Why do people spent years in a foreign country and don’t actually get to speak Spanish?
The well-known billionaire Warren Buffet once said that you should from mistakes, but these mistakes don’t necessarily have to be YOURS. Whilst the success investor may not know much about learning Spanish, he does make a great point that we can all apply to our approach to learning the language.
Have you ever wondered why people that migrate to a foreign country, and live there for years (some decades) but they end up not being able to speak the language? Well, there’s a very simple reason for this- lack of immersion. In most of these cases the individual has more than enough brain power to learn the language, but they set themselves up in a situation that makes it almost impossible that learn it. Initially, they may enter the country and make a few friends that also speak their first language in order to get around better. This however often gets out of hand and before this person knows it, they have created a whole social circle that truly does not require them to speak the native language of the country at all.
Likely, you are reading this article and can your safe years of not learning Spanish if you decide to go live Spanish or any other Latin American country. First and for most, you must set yourself up to win, so go out there and make as many friends that speak your target language as you can! By doing this, you will force yourself to be constantly exposed to the language. Even if you can hardly speak the language yourself, being around them will allow you to listen to them with other native speakers with will give you a sense of what a native conversation sounds like. You will be surprise at how much you yourself will adopt from watch such interactions. This is a big part of immersion that will lead you to success with Spanish!
What if you are not able to travel away?
Immersion is still very possible without having to travel to the country or even having native friends. How? The trick is to change everything around you into Spanish (again, setting yourself up for success). And when I say everything, I mean EVERYTHING. The television show you watch, your phone, your laptop, your music… Get creative! You will be shocked at how much expose to Spanish you can give yourself just by being at home. Be courage and dive into this adventure!