MiXeD FeElinGs about SPANISH
Hey so I'm not sure if this happens to any of you guys but... Recently I've just been having a lot of mixed feelings about Spanish. So I was a really eager and passionate language learner over the summer-like I would watch Spanish videos in Youtube, read Spanish books, even do some practice in grammar books-you get the point. I was having a lot of fun and I really enjoyed the process.
However, school started and I was quite excited to step into my Spanish class with all the knowledge I had gained over the summer. It's been 5 weeks so far and well, Spanish is just kinda becoming a chore to me and something I honestly don't look forward to much anymore. Let me explain: In my class, we focus so hard in grammar (right now we are learning the impersonal 'se', preterite vs imperfect, vocabulary relating to health) and everything seems so rushed and crammed together. Also, class lessons are honestly kind of dull and we really just work out of a spanish grammar packet or listen to our teacher ramble on about grammar. Of course, sometimes we come into class and we have a meme in Spanish or a writing practice which I actually feel like is intriguing sometimes. Oh and I forgot to mention the pop quizzes we get. Almost every class, we get 1-2 quizzes regarding what we have learned, but I just wish the teacher would understand that I can't grasp a concept within a day! Because we transition from concept to concept, everything is just fast-paced. Now, I understand my class is really pushing us to become knowledgable about the Spanish language and to be successful in AP Spanish or whatever, but I'm actually getting a bit frustrated. Because I was planning to go far with Spanish-to meet and communicate with new people, maybe start a podcast in Spanish, but I just feel cast down.
I feel like all the fun about learning a language is just being sucked out of that class. Like, learning Spanish and the culture should be something fun and not just hard-core memorization of rules and words. Also, why so much grammar? There's more to a language!
Well, sorry for this really long rant. I feel a bit better just writing my thoughts down :) Do you guys have any recommendations for me?
Yes, I totally agree with you. I just started my Italian course in school and it's not as fun as Duolingo or at least what I expected. Here's my suggestion: when you feel ready, maybe start a short story at home in Spanish. And then finish your school work fast in school and then work on your story. That might make Spanish more fun and you will be motivated to continue. Believe me, once you complete your story, you'll feel extremely proud of yourself! Now Grammar. It is extremely important. But you'd learn faster and better if you communicate in Spanish with people instead of sit at your desk pouring over Grammar Books. So maybe go online or start like a club or something and then you can practice Spanish by socializing. Good luck!
Your sentiments are shared by many people, even some Spanish teachers and professors hate the way that school systems force them to focus on grammar, tests, etc. rather than practice speaking and writing.
However...there is a saying. You can't fight city hall. In other words, if you want to pass your current Spanish course and look forward to some future day when the Spanish you study will be more exciting ... then the best thing to do is knuckle down and figure out how to pass or even get a good grade.
It sounds like your problem is mostly with not understanding things quickly enough to get a good grade on the frequent quizzes. The remedy for this is to work ahead. Always try to read one-two chapters ahead and do the problems before the teacher teaches it. That way, you will really understand what is going on in class and probably breeze through the material.
Teachers have strict guidelines on what they have to teach you and not all have the creative ability to impart that in fun and interesting ways. As a student you need to find ways to help yourself keep interest and not rely on the teacher to motivate you.
Try YouTube a TV show called Extra, and another La Vida Loca, both designed to teach some Spanish in more interesting ways.
Keep plugging away at it.
The thing with Duolingo is you get to progress at your own pace and they understand that people learn with repetition. There are many ways to learn Spanish and I think learning this way is probably the fastest way to learn to read, write, hear, and speak the language. However, there are the required courses and the testing in school you must endure for the curriculum. The thing is classroom learning is always different. It's not tailor made for each student.