What Makes Learning Spanish Difficult for Native English Speakers?

Spanish is the second most widely spoken language in the U.S. Native English speakers choose to learn Spanish either for educational/professional needs or out of genuine interest. But, many of them find it difficult to learn Spanish due to the inherent grammatical differences between Spanish and English and due to the inefficient individual approaches towards learning.

This article highlights the aspects that can probably make learning Spanish difficult for the native English speakers.

Differences pertaining to grammar
As Spanish (like every other language) is unique and has its own structural make-up, non-natives may have a hard time learning it. A native English speaker may often find difficulty in learning grammar which includes the usage of articles and prepositions and understanding sentence structures, the subjunctive mood, false cognates, pronunciation and dialects.

However, since Spanish and English have the same Latin roots, there are also a few similarities between these languages that may provide some relief to English speakers.

Choosing the wrong teaching methods
Incorrect teaching methods that are poorly designed and repetitive focus only on mastering theory and not on the usage of the language. This makes it a much harder and longer process for the English speakers to learn the language. One may study Spanish for years yet when confronted with a real-life situation have difficulty forming a single sentence correctly.

Choosing the right learning approach makes a big difference in your learning process. A good and productive learning method is marked by a well-designed learning structure that includes teaching using a step-wise module, native speakersÂ’ videos, audio drills, interactive learning activities, sample tests and suggestions for improvement based on the individual’s performance. All these features enable effective and fast learning of Spanish.

Tedious approach towards learning Spanish
Although native English speakers in the U.S. are surrounded by a large number of Spanish speakers and are well-exposed to their culture, they tend to make the common mistake of relying heavily on text books, thinking that they are helpful in learning the language. This, however, is a bad idea as textbooks teach Spanish using artificial conversations, boring content and expects one to master the language by quoting a maximum of 3-5 examples.

Lack of practice
More often than not, native English speakers confine their learning only to the classroom – this will exacerbate the already present difficulties in the learning process. Especially when you are advancing to the next level in your learning process, practice becomes imperative, without which you will be disconnected from the language. Serious and regular practice of difficult topics such as the subjunctive mood, false cognates, tenses, etc., will help you in better understanding Spanish and eliminating the hurdles that occur in your learning process.

Try to master Spanish in an unreasonably short period of time
Many native English speakers in the U.S. learn Spanish with a purpose in mind (i.e. to get a promotion, graduation certificate, etc.) so they try to master Spanish in an unreasonably short period of time. However, one should remember that learning the language while keeping only the outcome in mind will hamper your learning abilities and efficiency. And also, through this kind of learning, you will overlook many important aspects of the language. This leaves you with no proper understanding of language and you will be unable to make conversations comfortably.

Though Spanish in itself is not necessarily the most complicated language to learn, one may find it either difficult or easy depending on the choices one makes regarding the use of Spanish learning resources and the mindset one adopts in the learning process.