Foreign Language Learning

Brendareeves, MEd.
3 min readJul 12, 2021

Creative ways to practice


I live in Mazatlan, Mexico. Before moving, I took lessons online from Duolingo, a popular website that offers instruction in several languages. I bought books and CDs, also. I learned some beginning words and greetings. Since I am serious about becoming fluent in Spanish, I knew I would need a teacher, so I hired a local one. Due to Covid, all instruction is on Skype. If you want to learn a foreign language, I highly suggest you get a teacher. Studying on a program like Duolingo is great, but questions will arise that only a live human being can explain.

I personally don’t think anyone can become fluent in a foreign language unless it is spoken in the home, or you move to a country where it is spoken. Feel free to tell me I’m wrong if I am. I get plenty of opportunities to practice it with all the locals, Uber drivers, store clerks, doctors, and dentists.

I recently thought of some ways to speed up my learning through unconventional practice. I want to share them with you:

  • This is my favorite. If you’re on the Internet a lot, you probably often use the same passwords, and you also get messages from Google saying there’s a security risk because you’re using the same passwords. Who wants to remember 50 different passwords? I don’t unless they’re Spanish phrases that I need to practice and memorize. Let me show you how:

Gracias por su ayuda. In Spanish, it means thank you for your help. However, most websites want you to use numbers, special characters, and upper and lower case letters. Here’s how I do it: Gracias2por3ayuda$. You’ll need to write it down somewhere safe. After a while, you’ll have the phrase memorized and can change it to a new password in the language you’re studying. Use any combination you like.

  • My son-in-law is from Thailand. He said he learned English by watching cartoons. I recently started watching Spanish cartoons on Netflix and YouTube. The preschool shows are best to watch in the beginning because they use words repetitively.
  • My Mexican realtor said she learned English by listening to and singing songs. She claims that’s the only way she could do it. It helps that she’s married to an English-speaking Canadian.
  • Reading children’s picture books. I’m…



Brendareeves, MEd.

Editor of Slice-of-Life Musings. A free spirit, visual artist, writer, editor, animal lover, introvert, blogger and independent woman.