With this article we want to provide a guide to some very useful extra resources for learning Spanish. If you want to understand why and how we have selected them, please read the whole post. However, you can always go straight to navigate our interactive presentation below.
Very little amount of people is able to learn a foreign language on their own. Nowadays, despite the existence of thousands of webs and apps for doing so, mastering a foreign language is still not so straightforward. Definitely, it is much more than remembering the meaning of a bunch of words and/or being able to read and understand simple phrases.
Learning a language is about communication with other people, whatever the type of text that is used, either written or oral. The language used by a particular society is completely soaked in its culture. Also, registry issues affect the way people use one word or any of its synonyms in a phrase, some combinations of words are possible while others are never used, idioms where literal translation does not help at all are frequent, etc. As a consequence, the difficulties when learning a language can be countless, this not meaning you, as a student, will never overcome them. A teacher is the right person then to help you with that!
A trained and experienced teacher will guide you in your learning process picking the appropriate pace and materials for the lessons, as well as deciding what step is next according to your profile and your needs. The teacher will explain you the grammar, that sometimes is easy to understand, but other times can be very abstract. And finally, he/she will also motivate your learning and make it fun.
More importantly, a teacher is almost the only way to get a good feedback to learn from, recognising mistakes as an important part when learning a language. Clearly, since not all the texts are written, oral interaction during your lessons is also an important part of the whole process.
But, what is then the reason we write an article about self-study?
As you can imagine if you are here, many students ask regularly for the best books and materials to work at home between lessons. It is true as well that some work can be done autonomously by the student, putting into practice what he/she has learnt in the lessons. This is also the way that homework boosts the learning process of a foreign language: extending the amount of hours the student exploits what has been presented and taught in the class.
The more time the student manipulates and plays with the language the better. And we understand that some of this time can be managed by the student him/herself, saving some money while keeping the learning at a high speed.
We also know that there are so many books in the market that it is difficult for every student to find the best ones on his/her situation. So here we are to serve!
What are the main features of the books we propose below in our interactive presentation?
First of all, we have selected only materials that follow the Common European Framework of Reference for languages (CEFR). This is the European system that defines the six levels of language, from A1 to C1. So if you know what level you are at in this scale, you will find it easy to decide between one book or another.
We have scanned most of the catalogues available in the market up to date. Of course, there are more books that the ones gathered in our presentation, but these are the ones that we like. You will understand why while reading the comments to each of the books in the presentation.
Finally, we have also paid a lot of attention to list books that provide solutions and little or none feedback is needed from a teacher. It would not make sense proposing materials with activities that a teacher has to help you to solve, we are talking about self-study. Unfortunately the solutions are sometimes sold separately, although this is not always the case.
Once you have found something you like, you can use the ISBN number of the selected book to shop online, or take it together with the name of the book to your physical bookshop.
We hope that we can help you to improve your Spanish by making the most of your time and money ;)