Spanish Language Exchange "task overload"

Watch
jazzay123
Badges: 7
Rep:
?
#1
Report Thread starter 4 years ago
#1
Hi everyone!

I recently did a Spanish language exchange; it was a wonderful experience, however it is difficult to say whether my speaking skills have immensely improved.

When you are in a place where your second language is being spoken very quickly and with a variety of different accents, it can be difficult to grasp contexts in conversations, and remember long chains of conversation.

Even in my native tongue, I tend to listen a lot more than I speak. However, when I listen to people talking in Spanish, I feel this pressure that I need to respond in some way so that they realise that I understand at least the gist of the conversation, and that they aren't talking to a brick wall.

I'm the type of person that mentally goes through potential conversations in my head, even in English, before I have conversations with people. I like to be prepared, but I also like how life is so spontaneous that you simply cannot prepare for every possible scenario. I find it difficult to express myself in a foreign language, often because I invest so much time listening to the dialogue that I can't at least mentally prepare something I even want to contribute to the conversation.

Does anybody have any speaking tips??

Thanks in advance 😊
0
reply
Marsoher
Badges: 0
Rep:
?
#2
Report 4 years ago
#2
Hi jazzay!

I’m a Spanish student and also I’m going to make an exchange to England for the next course, so I think I can try to help u a bit.

The most important thing is to understand as much as possible and try to move on from there, and that’s hard for sure if u don’t control the language (I´m really struggling with the British accent), so that’s why u have to advertise your partner, if u don’t understand anything just tell him and he will try to slow down or explain it in another way or even change to English for a bit.

Also, u don’t need to remember the chain of the conversation, just try to keep the concept, u can even do it in your language.

For that pressure u say, not always there is a need to answer, if u want to make him notice that u are understanding everything, u can just assent or say something like “ajam”.

And for the last point, I’m exactly like u and I would say that it doesn’t help that much, I mean.. It can work as training, but that is all. I went to improvisation theatre classes and I learned there that It don’t help at all to try to prepare a conversation, because when it happen u try to say the same u prepared and if u don’t remember anything u start to struggle and in the end its easier to just try to go spontaneous.

My advice would be to try to start always as something “easy” as for example to ask him how his weekend was and move on from there. Don’t try to remember everything, just the concept. And for the last, ALWAYS ask him to go slower or to repeat it, because we are totally disposed to help.

I hope that helped u a bit at least and I am totally open if u wants to ask something.

Aaaaand sorry for my bad English
0
reply
jazzay123
Badges: 7
Rep:
?
#3
Report Thread starter 4 years ago
#3
(Original post by Marsoher)
Hi jazzay!

I’m a Spanish student and also I’m going to make an exchange to England for the next course, so I think I can try to help u a bit.

The most important thing is to understand as much as possible and try to move on from there, and that’s hard for sure if u don’t control the language (I´m really struggling with the British accent), so that’s why u have to advertise your partner, if u don’t understand anything just tell him and he will try to slow down or explain it in another way or even change to English for a bit.

Also, u don’t need to remember the chain of the conversation, just try to keep the concept, u can even do it in your language.

For that pressure u say, not always there is a need to answer, if u want to make him notice that u are understanding everything, u can just assent or say something like “ajam”.

And for the last point, I’m exactly like u and I would say that it doesn’t help that much, I mean.. It can work as training, but that is all. I went to improvisation theatre classes and I learned there that It don’t help at all to try to prepare a conversation, because when it happen u try to say the same u prepared and if u don’t remember anything u start to struggle and in the end its easier to just try to go spontaneous.

My advice would be to try to start always as something “easy” as for example to ask him how his weekend was and move on from there. Don’t try to remember everything, just the concept. And for the last, ALWAYS ask him to go slower or to repeat it, because we are totally disposed to help.

I hope that helped u a bit at least and I am totally open if u wants to ask something.

Aaaaand sorry for my bad English
Hi Marsoher, Exchanges are really amazing, where are you going in England? My exchange partner did an exchange before in Bath ☺️ My problem is that I'm a bit of a perfectionist, and I really want to be able to speak Spanish spontaneously because it sounds so amazing and when I can't express myself clearly it makes me feel stupid. The good thing about my partner was that she spoke with me in Spanish the whole time, which I found really beneficial... that way I had to speak Spanish and that helps also! When I am listening to Spanish conversations, I can pick out certain words or phrases and that helps me keep the rough idea, but overall I can't remember conversations clearly when I look back. That's good advice about feeling pressure to communicate. I am a very expressive person when I speak, and I use my tone of voice and facial expressions etc to add to what I say, but I want to improve my speaking so that I don't need to rely on these too much. That makes a lot of sense with the conversation preparation. Natural is a lot better, but because I use so much energy trying to understand the conversation, I take a 'mind blank' and don't know how to respond 😟 Your advice is actually very useful, and your English is clearly better than my Spanish😂 Good job, I love the Spanish language learning system, in the UK they introduce languages very slightly in primary school but we don't start learning until secondary school. This needs to change! ¡Qué lo pases bien en tu intercambio!
0
reply
X

Quick Reply

Attached files
Write a reply...
Reply
new posts
Back
to top
Latest
My Feed

See more of what you like on
The Student Room

You can personalise what you see on TSR. Tell us a little about yourself to get started.

Personalise

What support do you need with your UCAS application?

I need help researching unis (12)
13.48%
I need help researching courses (7)
7.87%
I need help with filling out the application form (5)
5.62%
I need help with my personal statement (36)
40.45%
I need help with understanding how to make my application stand out (23)
25.84%
I need help with something else (let us know in the thread!) (2)
2.25%
I'm feeling confident about my application and don't need any help at the moment (4)
4.49%

Watched Threads

View All