What Will Be Your Toughest Challenge When Learning a Second Language? (Part II)

The Vocabulary

It is wonderful to learn a new word and to be able to use it in a sensible way. I have quite a good memory so that combined with my interest in the subject means that I don’t struggle too much with this aspect. However, what if you don’t pick up the words as easily as you might do? Well, one idea is to use mnemonics to help you remember more words. I do this for difficult words and you could try it with any of the important ones which don’t stick in your head. All you need to do is relate the word to a memorable image. For example, I remember the Spanish word mentira (lie, as in untruth) by thinking of an unscrupulous politician living in a minty house during the Mint Era – which is the pepperminty version of the Stone Age or Bronze Age in my head. It sounds weird but it works for me. Of course, to get going in learning the words in the first place I should start with my Spanish lessons in Chicago! You need to get taught the meaning of the word before you can create a mnemonic.

The Grammar

As I said, I find this the toughest challenge for me. Ideally, you will find a teacher who makes this part of the course interesting enough that you don’t mind it. In fact, if they breathe life into the rules behind the language then it could end up being pretty fascinating stuff. If you want to find a teacher who knows how to get you interested in the grammar then click here.


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