READY TO DREAM BIG ABOUT HOW YOU WANT TO USE IN SPANISH IN YOUR LIFE? THIS SECOND STEP IN MAKING A LEARNING PLAN FOCUSES ON DISCOVERING THE LANGUAGE SKILLS THAT ARE IMPORTANT TO YOU.
I’m not a big planner. I love a fun spontaneous adventure. A couple years ago, my dream road trip across the United States was my destination. Like usual, I had no detailed itinerary, only a simple destination – east (from California).
For the next 90 days, we crossed deserts, forests, swamps with alligators, icy mountain ranges, massive cities and small towns. Along the way we visited several churches, state capitols and playgrounds. Since it was winter, we endured the cold and built snowmen, went sledding, drove in snow storms and on ice, across mountain ranges. We took trains, subways, boats, and taxis.
It was amazing. The eastward destination and my dream for adventure kept me moving forward. I went in every direction – east (New York), south (Florida Keys), north (Missouri) and west (back home to California). I brought back so many great experiences with me.
In the same way, dreaming big is part of setting your target goal for your future language skills. Along the way, you will enjoy some amazing experiences. Ones that would be impossible if you never have any destination.
Introduction to the Language Skills
Last time, in step one, we rated our current language skills. If you missed out on that, follow this link:
STEP ONE IS HERE:
and get the Learning Spanish Checklist that highlights five key areas to include in your plan.
The language learning plan we are creating will have a custom combination of these four language skills – listening, speaking, reading and writing.
This time we will look to the future and dream big. Specifically, looking at the ways you would love to use Spanish in your life. In terms of skills, we will rate each of our future Spanish language skills.
Today, we will fill in the Spanish Skills Rating Sheet
Fill in the ratings for your current experience. And pause there before continuing on for a moment to dream big of the future you.
Step 2 – Dreaming and Setting a Language Skill Target
For the second step, let’s start with a big dream. A sweet glimpse at the future you using Spanish. What are you doing? It could be anything. The bigger the dream is, the more it will motivate you. What do you enjoy? This will be your destination and your skill focus.
Okay, if this seems ridiculous to you, don’t do it. I could have stayed at home too. Never left and never had any of those cool adventures on the road. My life would have been missing something. So, even if you hate this sappy stuff, make a silly dream. That way you won’t miss any opportunities.
In this brainstorming session, anything is possible. The future you has the entire Spanish language in your brain. What would you do with that ability? Forget every obstacle and excuse. No limits.
This takes imagination, yet this dream is very grounded in reality. The purpose is to get a real picture of how you will use Spanish. A vague intention to become “bilingual or fluent in Spanish” is too broad. Be specific. And think in terms of time frames of 1 year, 5 years, 10 years, 20 years from now. Your language ability and use will change over time with different circumstances.
Questions to think about
All these questions will help you dream of using Spanish. The answers are your final destination in the future. This is what will set you on a path full of cool experiences. You could be doing any of these things in 1 year, 5 years, 10 years, or 20 years from now.
Are you somewhere else?
Has your profession or employer changed?
Something you thought was impossible?
Your favorite thing to do?
How do you socialize?
Any new opportunities?
What plans do you have?
What do you do in your free time?
Of course all of this is a fun guess. And hopefully it got you thinking of all the possibilities. Here are some real dreams, from real people who want to learn Spanish:
I want to…… in Spanish
- read well
- get scholarships
- understand news and movies
- have conversations with new people I meet
- move to a new place
- retire in Costa Rica
- work with people
- have conversations with my children
- learn one language each year for the rest of my life
The reasons for learning Spanish are different for everyone. Some people just love languages and are obsessed with Spanish. If you are a bilingual mother like me, you want your children to be able to do everything in Spanish. Everyone is looking for something different.
Write it down
Hopefully you’ve come up with some really great ideas. Maybe some ideas you’ve never even thought of before. Take all your dreams and write them down on the planning sheet. This sheet will help you to keep track of what you want to achieve.
What level of skill do you want to have?
Now that you have a picture of your future Spanish abilities, let’s rate that dream for each skill area. Earlier, we rated our CURRENT experience in listening, speaking, reading and writing. Presently, we will use the same rating system, but this time we will rate our dream or our FUTURE abilities for each skill area.
Zero means no experience. Five means you are struggling. Ten means perfect skill ability.
0 I never want to hear anyone speak Spanish.
5 I will occasionally understand what someone says in Spanish.
10 I will understand everything someone says in Spanish with every kind of accent possible.
0 I will never say anything in Spanish.
5 I will speak Spanish occasionally and sometimes I will make sense.
10 I will say everything correctly in Spanish and I will sound like a native speaker.
0 I will never read anything in Spanish.
5 I will read and understand some things written in Spanish.
10 I will regularly read letters, articles, and books in Spanish with complete understanding.
0 I will never write anything in Spanish.
5 I will write a sentence in Spanish that makes sense.
10 I will write letters, novels, articles and persuasive speeches that are extraordinary in Spanish.
Everyone’s dreams are unique. And every dream has a unique set of language skills. A small group of people aim for perfection (or fluency) in each area. Rather, a distinct set of skills and levels is typical.
Book reader: reading 10
Book club: reading 10, listening and speaking 7
Conversations: listening and speaking 10
Homeschool: any skills to any level, based on interest and timeframe
In the home: listening and speaking level 5-7, reading and writing level
Migrant: all skills 10, the full package
Movie watcher: listening 7, reading 7 (for subtitles)
Professional: all skills level 7 or higher with focus on professional vocabulary
Singers: listening, speaking, reading level 3-7
Spanish in one year: any skills to any level, based on interest and time limitation
Spanish student: all skills level 1-5 with focus on completing textbook assignments
Traveler: all skills levels 3-7 with focus on listening and speaking skills with tourism vocabulary
As you can see, the destination is different for everyone. It takes a different set of skills for each type of language use. There is no one size fits all plan.
To complete this second step, fill in the planning sheet with your FUTURE language skill ratings. Now compare your two ratings – current and future. Next time, in step three, we will map out a route to close the gap.
Make your complete study plan HERE:
I share step-by-step instructions with the resources and activities to effectively study Spanish.