People make fun of Kevin Heart’s video in which he spits a few lines of his Spanish. But I think it’s wonderful. You know why? Because he is being bold! He is using his knowledge to engage in the language. You see, it took me years to step out of fear when speaking Spanish. I was afraid I would fail at grammar or not understand what someone was saying to me. That fear was not productive. Here I was seeking to be proficient in a language that I didn’t even use. Girl, bye.
Becoming proficient in a language takes time
When you begin to learn the language, it can be difficult. You may not have the accent you want. You have a limited vocabulary and the language may sound new to you. As a child, the language sounded a lot like gibberish to me. I remember hearing a streamless line of sounds that I couldn’t make out. Now, the words sound distinct and even if I am unfamiliar with a term, I can write it down for later or repeat it to a friend. That took time. Don’t get frustrated if you aren’t chatting like a telenovela star after one lesson.
Speaking the language is so important
Even if you sound like Kevin Hart does, use your target language when you can. In the store. In the school. With your friends. If there is one thing I wish I would do more, even now, it is speak Spanish. You may only know a few words but implementing those words into your vocabulary cements them into your brain. It’s a shame that most schools, in my experience, focused on reading and writing Spanish. Those are great skill sets, but speaking is just as, if not more important.
You got this!
If you are getting out of your comfort zone, and having conversations with others, your skills will improve. The hardest part about this is not letting your pride get in the way. Try to have the attitude of a young child. Messing up is not ‘bad’ but a fun learning process that will increase your abilities. Keep on speaking on!