Though they might not be the first thing that comes to mind when thinking of inspiration for a blog post, billboards have served as springboards for my writing more than once in the past. Maybe I’m not paying enough attention when I’m driving? I’d prefer to think that I’m just very observant and good at multitasking. Anyway, I recently saw a great billboard and, as I tend to do, I followed a train of thought and arrived at the idea of the importance of staying focused in Spanish acquisition (or any learning process).
While this billboard is referring to reducing water use, the underlying idea can be applied to many different things. As someone who grew up as a pretty scheduled kid, being very dedicated to academics as well as doing lots of different activities, I can appreciate the beauty of “less is more” and the joy of simplifying. This can be a very important yet often overlooked philosophy in language acquisition.
We live in an era of many, many options: where to eat, what to eat, what to wear, where to buy what you wear, what to watch, what to listen to, what to read, what format to read things in, where to go – you get the idea, you’re living it. You had a million other options of things to read and at this moment you’re choosing this blog (thanks!). The same is true when it comes to acquiring a new language. There are tons of books, websites, apps, classes, methodologies, software, tutors, mnemonics, etc, etc. It can be kind of overwhelming, so how do you choose?
Well, I believe the answer to that is different for each person. Everyone comes from a different background, has different strengths and challenges, and learns differently. Therefore, everyone needs different tools and environments to learn. While it might be nice if there was a one-size-fits-all program or a quick and easy method that worked every time, there simply isn’t. And honestly I’m glad that’s the case because it means that we are each unique, which is much more interesting than a bunch of identical automatons cruising around.
It is important for you to find the things that work for you and stick with them. There is definitely some trial and error involved in this, so it’s nice if you can try things out without fully committing to them. For example, you can download the Pars Omni Spanish Voices software for free and then purchase additional materials later if you decide you like it. I have found the Pars Omni system works well for me and it’s very customizable, which makes it a great resource for many people. It has a lot of tools built into it so you can access various things in one place. It is also easy to integrate with other learning tools so you can find the perfect combination for you.
I highly recommend quality over quantity when it comes to Spanish acquisition. If you’re constantly trying new things and jumping all over the place, your brain has to use energy to adapt to those new things instead of using that energy to absorb and process the language. That’s not to say you shouldn’t try new things – you definitely should! You never know what you might find. But you should also have a solid base to work from, and Pars Omni can provide just that, so check it out today!