Learning Spanish in Context
What does it actually mean?
When we learn a new language we discover and assimilate new words and phrases connecting them with those we have already learned. The way this works in our brain is an amazing process.
How does it work? We remember words and phrases, and store them for future retrieval. Remembering works best, when learners of Spanish language are able to engage in relevant, situational, day to day conversations which have personal meaning for them.
Some words and phrases would be remembered but if tailored to the student’s interests and needs in a ‘meaningful’ way it becomes easier for the student to make these connections and therefore easier to remember and use.
As children we learn to speak when experiencing real life situations. Patterns, words and phrases begin linking in our brains and before we know what has happened we have the ability to communicate with other people through shared experience expressed in language.
How do we learn a new language in a classroom if we are not living the language in real life?
We do this through games, fostering spontaneous conversations, role play, videos, audios, interactive activities, exercises, written work and associating graphics, drawings or videos with words, phrases or expressions.
Connections and patterns begin to emerge building a network in our brains. Words and phrases embed themselves, ensuring we not only learn quickly but we will also remember what we have learned.
It is during this process of learning that we start associating the right ways to express ourselves. We learn to associate an object, the qualities of an object or an action, with words, actions and with grammatical constructions. We start to uncover patterns and rules or principles. These patterns help us to use this new information and they are retained in our brains with the information we already know.
Tailored learning helps us to memorise more patterns and as this knowledge becomes anchored in our brains our confidence and capacity to learn more of the new language increases.