Today we tell you about some tips to increase your Spanish vocabulary. If you want to learn new Spanish words quickly using effective strategies, take a look at this blog! El Rincón del Tándem Spanish school will help you speed up your learning process 😉
Learning a language can seem an endless and ongoing process.
Especially at the very beginning of the learning pathway, Spanish students can feel frustrated at not being able to communicate properly with native speakers and at finding themselves at a loss of words.
If that also happens to you, we suggest you to take a look at the list below and try these tips to increase your Spanish vocabulary.
Reading is one of the most effective way to learn a new language and to increase vocabulary of a target language. Therefore, we suggest you to spend some time reading every day.
To begin with, you may start with short stories or texts. Try to dedicate reading at least 15-20 minutes a day; it may be a blog, an article from a newspaper, a music magazine, a comic, etc.
If you are very passionate about reading, you may start with bilingual books that allows you to compare texts in Spanish with the translation in your mother tongue.
Another useful tool are books that are adapted to different language level. They can be novels or story collections that have been specifically designed for language learners to help them avoid frustration and to facilitate reading.
While reading, do not forget to write down all the new words, in your mobile, notebook, etc.
Words are related to each other as they refer to specific fields and situations. Therefore, when you learn one you will be automatically led to get to know others. An effective way to expand your Spanish vocabulary is learning words by categories or topics.
For instance, you may start to split words and verbs that you already know into categories (“the house”, “the body”, “shopping”, etc.) and then expand the related vocabulary for each of them.
You can do that associating new adjectives to nouns, or making simple sentences combining noun, adjective and verbs.
Learning loan words and cognates
Another way to expand your vocabulary in Spanish is to learn loanwords and cognates.
Loanwards are words from other languages that are widely used by Spanish speaker; cognates, instead, are words from different languages that have common origin and similar meaning.
When it comes with cognates, we suggest you to always check their meanings as sometimes they have changed their original meaning differently in the two languages.
In this case, they are known as “false friends”.
Generally, looking up cognates and loanwords in Spanish will help you integrate words that you already know in your Spanish vocabulary.
Watch TV series and movies in Spanish
This way you will learn Spanish words in context thus getting aware on how to use them properly in real situations.
Also, watching Spanish movies and series will allow you to hear their pronunciation and proper sound of the words.
Finally, we would suggest to choose movies and series that are not too complex or do not match your Spanish level.
We suggest you to watch a movie or a series chapter twice: the first time, turning on Spanish subtitle and the second one turning them off. In the first case you will be understanding the history and learning new words and expressions. By watching it a second time you will be able to focus on how words sound and to realize how many new words you remember.
Learning prefixes and suffixes
Every Spanish learner must be aware of the function that these small grammar parts play in the language. Knowing what prefixes and suffixes and how they change the meaning of the base words will help you to expand your vocabulary starting from what you already know.
That is a way to build up Spanish vocabulary on your previous knowledge.
Using Flashcards and sticky notes
Especially at the beginning of your studies, sticky notes may work efficiently for building up a basic vocabulary. For instance, if you need to learn how to name objects in Spanish, you can place sticky notes on them and remove them once you feel you have well memorized the words.
In addition, Flashcard are a very classic and popular tool to learn new words quickly. The most effective way to use flashcards is making them yourself as this process will help you intake new information and process it with your own words.
Also, you can associate the words with an image or a picture; that will help you remember more efficiently.
Finally, if you are into new technologies, there is a broad range of apps to memorize words, like “Quizlet”. This app allows you to create your own flashcards and practice Spanish words and verbs.
Performing new words
As soon as you read or listen a new word, we suggest to create a full sentence with it. It is important to do that when the Spanish word is still fresh in your mind and to build a sentence that you may easily use in real life situations. If the sentence is useful for you, you will use it often in practical situations.
If possible, try to use these sentences immediately, like at the supermarket, at the post office, at the train station, etc.
We hope you have found useful tips to increase your Spanish vocabulary in this blog.
As always, we encourage you to keep learning new Spanish words and use them at school, at home or outside.
Finally, we remind you that El Rincónd el Tándem Spanish school is awaiting for you, here in Valencia!
See you soon