Desperate language learner

After many years of learning and practising Spanish, I achieved quiet a good language level. Then I dropped it and switched over to Italian, which also worked very well.
But now I went on holidays, was looking forward to speak Spanish again and was totally shocked. In the meantime I really have lost all my active Spanish! Although I did some Spanish refreshing before travelling.
I (can) read books in Spanish without any problem but it seems that I am not able any more to talk to natives! :frowning:
Even the easiest small talk is hardly possible.

Perhaps someone has made similar language experiences.
I would be very interested to know about your strategies in demotivating language learning situations.

Part of your problem might be ‘language interference’. Italian dominates and won’t allow easy access to Spanish until you’ve had a certain amount of practice again.

Should you be suffering from perfectionism, a sentence to bear in mind is 'nobody is perfect. Give it another go!

If you don’t have anyone to speak with, try reading Spanish texts, especially dialogues, out loud. Act out the dialogues, talk with your hands as well as with your mouth, put yourself in the shoes of the characters whose dialogue you are reading. It is not as good as having a conversation partner, but it may be the next best thing. I have noticed that when I challenge my German students who are learning English to act out English dialogues, it helps them lose the German intonation, and they sound less German and more English straightaway.

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I had 2 trips to Germany in November and January. I was more or less fluent in German but the November trip seemed to me not very successful concerning the language, so I tried my best to listen and read more in German. It helped alot, the January trip went on much better.
The languages may be rusty but it takes not too much time to polish them and make shine again.

I had the same experience with French. What I did is I started again to read and listen to audio and I noticed a good improvement. It’s normal to become rusty in a language if you don’t use it for a while. The good news is that, in most cases, after a relatively short refreshment period you’re back in business. :slight_smile:

My suggestion is when you read, you read out loud as is you’re talking to someone instead of read silently, This way you can practice the pronunciation and presentation. This is what I am doing with my English and Chinese learning at Hanbridge Mandarin. Really helps a lot.

Instead or reading aloud, try to retell the texts that you have read.
It helps more because retelling has almost all signs of the conversation but without the partner.

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Absolutely, language interference at its best!
Besides I was shocked because also the Italian didn’t work as I am used to…
But even it is hard at the moment, I give it another go!!!

Good idea, thank you!

This is great motivation!
I will try my best too, get ridd of the actual demotivation and go on studying.
Perhaps one week Spanish and one Italian in change.

It’s absolutely right, I didn’t use the language for quiet a long time and perhaps the problem was that I thought to be able to refresh in a very short time. In some hours…
Fortunately I have a lot of interesting books in Spanish which I will read now. And with a little radio listening I could top my refreshment.
Hopefully soon back in business:)!

Perfect, the words will easier inmerse and stay in mind by reading out loud and by the way one has to use a lot of different words which you wouldn’t use normally.

Ok, I will try this.
What do you think about making mistakes by retelling out loud and eventually to keep in mind these mistakes?

Retelling is a kind of a summary, so you can always check and correct yourself adresseing to the original text.
At least, my long experience of learning and teaching testifies the truth of this method.

Thank you, sounds perfect!

I want to thank all of you for your helpful and creative tips.
“Back again”, remotivated and already going on with my studies!!!

Good for you :slight_smile: