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Tips for language acquisition: Do it in Spanish!

Usually when you travel a bit like we do throughout the world you meet a lot of people speaking several languages and almost a hundred percent of the times, among the most fluent speakers you find you'll find people doing things in the language they are studying or they want to speak.
This is a real-life example that happens to me frequently when we travel, this one happened in Morocco. I don't speak Arabic and neither do anyone in my family. So, we are in Morocco and we meet a guy that start speaking to us in Spanish (really fluently) 
We always take our time with these people because of our lack of Arabic language knowledge and our desire to get to know people from the country and our uncountable doubts & questions. In the end, we always get to ask to the person how he/she speaks such a good Spanish. And almost every time their answer is the same one: I learnt it watching the Spanish channel on TV.
These examples always made me wonder about the reality of these methods, but empirically talking it's obvious. We have to admit that works. 
So far I haven't done any research on this field. ButI can tell you than my experience is telling me that the continuous exposure you can get through these strategies is more than enough to recommend it. 
Today is really easy to consume Media in the target language and get an on-going exposure throughout your day. Typical examples: read/listen the news through national channels/newspapers of those countries, listen music in the target language...examples are endless!
But my best adivce is to be open-minded, if you extrapolate this concept you can find interesting benefits. Don't just think in Media, anything you like, try to do it in Spanish, you'll see the difference.

Keep it simple: if you like it, do it in Spanish!


This is a great article in The New York Times about language acquisition & inmersion/exposure if you want to read more about this topic. 



Also, inmersion learners benefit cognitively, exhibiting greater non-verbal problem-solving abilities and more flexible thinking (Met, 1998)


Sources:
  • Met, M. (Ed.). (1998). Critical issues in early second language learning. New York: Scott Foresman—Addison Wesley.
  • Center for Applied Linguistics



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