In this section we’ll learn some new vocabulary. Assuming you’re working with this course in the context of a Spanish class, many of these vocabulary words will be right in front of you: they’re the common objects in a classroom or office. We’ll also be learning the numbers from 0 through 30.
First, a quick word about learning vocabulary in a foreign language. There are lots of tips and tricks out there, and the most important thing is to find the strategy that works for you. A few things to consider:
- Since Spanish nouns, as we’ll see, have masculine or feminine gender, it’s important to remember the word and its article, rather than just the word itself: La mochila (the backpack) rather than just mochila. If you like to use paper flashcards, it can be helpful to use different colored paper for masculine and feminine nouns. That way even if you can’t remember the article, you might associate the word with the corresponding color.
- There are lots of apps and websites out there to help you learn vocabulary. Quizlet, StudyBlue, Flashcards+, Brainscape, and Anki are some of the most popular flashcard services.
- It’s more effective to learn words in context than in isolation. Rather than trying to cram lists of random words into your memory, try to remember the words in the context of sentences or phrases. Is there a song featuring the word you’re trying to remember? (For instance, it turns out that there are a lot of songs about “la mochila” on YouTube. Many of which you’ll never get out of your head. You’ve been warned.)
- However you decide to memorize new words, the main thing is to set aside time regularly to work on memorization. Frequent, short sessions are better than one long session before the test.
Here are some more techniques for learning new vocabulary: