Success 301 – Dive into Native Material

by Robbie Kunz

One of the most powerful concepts you can use when learning a language is to use materials that are fun or interesting to you to learn the language and not just textbooks and learning programs.

The reason for this is that if you are really interested in the material, you will be better able to retain the foreign language in it and you will find yourself having a good time. This means that you will be more likely to study longer and be more interested in finding out more about Spanish.

So, if you have a certain hobby or interest, you may want to find some magazine articles in the language related to your hobby or interest. If you like to watch movies, you might consider finding some movies created in that country or additionally, try watching some movies you already know from English dubbed into whatever language you’re studying.

Not only will this be a fun thing to do because you truly are interested in the topic, but you will find that you make much quicker progress in learning new vocabulary and grammar structure!

The only difficult part about this aspect is finding a routine, and level of language that works for you. For instance you may enjoy reading the newspaper every morning online. So you could find another newspaper site in a foreign language, but you’d have to make sure that the topic was simple enough for you to understand. Topics on economics or political policy may be too difficult for a beginner to grasp and it would require a huge amount of high level vocabulary to be able to read. However with this difficulty comes equal reward, by being able to learn vast amounts of vocab very quickly you’ll also see a huge difference in your reading ability very quickly.

As long as you understand what you are getting into, and still find it pleasurable at the end of the day I would say keep at it. Otherwise try to find something simpler, maybe a subbed soap opera or something with simple concepts like a soccer game.

You’ll find this same issue wherever you look, such as magazines of certain topics will be more or less complex. I also recommend using children’s books or shows if you are truly just starting out in a language so you do not get discouraged easily, though it may be a bit embarrassing if someone walks in on you!

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