore, you won’t reach your targets. It’s much better to find a quiet part of the day and a space where you won’t have any distractions.
4. Schedule different activities every day
Talk to your online teacher and ask him/her to give you lessons to develop different skills for each session. Remember that when we learn a language, we need to work on listening, writing, speaking, and reading.
If you are not studying with a teacher yet then be creative and choose activities that you like, but most importantly, do them every day. If one of your passions is reading, then you can spend one day doing free reading and then reading an article you like or just looking up the vocabulary. The possibilities are endless and you can be as versatile as you want, but always with perseverance and commitment.
5. Try as much as possible not to have long study days
I advise you to have 2 sessions of one hour each week. My experience as a teacher tells me that less than that is a waste of money and time, the best way is to spend two to three times a week for at least one hour of Spanish study. You can do this with the help of an online tutor or by yourself.
There are many resources on the internet that you can use to study Spanish on your own and have enjoyable and very effective sessions as well. Check here some resources that could help you.
6. Take a day off and rest!
If you don’t feel like studying one day, that’s fine, as long as you do it another day then it’s fine. Remember that acquiring a language has to be fun because the brain learns more easily when people are motivated. If you’re having a bad day and you just want to rest, do it!
7. Turn off your cell phone during your study sessions
Turn off your cell phone during your study sessions and if you can’t turn it off because of your work, then leave it in the next room. Try as much as possible not to have any distractions around you, otherwise, those 60 minutes of study will turn into 30 minutes of unfinished activities and finally a waste of money and time.
8. Re-schedule your sessions when you have problems
We all have days when we have to struggle with time and don’t finish what we set out to do but don’t worry, it’s as easy as looking at your planning again and redoing it. The most important thing is that you don’t stop your sessions for too long and that you try to be as consistent as possible.
What has worked best for me with my students is communication via e-mail or even Whatsapp, so try to always be in contact with your teacher and you will be able to reschedule your sessions without any problems.
What do you think? Will you try some of these tips?
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Abrazos y hasta pronto