The importance of speaking when learning Spanish

“Knowing is not enough, we must apply. Willing is not enough, we must do”. Bruce Lee

Listening, speaking, reading and writing, all four parts interconnect with one another and practicing all of them on a daily basis will greatly improve your learning process. A lot of people tend to put a lot more effort on certain skills and not enough on others. Interestingly enough, speaking is the skill most people wish to be really good at. Yet, it’s also the skill they practice the least. In the next few posts, we will talk about the ways you can practice your speaking skills in language learning.

One of the main reasons why people don’t practice speaking as much as other skills is that it’s not nearly as convenient. Learning at home on your computer is great, but to practice speaking, you need humans. As human beings, having a conversation in our mother tongue is something that is second nature to us. But for computers, conversations are very complex and it’s one of the few things they simply can’t do right. A computer can solve ultra complex equations, remember mind-boggling amounts of data, play chess better than world champions, but they can’t have an interesting conversation with you. Sure, you can ask the virtual assistant on your phone to tell you a joke, but let’s face it, they’re often pretty lousy. In order to truly practice your speaking skills, you’ll have to talk to real human beings (scary I know). Fortunately, while computers can’t really have engaging conversations with you, they can certainly help you find these wonderful conversationalists called humans.

It can be nice to have a basic foundation in your new language before you go out into the world, but try not to wait too long! We believe that it’s best to try to speak as soon as you start learning, even if it’s just simple words like “hello” and “thank you” when visiting foreign destinations. It will train you to combat language anxiety in the future. It is quite amazing how much people will appreciate the fact that you are making an effort to speak their language, and it is very gratifying. It’s important to keep in mind that there will never be a perfect moment to start speaking. Might as well start as soon as possible, right? Unfortunately, not speaking enough is the reason most people have trouble speaking. I know this sounds obvious, but for some reason, many don’t understand this when it comes to languages. You can learn all the theory in the world, but there comes a time when you need to apply it and simply practice.

Most people will feel some level of foreign language anxiety, especially when starting out. But the good news is that after a few conversations, the idea of trying to be perfect often goes away. Even if you take some time to find your words, you eventually understand that there’s no need for any anxiety. Speaking in a different language is a wonderful experience and it’s likely what you are aiming for. The sense of accomplishment after completing a conversation in a different language is greater than you can imagine. Depriving yourself of that experience for months and months would be a shame. We highly encourage you to start speaking as soon as possible!