The thing students are most afraid of when learning Spanish or any other language is forgetting what they have learnt when the time to put it into practice comes: during a conversation, during an interview or during an exam, for instance. Thus, here you have a list of our 3 best pieces of advice to help you not forget every notion you have learnt in Spanish.
Discover what the forgetting curve is and how to fight against it
The number 1 mistake that we observe learners of Spanish make is assuming that they will automatically remember what they have studied. Forever. The truth is that you cannot say you have learnt something until it has reached you long-term memory. Our brain has the annoying habit to erase part of the information that has already been stored. So if you learn a word in Spanish today, you will end up forgetting it if you don’t revise it regularly. To store all the Spanish that you learn in your long-term memory you have to make sure you revise it the following day. In an 8 days’ time you need to revise it again. And in a 30 days’ time, and so on. This is what the Space by Repetition System (SRS) does! This system reminds you to revise what you have learnt in as many times as necessary until you have stored it in your long-term memory.
Do not stop until your level of Spanish is all right
When a student of Spanish or any other language takes a break from learning for too long at the early stages of the process it may be detrimental for their linguistic abilities. A beginner speaker or a false beginner speaker of Spanish may forget the knowledge really fast, just as fast as they learn at the early stages. Thus, whatever you decide to do, do not stop practicing for a long period of time if you are still in the steep slope of the learning curve of Spanish.
Put into practice everything you have learnt
In order not to forget the important parts of the language you have to make the effort of practicing all the knowledge you have learnt of Spanish. One of the reasons why it is recommended to study a grammar rule in Spanish only when necessary is because if you study grammar without having to use it on the paper or in a conversation it will be useless. If you want to make sure you don’t forget a word, grammar rule or conjugation in Spanish, apart from revising it often, you have to use it frequently. A strategy that we recommend of writing down the words you want to learn by heart in Spanish and then try to incorporate then to your oral speech, both in an interior monologue or in a dialogue with someone else, or to your written speech. For instance, write a diary entry with all the vocabulary in Spanish that you are interested in. This is really useful!
Finally, if you are in Spain or planning to come to Spain, I recommend you come to Valencia, Spain. It is the perfect place to learn the language! The people here are nice and the environment couldn’t be better. Also, in Valencia you can find Spanish & Valencia, where Spanish classes for foreign people are offered. Both for students and adults, private classes are available and your needs will absolutely be met.
Come to Valencia, you won’t regret it!
Adapted from Mosalingua
Translated by Silvia Juste Rincón