Goals written by different PBO’s Students:
“Quiero hablar con mi esposo durante la cena.”
“Quiero hablar con mi abuela en español.”
“Hablar con mis compañeros de trabajo.”
“Necesito hablar más con mi familia en español.”
“Practicar con mi mamá.”
“Llamar a mi primo cada semana.”
“Hablar más con mis clientes.”
What do all of these goals have in common? You got it, speaking to native speakers.
Very simple, right? As it turns out, not really.
Why not? What gets in the way? Fear? Lack of motivation? Embarrassment? Perfectionistic standards? Lack of effort? Comfort? Probably a bit of all of these.
But I can tell you that if you don’t make the effort to speak more, you’re not going to improve. It’s really that simple.
So what do you do about it?
First I would recommend setting aside 10 minutes to have a conversation with yourself about your goals in Spanish. How badly do you want to improve your speaking ability? Are you willing to put in the time that it requires? Are you willing to put your ego aside and be humble during this process? You may find that you’re not willing to do what it takes, and that’s ok. Learning a language is not for everyone. But if you realize that this is indeed something that you really want, then make the decision right then and there to do what needs to be done. This will help you get into the right frame of mind, which is the most important part of learning a language.
Sit down and a write a list of when exactly you’re going to speak Spanish. For example, don’t write “I’m going to talk to my co-workers in Spanish” – that is too general. Instead you could say “every Tuesday is going to be lunch in Spanish day” or “every night when I get home I’m going to speak Spanish to my husband for 10 minutes.” Make a decision and do it.
Start small so that you have room to build. Don’t start with “I’m going to only speak to my Mom in Spanish” because that’s probably not going to happen. Start with maybe 10 minutes each time and build on that. Every month or so reevaluate and add some more time.
Write yourself a note that you will see every morning and every evening. It could say something along the lines of “What have I done (or what will I do) today to help me reach my goal of feeling more comfortable speaking Spanish (or improving my speaking skills)?”. The daily reminder will help keep you on track by reminding you that if you do a little bit every day, you will reach your goal. And every night when you read it and remind yourself of what you did that day, you will feel proud of yourself 🙂
So that’s it really. It’s pretty simple. It’s just a matter of making up your mind to do it and then holding yourself responsible. And please remember that it doesn’t have to be perfect. The goal is communication, not perfection.
The optional homework this week is to write a list of 10 things that you are going to do, using the “official” future tense. That means that you would use “iré” instead of “voy a ir” or “cambiaré” instead of “voy a cambiar.”
These should all be things that you ARE going to do, not that you would like to do.
For example: El sábado iré de compras a Whole Foods – o – La próxima semana compraré los boletos para el concierto de Phish en octubre J
This is how you conjugate the future tense in Spanish:
The infinitive + the endings: é, ás, á, emos, án
For example: comer: yo comeré, tú comerás, el/ella/Ud. comerá, nosotros comeremos, Uds. comerán
La tarea opcional de esta semana es hacer una lista de 10 cosas que van a hacer en el futuro, usando el tiempo “oficial” del futuro. Lo que quiero decir con eso es que deben usar por ejemplo “iré” no “voy a ir” o “cambiaré” no “voy a cambiar.” Y estas tienen que ser cosas que VAN a hacer, no que QUIEREN hacer…son cosas ciertas.
Por ejemplo: El sábado iré de compras a Whole Foods – o – La próxima semana compraré los boletos para el concierto de Phish en octubre 🙂
Así se conjuga el futuro en español:
el infinitivo del verbo + las terminaciones: é, ás, á, emos o án
Por ejemplo: comer: yo comeré, tú comerás, el/ella/Ud. comerá, nosotros comeremos, Uds. comerán