As we are all aware, language learning is becoming more and more important in schools worldwide, and learning Spanish as a foreign language definitely fits this description.
The Spanish language is spoken by around 440 million speakers, meaning that Spanish courses are becoming more and more popular for students.
And if you are going to learn Spanish at school or university, you will need to ensure your proficiency is at a good level in order to take any one of a number of national exams in the country that you live.
This will involve being attentive in your Spanish classes so that you can assimilate all of the aspects of Spanish grammar and Spanish vocabulary in order to improve your fluency before test day.
However, this is only a part of the story. You will also need to be constantly working on your language skills outside of your Spanish course. This is a process that you can do on your own, but have you considered employing the help of a Spanish teacher in order to help you revise for your Spanish exam?
The best way to learn Spanish? Find the right teacher!
As a beginner, you might need the help of a private Spanish teacher prior to taking the big test.
This might simply act as a form of reassurance. An intensive language-immersion trip or activity before the test can help reassure students and lower their stress level so they can pass the test with flying colours.
Other students might need the proper setting to work. All year, they are encouraged or guided by their professors and their fellow students and then a few weeks before the test they find themselves alone, trying to review, and don’t know where to start or how to work alone.
They can’t motivate themselves and it’s especially difficult when the warm weather returns and others are enjoying themselves outside! It’s another trial that tests which students are the most motivated to succeed!
Taking private Spanish lessons gives students a framework in which to review for the test. Students are obliged to follow a specific plan, just like in their high school classes, and a teacher is there to steer them and to “force” them to work.
The test-taker might also have a methodology problem and thus their way of revising might be utterly inefficient. At-home Spanish lessons can help a student find their own way of reviewing in order to pass even the most dreaded of exams.
What’s more, it gives students a setting to ask questions about things that they are unsure about. For beginners, this might be the different tenses, the use of adjectives, or other grammatical structures. For intermediate students, this might relate to the Spanish subjunctive, or the imperfect tense.
Finally, no matter what kind of language test a student is studying for, there are generally four different areas the test will cover: speaking, reading, writing, and listening skills. A student might have difficulties with listening comprehension, or with written expression, and a private Spanish teacher can help focus on and improve each student’s weaknesses, whether that be pronunciation, vocabulary, grammar, turns of phrase, or making logical connectors.
Don’t forget that if you are taking the SAT Spanish subject test, you have the option of taking the standard test, or the test with a listening component.
Learn Spanish for beginners: Keep clean and well-organised study notes
Learning different thing in Spanish needs to be fun and relaxed in order to be effective. Meeting your teacher in an informal manner, for example at a coffee shop, will allow you to see if you can work well together, but also to speak about your needs, your weak spots, and your strengths. Your Spanish professor will thus be able to better direct your test preparations to ensure that nothing passes you by.
This is important because preparing for a test in Spanish is like a juggling act. Not only do you need to dedicate equal time to the four main components of language, you need to ensure that the foundations of your language learning are all solid.
This means you’ll need to continually practise things such as sentence structure, verb conjugation, and how to best communicate your ideas and thought in Spanish, in order to effectively improve your proficiency in the four main components.
The teacher must make sure that their lessons are up to date and legible to prevent losing precious time. Bringing previous homework and tests to the lessons can be a good way of illustrating a student’s strong points and weaknesses in order for the teacher to know what areas to focus on.
Good at-home tutors, contrary to those in the high school classroom, must be able to adapt their lessons to the students’ needs. They shouldn’t settle for following a general test review without paying attention to the students’ individual needs. It’s possible to review the concepts posing the most difficulty for the students, but the most important thing is to prepare for the test and to review in a way that will guarantee the best chance of passing.
Books can help you prepare for your Spanish test with you tutor
Although a placement in Spain would be an ideal way to improve your language proficiency, it is largely not possible for most people.
But have no fear, there are plenty of other ways to prepare for your Spanish test without having to go to Madrid or Barcelona.
One idea might be to make worksheets or flash cards to review. More than a simple list of Spanish words, your review sheets should be specific to what subjects will be on the test. Generally, language tests include a written component, a reading comprehension component, and perhaps a listening or speaking component as well. Make sure your review includes all of these different areas.
Spanish speaking should utilise pedagogical resources such as corrected past tests, quizzes, and homework assignments. Your Spanish tutor will more than likely have access to these types of things. Reviewing past exams allows a student to better prepare for what awaits them. It’s practically impossible to speculate about what texts will appear on the test.
On the other hand, the vocabulary and grammar questions generally focus on lessons taught in class, so make sure to review your class notes to be well prepared. For listening comprehension, it’s essential to prepare by training your ear, so listen to Spanish beforehand. Try watching YouTube videos! Don’t underestimate the additional help that you can get from online Spanish resources.
From a linguistic point of view, your private Spanish teacher should also help you to identify your strengths and weaknesses in terms of memorisation: are you a visual learner, auditory learner, or a kinesthetic learner?
Teachers can combine several methods to aid memorisation:
Multiple-choice questions can also be a fun and different way of learning and reviewing what you have done over the course of the semester.
To excel on a Spanish exam, it is important to take a practice test. The advantage of having a private tutor is that they can correct the practice test for you and also give you the tools to succeed. They might even help you to get a very high score thanks to their Spanish skills.
Working on your writing and reasoning skills is a good way to gain points on your test by using prepositions, logical connectors, and literary devices.
Sometimes practicing for the oral component can feel a bit theatrical, but it’s so necessary for review that you practice conversations with your private tutor.
Your private tutor can help you figure out how to organize an essay draft. Just as with an English test, it’s important to have a coherent argument and not be too scatterbrained. You probably won’t have time to edit your essay, so you should instead focus on using key words that will help you remember important concepts and which will help you to clearly convey your ideas.
A private tutor can help you to write draft essays before your Spanish test.
Regular language assessment with your professor is a requirement in order to manage your stress levels. If that’s not enough, you can also do relaxation exercises with your teacher in order to lower your overall stress level and improve your public speaking abilities.
Whether you’re studying Spanish in order to pursue a journalism degree, a business degree, or a literary career, Spanish and foreign languages in general are important to study and can play a role in choosing your professional path. Study abroad in college, or as a gap year after high school, can be pretty cool and not too difficult if you already have a pretty good grasp on the language.
If you don’t want to fall behind in your studies, why not find a private tutor who can help you throughout the year?
Learning and reviewing regularly over the long term is a good way to ensure that you will maintain a high level of Spanish.
An at-home Spanish teacher can set you on an intensive course during the Easter holidays or the week before a big test for example.
A student who has chosen to take this path will have a more manageable stress level because their knowledge will be reinforced over time. Passing a big Spanish test isn’t that complicated! Trust in your Spanish teacher.