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4 Highly Effective Ways to Learn Spanish

4 Highly Effective Ways to Learn Spanish
Finding a language tutor to learn Spanish is a fairly straight-forward process. Finding the right language tutor is a whole different ball game.

With the advent of online communication, there are now more options than ever to learn and practice new languages. Although having more options can be great, choosing the wrong one only wastes your time and money.

Let’s explore some of the most effective options available to study Spanish so you can decide which one is right for you.

Private In-Person Tutoring

índice

    How to Find One

    • Google: “Private [Language] Tutors in [Your City]”
    • Craigslist & Other Classified Ads

    Pros
    Private tutoring is great if you’re looking for a more interactive experience, especially if you’re used to in-person learning. It can also be easier to pay attention to the smaller details such as hand gestures and pronunciations.

    Cons
    The biggest hesitation for most people when it comes to in-person tutoring is the cost. Because of the time and attention it requires for private tutors to meet and engage in-person, they normally charge anywhere from $15 to $20 per hour on average. Scheduling the time and place can also cause some issues because of the need to meet in-person.

    Recommended for:
    Private in-person tutoring is ideal for when you’re first starting out as a beginner and have a busy lifestyle. Having someone who is available to work around your schedule and meet you in-person will keep you accountable and motivated when you’re initially starting out.

    Language Schools

    endice

      How to Find One

      • GoAbroad
      • IALC
      • Google: “Language Schools in [City]” or “[Language] Language Schools”
      • Craigslist & Other Classified Ads

      Pros
      The main benefit of language schools is that it allows you to meet and learn with a group of fellow language learners. This is a great option if you’ve just arrived in a new country and you’re looking for a social experience with other travelers. Because of the intensity of many language schools (i.e. daily classes), it’s also great if you want to learn as much as you can in a short span of time.

      Cons
      Learning in a group means you’ll receive less attention, and your progress in class will heavily depend on the skill level of others in the class. Given the business structure of most language schools, you’ll often have to pay just as much, if not more than private tutors.

      Recommended for:
      Going with language schools is recommended if you’re seeking intense learning in a short span of time. This is particularly common when you’re traveling in a new country or planning to travel to one in the near future.

      Conversation Exchange

      conversation

        How to Find One

        Pros
        This is a viable option or anyone who does not have the budget to invest in language learning because it’s free. It does involve patience and time, but it’s possible to make it work if you’re not interested in paying for a solution.

        Cons
        Given that it is called a conversation “exchange,” giving back your time to help your partner is also required. A common scenario is to spend the first half the time on one language and the last half on the other. This is not an ideal solution if you don’t have the luxury of time, since it also takes longer to seek out and connect with the right conversation partner(s).

        Recommended for:
        Conversation exchanges are mainly used for people looking to maintain their skills and have the patience to give back their time as well. It’s popular amongst hobbyist language learners, who are looking more to chat with people from other countries.

        Online Video Tutoring

        skype-chat

          How to Find One
          Finding an online tutor is as easy as searching online by typing in the keywords you’re looking for.

          For example if you’re looking to learn Spanish, you can type “Spanish tutor online” and you’ll receive a listing of private tutors offering their services. Because online tutoring is not location dependent, you don’t need to type in a specific location.

          You can also go to Rype to practice your Spanish with one of our trained coaches.

          Pros
          The benefits of online tutoring are endless. You can take lessons whenever its convenient, learn in the comfort of your home, and speak with tutors from anywhere across the world. There’s also many more options to work with since online learning is not location dependent.

          Cons
          Although this isn’t a problem for most, the main downside of online tutoring can be the lack of connection students feel with the tutors, particularly if they’re used to in-person learning. However, as long as you have an optimal internet connection, you’ll should be able to get the same quality of tutoring online.

          Recommended for:
          Online tutoring is great for language learners who are looking to maintain or improve their skills on their own time. The convenience of learning in the comfort of your home allows you to be flexible and practice on your own time.


          There’s no right or wrong option here to study Spanish. Your choice depends solely on your own situation, skill level, and learning preferences.

          If you’re just starting to learn, and you’re looking to improve in a short span of time, we recommend private in-person tutoring or language schools.

          If you’re intermediate or advanced, and you’re looking to improve or practice on your own time, we recommend online tutoring or conversation exchanges.

          Luckily, if you’re the latter (conversation exchange or online tutoring), we’ve taken the benefits of both options and created Rype.

