How to learn a second language

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Here is a simplistic view of the second language acquisition process:

1. In order to speak a second language, you need to know some basic vocabulary (nouns, verbs, adjectives and adverbs) in most everyday topics: descriptive vocabulary, human relations, work environment, leisure activities, food, the city and its services, housing and furniture, clothing and human anatomy.

2. In addition to that, you must be able to correctly use at least a hundred commonly used verbs in their present, past and future tenses.

3. Lastly, you should know all the basic structural components of the language: articles, subject and object pronouns, prepositions, conjunctions, etc.

So how do I do that?

Here are some suggestions to specifically speed up the Spanish language learning process, although it would be the same for any other language.

1. Get obsessed with learning Spanish. Make it the top priority in your life.
2. Take classes for a few years — of course, we recommend that you take them at Berges Institute, but even if that’s not possible because you don’t live in NYC, please still do it 🙂
3. Memorize a few words every day, always emphasizing verbs and its conjugations. Purchase a few grammar books; constantly allocate time to study, review, read and write.
4. Watch TV and listen to music in Spanish exclusively, in order to develop your listening abilities. Learn about Spanish and Latin American culture. Make Spanish-speaking friends. Email them and text them in Spanish.
5. Visit as many Spanish-speaking countries as you can.
6. Find a Spanish native speaker who wants to do language interchange and meet with him/her regularly.

Once you are happy with your current skills, choose the next language you would like to learn and start again from the beginning!

Most importantly: never get frustrated. People will always be happy and try to be helpful when you are trying to speak their language. Learning a second language is a long and complex process, but the benefits are enormous!
Verbo de la semana:

Regar – to water/to irrigate

¿Regaste las plantas esta semana?

Did you water the plants this week?

Normalmente riego mis plantas un día sí, un día no.

I usually water my plants every other day.

¿Puedes por favor regar mis cactus mientras estoy de vacaciones?

Can you please water my cacti while I’m on vacation?

Regaré las plantas cuando llegue a mi casa.

I’ll water the plants when I get home.

Antes tenía varias plantas, y nunca olvidaba regarlas.

In the past, I used to have several plants, and I would never forget to water them.

«¿Puedes regar mis cactus mientras estoy de vacaciones?» / PUBLIC DOMAIN

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