How to Create Your Own
by Emily Daniel
We all wish that we could have that immersion experience that another country offers. Going to the market, meeting people on the street, asking for directions and being forced to use the language. Not everyone can just up and leave their jobs, families and kids and move abroad for months (if you can do that....do it now before it is too late!) which is why many of you take Spanish lessons with us. You get a mini immersion experience each week in your lessons. But how can you get MORE? Here are a few ideas that you can implement in your own life to create your own immersion experience while living here in the U.S.
What are some daily things I can be doing to force myself to be immersed with the Spanish language?
1. Listen to Spanish music. Learn the lyrics and sing along.
2. Watch Spanish movies and TV shows or put the subtitles in Spanish. (See below about how to change your Netflix into Spanish in case you missed it last month.)
3. Change your electronic devices into Spanish. Change your iPhone, iPad, Microsoft Word, computer settings into Spanish. You may feel disoriented at first, but that is what the language immersion experience is supposed to feel like! You will adapt, figure it out, and learn.
4. Did you know that Siri speaks Spanish? It's true! Once you change your iPhone settings into Spanish a magical world of language learning is now available to you. Your GPS will be in Spanish and you can drive around hearing and seeing the directions in Spanish and you can talk to Siri in Spanish. Try it!
On any Google page, click Settings in the top right, and go to the Languages tab on the Account Overview page. Make Spanish your primary Google language. This will chance all of your Google services and Gmail into Spanish! You may have a couple of moments of inconvenience or annoyance, but isn't that what would happen in a
language immersion experience?
5. Find a podcast in Spanish that you enjoy, subscribe, and listen while you clean the house, take a walk, or cook dinner.
6. If you have a question for Google or need instructions or a recipe, Google your question IN SPANISH.
7. Social Media: Consider changing your Twitter, Instagram and Facebook to language preferences to Spanish. Explore other users out there and you'll see videos, quotes, phrases and links to click on in Spanish.
Link for how to change Facebook Language Settings
*For anything else that you want to change the language preference for and you don't know how, Google it!
What are some occasional things I can be doing to force myself to be immersed with the Spanish language?
These ideas would require a little extra bravery on your part, but bravery is one thing you already have since you have started learning another language!
- Try out a Spanish meet up group. http://www.meetup.com/spanish-570/
- Pop into a Spanish church service (on Nolensville Road for example). You'll meet some really nice people and definitely get a mini immersion experience. Just tell them that you are a visitor and wanted to come check it out.
- Hire a Spanish-speaking person to do some work around your house.
- Volunteer opportunities in Nashville such as Casa AzafrÃ¡n on Nolensville Road. Let them know that you are a Spanish Lessons with Emily D student. Volunteer Opportunities with Conexion Americas.
- Head to a Mexican restaurant and greet your server and order your food in Spanish. No need to "prepare" the waiter or waitress by telling them you are learning Spanish and your Spanish is not so great, blah blah blah - just begin speaking to them in Spanish without mentally getting psyched out.
Order some delicious Tacos from the When I did a google search to tell you guys the address, I see that they have won "Best Taco Truck on Nolensville Road" in the Nashville Scene. Not surprised! Head over and don't you dare go without ordering in Spanish. Taqueria El Dolar
How do I change the settings on my Netflix to get the subtitles and/or audio in Spanish?
In case you missed it last month or are new to our monthly newsletter.....
Not every show and movie has the Spanish option, but you can google a list of TV shows and movies that offer the Spanish audio/subtitles on Netflix to get you started.
A few links to lists of movies in Spanish streaming on Netflix to get you started
We'd love to hear from you if you try any of these suggestions or your own ideas and hear how things went for you, how you felt, or an experience you had. Please share them with us!