A Guide In Spanish Vocabulary And Language Aquisition For Our Madrid Students
All enquiries for the FTED department of Spanish learning should be directed to the Madrid office: see your welcome brochure for contact details. We thank you in advance for your patience while we complete updating the information available here.
A core set of basic Spanish words (recommneded student resource) would consist of a minimum of 2,000 words. This is the minimum requirement for basic conversational proficiency and general communication.
While students will benefit from the experience and guidance of a Spanish tutor when navigating the grammatical challenges of the language much of the work in vocabulary can be learned at home. For this reason we have designed and presented most of our Spanish word lists with home study in mind.
You may print out the resources and use them for vocabulary building, reference or review before exams. This will enable you to learn how to speak Spanish at your own pace.
Each word is also presented in the context of a Spanish sentence so that the meaning can be made as clear as possible.
As a general rule we don't believe that language vocabulary is best presented in categories. Instead, the core words are listed in simple alphabetical order. When in comes to useful lists however we have categorized these into sections like numbers, dates, colours and so forth.
A deliberate bias has been made to vocabulary typically used in Spain as opposed to Argentina or Mexico for example. Since this guide is for students in the Madrid school we felt this was only logical.
When you first make contact with a new Spanish word and commit it to memory it's best to periodically try to recall the word in the days that follow. It's necessary for vocabulary to become deeply learned to the point where it is knowledge and no longer simply something you memorized.
It's best to learn vocabulary in the context of sentences and to visualize yourself in situations where you might use the word in the context of a conversation, request or answer. It's also helpful to not only memorize and visualize each word but also to practice saying it in sentences out loud and of course writing it down too.
It's important that you keep an accurate record of the new words you learn each day so that you can return to test yourself on a regular basis. Very few students are able to make contact with a new word only once and immediately commit it to long term memory and knowledge. It normally takes several attempts to do this over a period of days and weeks.
Try to consciously use your new found vocabulary as often as you can in speaking practice time with others students and during class time. Search for opportunities and ways to use the new words with the locals in stores too. This exercise alone will often be enough reinforcement so that you'll never forget the word in the future.
While our focus here is heavily biased toward vocabulary acquisition and expansion you'll find that much can be learned and reinforced about the structure of the Spanish language at the same time. The example sentences have been kept deliberately simple but as a result they should help you to develop a very natural sense for word order in Spanish.
Finally, at the back of the book you'll find some detailed guides on grammar and even more vocabulary-building tips. Most students find that a core vocabulary of essential Spanish words can be build within a period of just 3 months.