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Activity to Increase Spanish Fluency at Home

written by: Bright Hub Education Writer • edited by: Rebecca Scudder • updated: 1/28/2013

Use this exercise to improve your Spanish vocabulary and communication skills. Define words in Spanish in your own words and then compare it to the definition created by a native Spanish speaker.

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    A person attempting to become fluent will need to do many different exercises to work on every aspect of his language skills. Speaking with native speakers is a must for perfecting oral and listening comprehension skills. Writing skills and vocabulary building are areas that can be practiced at home without having to track down a native speaker. The Spanish fluency exercise presented below helps you, as a language learner, push yourself to increase vocabulary and communication skills.

    To start, come up with a list of twenty or so words in Spanish. These can be words that you selected from something you just read, or they could be selected from a vocabulary list you find. Once you have decided upon your list of words your job is to define each one, in your own words, in Spanish.Most Spanish students are used to jotting down the English translation of a given Spanish vocabulary word.Writing what the Spanish word means in Spanish takes it one step further.

    When you are writing your definitions out in Spanish, try to use the dictionary as little as possible. At least don’t use it right away. See if you can come up with a passable explanation of the word using just words you know. By limiting yourself to just words that you can come up with at that moment you are getting close to how a conversation would work in real life. Jot down a definition in Spanish for each vocabulary word on your list. Even if you feel like you are butchering the language, write down what comes to mind. You can clean it up later.

    Once you have attempted to define each word without any help, grab a dictionary and write out the definition again.This version will look a little better since you are able to add in those words you couldn’t remember before.Define each word and compare the definitions to what you first wrote.

    Now you’ve made it to the last step.Take out a Spanish dictionary, not a Spanish /English dictionary, and look up each word.The Spanish dictionary will have words in Spanish that are defined in Spanish.If you don’t have one, you can use the Internet.Write the Spanish word in your browser and after it write “definición en español.” Write these definitions under the two versions you have already done for each word. Compare all three versions.

    Pay special attention to how you defined the words in your second opportunity and make sure you are not just literally translating the English definition into Spanish. This is a common error that language learners make. The act of comparing your version to that of the Spanish dictionary will help you see how a Spanish speaker would word the same idea that you are trying to convey. This exercise may seem a little tedious, but it does wonders to increase your Spanish fluency.