How to Learn the Vocabulary, the Verbs, and the Prepositions When Studying a Foreign Language

This evening, my daughter and my Korean son in law came in while I was making another Spanish lesson.  My daughter speaks Romanian, is fluent in Korean, speaks a little Japanese too, and would like to study Spanish, but thinks she is too busy, but her husband keeps trying to play with her in Spanish. Playing with a language is one easy and fun way to learn a language.  However, since Romanian and Spanish are so similar, my daughter can pick up vocabulary in Spanish without studying it. English is also more similar to to Spanish than Korean, and it makes my Korean son in law struggle with Spanish. The more complicated words in English come from Latin, and he speaks English as a second language, so the Spanish words are really foreign to him, not like to a native speaker of English.  If English is your first language and you are studying Spanish, you are having an easier time than my Korean son in law. He is struggling trying to remember the vocabulary.

He takes subways and buses places, and he walks to work. Often, he is looking at the Spanish lessons when he is walking to work on his phone.  I know a really good way to remember words in a foreign language is to write. I suggested to him that he print out the lessons and write the answers in.  When I have been learning any language, I wrote and wrote and wrote in that language. I often wrote the same word or sentence over and over again saying it out loud until it was in my head.  When I was studying Japanese, I got small cards and wrote the Japanese on one side and the English on the other side. I took a train to school in Japan, so I studied my words on the train all the way to school.  I suggested to my son in law that we should make him flash cards to help him remember the words.

He also suggested I make a copy of the verb game I invented to learn verbs in Spanish for him.  When I was teaching English at the university here in Korea, I invented a verb game to help my students learn English verbs easier, and they really enjoyed it and learned all the tenses easier.  I played with them, and learned how to conjugate Korean verbs. My daughter put a copy write on it, and we have sold some, but it isn’t on the internet right now. I am thinking about copying what I did for my Korean students who studied English, but do it with English and Spanish and/ or with Korean and Spanish for my Korean son in law.  It is a fun game, and everyone learns a lot easier.  If I do that, I will put the game out there for you to order in case you want to play the game too.

If you are having trouble learning the prepositions, there is a drill you can do.  Take a pen and a book. Put the pen on the book and say, “Donde’ esta’ el boligrafo?” (Where is the pen?) Then answer: “El boligrafo esta’ sobre del libro.” (The pen is on the book.)n After that, put the pen beside the book and say, “Donde’ esta’ el boligrafo?” The answer is: “El boligrafo esta’ al lado del libro.”  (The pen is beside the book.)  After that, go back to putting the pen back on the book and say again, “Donde’ esta’ el boligrafo?” Answer the questions again, then put it beside the book again, and answer the question again. Next, put the pen behind the book and say, “Donde’ esta’ el boligrafo?” The answer is “El boligrafo esta’ detras del libro.”  (The pen is behind the book.)  After you answer this one, go back and answer the first two questions again, and then come back and answer this one again.  Keep adding prepositions: “en” = in. “delante de”= in front of, “debajo de” =under. “encima de” = over. Just take the preposition out of the sentences you have already used and substitute these.  Keep drilling yourself or let someone else ask you the question.  This is a sure way to learn those prepositions. I can present them, but I am here in a blog. I put lots of questions out there hoping to, in a way, drill you, but it is hard to drill you until you are completely comfortable with it because I don’t know how much drilling you need, and each person has a different level of Spanish.

If you want to order a verb game from me, leave me a message in the comments.  My game helps people learn to conjugate verbs a lot easier than just reading it on the internet. I used to do a thing called “English Clinic” with the university students, and they always came in wanting to play the verb game.  Students who really struggled with English learned to conjugate verbs from my verb game.

I have actually made a lot of learning games for my students. I only have the original verb games that were used so much by my students right now that they played with so much the games were almost messed up.  My daughter has the nice laminated copy of my game that can’t get messed up at school right now using them with her students because she is also a teacher. I have some cards from a game I made for elementary school students here to show you:

These cards have English on one side and Korean on the other.  I made them for elementary school students.

Again, English on one side of the cards, and Korean on the other.

When I make the verb game into English and Spanish, it will be laminated and have all the instructions on how to play and answers.  If you are interested, when I am done, you will be able to order a copy of the game. I am going to do the same thing with English and Spanish that I did with Korean and English that my students enjoyed so much and got so much out of.

I understand that learning a language isn’t always that easy, but it doesn’t mean that it can’t be fun.  I have even made board games for my students to play in the language they were studying to use for conversation.  When I taught Spanish in high school, I took the Monopoly game and put it all in Spanish for my students, and they could play if they spoke Spanish, so they spoke Spanish, had a good time, and learned Spanish conversation and how to talk about money.  There are so many things that can be done to learn. I will be making an English/ Spanish verb game, and I will tell you when it is finished.


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