Tips for Learning Spanish: Tip 1 – Identify Your Motivation

by Chief Spanish Learner on November 6, 2012

Wow… can’t believe how long it has been since I’ve posted to this blog. Well it won’t be so long till the next post, since this is the first in series of tips for learning Spanish. These tips are not really specific to learning the Spanish language, but could apply to learning any foreign language. Some, though not all, of the tips even apply to learning any new skill.

So the first tip is: Understand Your Motivation

Oh, and rather than just doling out advice, I’m going to follow this advice myself with each post. That’s why I’m only posting one tip per blog post.

So my own personal motivation for learning Spanish. For those of you who don’t know, I developed No-Work Spanish as someone LEARNING Spanish, not as someone who knows it and is trying to teach others.

Why do I want to learn Spanish?

A couple reasons. I always feel like an outsider when I hear a language spoken which I don’t know. Especially if the speaker also knows English. I feel as if there is a scorecard over our heads and they have two language points and I have one. So one reason I’d like to learn Spanish is to reduce the number of people in the world who are one-up on me, ha ha…. Not the most noble reason, but the truth.

A second reason. Since No-Work Spanish and the philosophy that you should learn a new language by using the language to express something meaningful (no drills just for practice), are not accepted by everyone, I want to achieve some level of fluency or competancy in Spanish to prove that this method works. So that’s really not a noble reason — wanting to prove my point — but it does motivate me.

Finally, I like that ah-HAH feeling when you “get it”. We were eating with a family that speaks both Spanish and English and when I heard the little girl say, “no quiero más” I thought, “cool, she just said she doesn’t want any more.” It was such a simple statement and yet I felt accomplished for understanding it. So I’m motivated because I’ve always enjoyed solving puzzles or riddles. I like to be in the know, to “get it.” And with well over 10% of the United States speaking Spanish, there are plenty of times that you have to understand Spanish, if you want to “get it.”

So my own personal motivation for wanting to learn Spanish is that I’d like to
– be on equal footing with all the bilingual folks in the world
– prove that you can learn Spanish by hearing it used in meaningful statements, such as No-Work Spanish audiobooks
– solve the mystery of “what are they saying?”

What’s your motivation for wanting to learn Spanish? Is it required by your school? Do you have Spanish-speaking relatives or friends? Will you be traveling to a Spanish-speaking country? Or to Miami?

Identifying your motivation for learning Spanish is the first step to learning it!


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