          More by this author

          Sean Kim

          Sean is the founder and CEO of Rype, a language learning app. He's an entrepreneur and blogger.

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          Last Updated on March 30, 2020

          What Does Self-Conscious Mean? (And How to Stop Being It)

          What Does Self-Conscious Mean? (And How to Stop Being It)

          Have you ever walked into a room and felt like your nerves simply couldn’t handle it? Your heart beats fast, you start to sweat, and you feel like all eyes are on you (even if they’re really not). This is just one of the many ways that being self-conscious can rear its ugly head.

          You may not even realize you’re self-conscious, and you may be wondering, “What does self-conscious mean?” That’s a good place to start.

          This article will define self-consciousness, show how practically everyone has faced it at one point or another, and give you tips to avoid it.

          What Does Self-Conscious Mean?

          According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, self-conscious is defined as “conscious of one’s own acts or states as belonging to or originating in oneself.”[1]

          Not so bad, right? There’s another definition, though — one that speaks more to what you’re going through: “feeling uncomfortably conscious of oneself as an object of the observation of others.” For those of us who regularly deal with extreme self-consciousness, that second definition sounds about right.

          There are many different ways self-consciousness can spring up. You may feel self-conscious around people you know, like your family members or closest friends. You may feel self-conscious at work, even though you spend hours every week around your co-workers. Or you may feel self-conscious when out in public and surrounded by strangers. However, you probably don’t feel self-conscious when you’re home alone.

          How to Stop Being Too Self-Conscious

          When you’re in the throes of self-consciousness, it’s nearly impossible to remember how to stop feeling that way. That’s why it’s so important to prepare ahead of time, when you’re feeling ready to tackle the problem instead of succumbing to it.

          Here are a variety of ways to feel better about yourself and stop thinking about how others see you.

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          1. Ask Yourself, “So What?”

          One way to banish negative, self-conscious thoughts is to do just that: banish them.

          The next time you walk into a room and feel your face getting red, think to yourself, “So what?” How much does it really matter if people don’t like how you look or act? What’s the worst that could happen?

          Most of the time, you’ll find that you don’t have a good answer to this question. Then, you can immediately start assigning such thoughts less importance. With self-awareness, you can acknowledge that your negative thoughts are present and realize that you don’t agree with them.[2] They’re just thoughts, after all.

          2. Be Honest

          A lie that self-consciousness might tell is that there’s one way to act or feel. Honestly, though, everyone else is just figuring life out as well. There isn’t a preferred way to show up to an event, gathering, or public place. What you can do is be honest with your feelings and thoughts.[3]

          If you feel offended by something someone says, you don’t have to smile to be polite or laugh to fit in with the crowd. Instead, you can politely say why you disagree or excuse yourself and find a group of people who you relate to better. If you’re nervous, don’t overcompensate by trying to look relaxed and casual — it’ll be obvious you’re putting on a front. Instead, nothing is more endearing than saying, “I’m a little nervous!” to a room of people who probably feel the exact same way.

          On the same note, if you don’t understand why someone wants you to do something, question it. You can do this at work, at home, or even with people you don’t know well. Nobody should force you to do something you don’t want to do.

          Also, even if you’re willing to do what’s asked of you, there’s nothing wrong with asking for more clarification. People will realize that you’re not a person to be bossed around.

          3. Understand Why You’re Struggling at Work

          Being self-conscious at work can get in the way of your daily responsibilities, your relationships with co-workers, and even your career as a whole. If you’re facing some sort of conflict but you’re too nervous to speak up, you may be at the whim of what happens to you instead of taking some control.

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          If you’re usually confident at work, you may be wondering where this new self-consciousness is coming from. It’s possible that you’re dealing with burnout.[4] Common signs are anxiety, fatigue and distraction, all of which can leave you feeling under-confident.

          4. Succeed at Something

          When you create success in your life, it’s easier to feel confident[5] and less self-conscious. If you feel self-conscious at work, finish the project that’s been looming over your head. If you feel self-conscious in the gym, complete an advanced workout class.

          Exposing yourself to what you’re scared of and then succeeding at it in some way (even just by finishing it) can do wonders for your self-esteem. The more confidence you build, the more likely you are to have more success in the future, which will create a cycle of confidence-building.

          5. Treat All of You — Not Just Your Self-Consciousness

          Trying to solve your self-consciousness alone may not treat the root of the problem. Instead, take a well-rounded approach to lower your self-consciousness and build confidence in areas where you may struggle.

