"Anyone who stops learning is old — whether this happens at twenty or at eighty. Anyone who keeps on learning not only remains young but becomes constantly more valuable — regardless of physical capacity."
- Henry Ford
Henry Ford said it perfectly, the only time you are too old is when you stop learning! In fact, learning keeps you young!
Before we get into speaking a little Spainish let us start this article off with some of the benefits of learning Spanish as an Adult.
The Benefits of Learning Spanish as an Adult
Believe it or not, there are actually way more benefits to learning a second language later in life than you may think.
Learning a second language improves your attention span and your long-term memory!
When speaking, bilinguals or multilingual people are constantly switching between two or more languages in their minds, and this switching improves the brain’s ability to concentrate on one thing while ignoring other irrelevant information.
People who speak more than one language have improved memory, problem-solving and critical-thinking skills, enhanced concentration, ability to multitask, and better listening skills. They switch between competing tasks and monitor changes in their environment more easily than monolinguals, as well as display signs of greater creativity and flexibility.
If that weren’t enough, as we age, being bilingual or multilingual also helps to stave off mental ageing and cognitive decline.
See the World and Connect with Other Cultures
The Spanish language will enhance the experiences you will have during your journeys abroad. Native Spanish speakers love when people learn to speak Spanish, it shows respect to the visiting country.
Also when you know how to speak more than one language, you are more easily able to navigate outside the tourist bubble and to connect and interact with the place and its people. Being able to communicate in another language exposes us to and fosters an appreciation for the traditions, religions, arts, and history of the people associated with that language.
Not only can you submerge yourself in "la Fiesta y la Comida" you can also have a deeper appreciation of the culture and history.
Speaking Another Language Enhances Your Employability
Okay, so you're an adult, you have a job and you may think why do I need to speak another language?
Well, speaking that extra language could be the difference between staying in your current position and getting a promotion.
We live in a multicultural world in the midst of the digital age, so no matter where in the world you reside, whether it is in Ireland or New York, people who have experience in more than one language are high in demand in the job market in all sectors and industries, as employers consider them to be better communicators and problem solvers. Therefore they are likely to be put in the positions that deal with clients across the globe. They may even work in marketing, HR, advertising and many other communication-based sectors.
Naturally, it makes sense, that adults who speak both English and Spanish are going to be highly desirable employees, as both languages are spoken most globally.
"If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his language, that goes to his heart."
- Nelson Mandela
Learning Basic Spanish is Important
It is a really good idea for adults to learn a basic level of Spanish because Spanish is spoken in so many countries worldwide in fact it is second only to English in the United States and Europe.
Being able to speak Spanish at a conversational level of proficiency means that a person has the ability to comfortably converse/communicate in the language.
Once you know how to speak a little Spanish and you decide where to go on your next trip, you can go to a local bar or restaurant and ask the waiter to make some food suggestions, or you can ask a guide for advice on which tour to take. You can even visit a wine and food tasting experience, not to mention all the great music festivals and so on that take place throughout the different seasons. Giving yourself the gift of language means you're not relying on someone else to translate for you.
Free Online Spanish Tuition
There are so many ways that you can learn Spanish as an adult for free online let's start with the obvious.
A YouTube channel which I have used and found very handy is called Language of Earth, they have a Playlist called Spanish Lessons for Beginners which consists of 16 videos. The playlist teaches you everything in the Spanish language from how to count to how to hold a conversation in different situations.
Another way you can learn Spanish online for free is by downloading Free Language Apps. For me, Duolingo was the app that worked best. Duolingo works by teaching lessons that are fun and split into bite-sized skills that feel like games. As mentioned this app is available to use for free, with ads and limitations however there is a plus version that comes at a price.
Where ever you get your podcasts whether it's with Apple, Spotify or the Google Playstore it doesn't matter, make sure you download Podcasts in Spanish repeat them aloud and write them into your phrasebook when learning a language, practice and repetition are key.
Whichever of these options you choose, or maybe you will decide to try them all, I highly recommend creating your own phrasebook to go along with your learning. By creating a personalised Spanish phrasebook you are keeping notes to look back over your progress.
This does not need to be anything fancy just a copy or notepad, with two different coloured pens, one for the Spanish words and one for the English translation. Every time you learn a new phrase, especially one you know you will use again, write it down phonetically, correctly and then in English.
I wish you the best of look as you embark on your Spanish adventures and remember if you're struggling, here at Superprof we have some of Ireland's best Spanish tutors with lessons starting from just €10 and in most cases, you get the first class free.
So if you want to double-check that vocabulary or grammar. maybe you want to try speaking with someone before that big trip, why not click here and take a few classes either in person or online today!
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