With the summer holidays coming near, lots of people tend to take a break from everything. A break from school, a break from work, just a break from the daily things in life which can make daily routine so boring.
Today I had my last exam, so my holiday started when I left the classroom. When I ask people what they’re going to do in the summer they often say: “Take a break from Spanish. I love the language but I *need* a break!” When I say I’m just going to watch as much shows as possible (of course I’m taking my daily time to relax, but when I’m traveling I’m watching stuff on my PSP, loaded with That 70s show subbed in Spanish or Aquí no hay quien viva) or finally finishing La Conspiración, they look at me like I said some dirty word. “But you neeeeed your time off Spanish. It’ll drive you nuts hearing and seeing it every day. It’s not healthy!” or similar crap (yes, crap, poop, sh*t!).
Well, is hearing English bad for your mental state? Is it bad to read a book while you’re on holiday? Don’t you watch TV in your free time? Is it weird? NO! So why would it be weird doing all those things in Spanish? It’s just another language which I (and you) happen to not speak fluently (yet). Therefore I try to avoid people who say crap (yes, again, CRAP!) like that.
For me that’s quite hard, as my own parents say the same things and I’m spending 3 weeks of my summer with them… But, just keep saying to yourself: “I’m not a quitter! I WILL speak Spanish! I’m not very good at it now, but I will. And I will prove all those people wrong, because I know hearing, reading, seeing, living Spanish each and every is *good* for me.” [/brainwash mode]
Many people started studying Spanish, but they quit and therefore failed. Why? They wanted a break.
Now, a break is good but just put some extra Spanish in that break. Driving to the country-side? Why not listen some salsa or reggaeton? (I’m actually going to load my PSP with Joropo combined with contrapunteo, just discovered it and I LOVE it!). Going to your destination by plane? Get yourself an audiobook (if you’re at the level that you can enjoy it. Otherwise; music is your friend). There’s always room to replace the English by Spanish. The only thing you need to do is… actually doing it.
Breaks are fine, breaks from Spanish are impossible. They don’t exist, will not exist in your study. The only thing that’s possible is putting Spanish in everything, including your holidays.
Edit: I wanted to say something about maintaining sentences while you’re on holiday; do them EVERY DAY! Yes, each and every day. It can be difficult to do so, but taking a break from sentences for a few days, let alone a few weeks, ruins the whole space repetition magic. So taking your laptop might be a wise thing to do, or just use the web-interface of Anki. I know it sounds extreme, doing sentences while being on a holiday, but it’s just important that you maintain them if you already started doing them on a daily basis.
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