          Even professional counselors are embracing this holistic type of treatment[6] because they feel that the health of the mind and body are inextricably linked. This approach combines physical, spiritual, and psychological components. Common activities and treatments include meditation, yoga, massage, and healthy changes to diet and exercise.

          If much of this is new to you, it will pay to give it a try. You never know how it will impact you.

          If you’re feeling self-conscious about how your body looks, a massage that makes you feel great could boost your confidence. If you try a new workout, you could have something exciting to talk about the next time you’re in a group setting.

          Putting yourself in a new situation and learning that you can get through it with grace can give you the confidence to get through all sorts of events and nerve-wracking moments.

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          6. Make the Changes That Are Within Your Control

          Let’s say you walk into a room and you’re self-conscious about how you look. However, you may have put a lot of time and effort into your outfit. Even though it may stand out, this is how you have chosen to express yourself.

          You have to work on your internal confidence, not your external appearance. There’s nothing to change other than your outlook.

          On the other hand, maybe there’s something that you don’t like about yourself that you can change. For example, maybe you hate how a birthmark on your face looks or have varicose veins that you think are unsightly. If you can do something about these things, do it! There’s nothing wrong with changing your appearance (or skills, education, etc.) if it’s going to make you more confident.

          You don’t have to accept your current situation for acceptance’s sake. There’s no award for putting up with something you hate. Confidence is also required to make changes that are scary, even if they’re for the better. Plus, it may be an easier fix than you thought. For example, treating varicose veins doesn’t have to involve surgery — sometimes simple compression stockings will take care of the problem.[7]

          7. Realize That Everyone Has Awkward Moments

          Everyone has said something awkward to someone else and lived to tell the tale. We’ve all forgotten somebody’s name or said, “You too!” when the concession stand girl says to enjoy our movie. Not only are these things uber-common, but they’re not nearly as embarrassing as you feel they are.

          Think about how you react when someone else does something awkward. Do you think, “Wow, that person’s such a loser!” or do you think, “What a relief, I’m not the only one who does that.” Chances are good that’s the same reaction others have to you when you stumble.

          Remember, self-consciousness is a state of mind that you have control over. You don’t have to feel this way. Do what you need to in order to build your confidence, put your self-consciousness in perspective, and start exercising your “I feel awesome about myself” muscle. It’ll get easier with time.

          When Is Being Self-Conscious a Good Thing?

          Self-consciousness can sometimes be a good thing[8], but you have to take the awkwardness and nerves out of it.

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          In this case, “self-aware” is a much better term. Knowing how you come off to people is an excellent trait; you’ll be able to read a room and understand how what you do and say affects others. These are fantastic skills for people work and personal relationships.

          Self-awareness helps you dress appropriately for the occasion, tells you that you’re talking too loud or not loud enough, and guides a conversation so you don’t offend or bore anyone.

          It’s not about being someone you’re not — that can actually have adverse effects, just like self-consciousness. Instead, it’s about turning up certain aspects of yourself to perform well in the situation.

          Final Thoughts

          When you’re self-conscious, you’re constantly battling with yourself in an effort to control how other people view you. You try to change yourself to suit what you think other people want to see.

          The truth, though, is that you can’t actually control how other people view you — and you may not even be correct about how they view you in the first place.

          Being confident doesn’t happen overnight. Instead, it happens in small steps as you slowly build your confidence and say “no” to your self-consciousness. It also requires accepting that you’re going to feel self-conscious sometimes, and that’s okay.

          Sometimes worrying that there is a problem can be more stressful than the problem itself. Feeling bad for feeling self-conscious can be more troublesome than simply feeling it and getting on with the day.

          Forgive yourself for being human and make the small changes that will lead to better confidence in the future.

          More Tips for Improving Your Self-Esteem

          Featured photo credit: Cata via unsplash.com

          Reference

          [1] Merriam-Webster: Self-conscious
          [2] Bustle: 7 Tips On How To Stop Feeling Self-Conscious
          [3] Marc and Angel: 10 Things to Remember When You Feel Unsure of Yourself
          [4] Bostitch: How to Protect Small Businesses From Burnout
          [5] Psychology Today: Self-conscious? Get Over It
          [6] Wake Forest University: Embracing Holistic Medicine
          [7] Center for Vein Restoration: What Causes Venous Ulcers, and How Are They Treated?
          [8] Scientific American: The Pros and Cons of Being Self-Aware

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