You're probably already spending hours on Rosetta Stone. You're practically glued to your Duolingo app. You have all the latest Spanish music, but you are on the look out for ways to perfect your second language that aren't so... traditional. Here are six unconventional ways to practice your Spanish.
Shop in a Spanish-language neighborhood
There is no better way to immerse yourself in the language than to travel to a place where it is spoken. If you can't hop on the first to flight to Barcelona (yet), then hit up your local mercado. You will not only get your groceries out of the way, but you will gain new vocabulary (because let's face it... you don't know the word for every food item that exists).
Use sticky notes
Place new terms and phrases on sticky notes and plaster them around your home. Put them in places you send a ton of time in like your bedroom or bathroom. It can be perfect for this type of learning tactic. This tip may cause your house guests to wonder about you, but after explaining why you are doing it, they will be on board.
Switch your social media to your target language
Make your Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Tumblr accounts display in Spanish. Chances are you check at least one of these frequently and seeing the word "compartir" when you want to "share" a post with a friend will help you commit it to memory. Just don't forget to reply to your non-Spanish speaking friend's message in English.
Host a Potluck
We all know that food brings folks together. If you have bilingual friends, invite them to your place and share your favorite dishes. The catch? You all have to speak Spanish the entire time.
Go to Spanish-language karaoke
This takes music learning a step further. Be bold and get up on the stage at your local karaoke bar. Belt out some Luis Fonsi or Celia Cruz. Sure, you may fumble on a few words, but the practice will do wonders for your confidence.
Start a Spanish-language theater night
If you have ever wanted to be in the spotlight like Penelope Cruz or Antonio Banderas, here is your chance. Clear the living room and reenact or create your own telenovelas. Acting will allow you the freedom of letting you imagination run wild with your new language.
When you need a break from grammar drills and conversation circles, try these tips to engage your brain and have fun in the process. The more creative you get with methods, the better your language skills will be.
What innovative methods do you use to enhance your Spanish skills?
Jelisa Jay Robinson is a twenty-something writer, theater practitioner and professional Spain aficionada from Houston, Texas. You can find her teaching Spanish, dancing up a storm and making her dreams a reality. You can follow her adventures navigating Afro-Latinidad at her blog Black Girl, Latin World and see some of her writing on the Lati-Negr@s Project website.