Saturday Spanish #3: 5 things to try when you feel stuck

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Part of what makes people give up is a feeling of lack of progress. And sometimes you just need a new exercise to unlock that feeling of progress and get unstuck. 

Today, I’m going to share 5 fun & engaging ways you can practice your Spanish this weekend. You can bend them to match your level and the challenge you want.

Give these a try. All 5 are focused on building Spanish into your life, which is how you get constant practice without feeling like you’re studying.

Try one of these today and another tomorrow:

1. Follow a recipe in Spanish

If you like food, which I assume you do, it’s nice to be able to discuss the food you like.

Go to and search the name of your dish.

Then google “Recetas para + your dish name in Spanish”.

Or, browse this site and find one you like:

Following a recipe is a simple way to find vocabulary that’s relevant to you.

2. Take a podcast for a walk

It helps to get moving.

Not all Spanish learning needs to be hunched over a book. Take a few minutes to find something interesting.

Here’s a series I enjoy with short episodes on many topics.

I suggest listening to it more than once to get the most out of it.

When you get home, I’d listen to it again and jot down 3-5 words I want to remember.

As you progress in Spanish, you’ll want to incorporate as much listening as you can. Why not start now?

3. Only search in Spanish

Each day, you probably do dozens of searches online.

Give yourself the challenge today of doing all your searches in Spanish. This is more for intermediate learners, but beginners can also try it out.

The best thing about this is that you are inherently motivated to figure out what they’re saying.

Plus — it can help you find websites in Spanish that you like.

There’s a whole world of Spanish language blogs, research, news, video and audio content. This is a simple way to find what’s useful to you.

4. Write all personal notes in Spanish

Part of improving our Spanish is tricking our brains into thinking that Spanish is a normal way to express ideas.

We spend our lives with our brains in English mode, so it’s natural that we resist this extra effort.

But if — just for today — you write your grocery list, your to-do’s, or your journal in Spanish, you’re fighting back against that natural resistance.

Instead, you’re reinforcing the idea that Spanish is a real-world, useful means of communication.

Plus, you’ll find useful pieces of the language along the way.

5. Summarize a video

Building speaking skills is takes effort, and sometimes it’s hard to find ways to practice.

You don’t always need someone in front of you.

Find a video on YouTube — search any topic you’re interested in. Then, talk about it out loud to yourself.

Set a timer for 5 minutes. Describe what happened, share your opinions.

This will be challenging. But it’s a powerful way to improve speaking skills without any pressure or logistics.

It can be anything! Piano lessons, ESPN, gardening, travel — anything you enjoy.

When you feel stuck, get creative

I’m a big fan of not doing too many things at once when learning Spanish. But sometimes you need to change things up, especially when you are feeling stuck in your progress.

Give one of these a try today and another tomorrow, and let me know how it goes.

¡Feliz sábado!


P.S. I just released a new YouTube video — check it out here: Spanish Imperfect vs Preterite | An Illustrated Overview of the Basics

If you enjoy it, please consider sharing it with someone you know who might find it helpful.

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Hey there, I'm Connor. I help motivated learners speak Spanish without slogging through grammar books or tapping through every new app. I started Breakthrough Spanish to give more people the confidence and focus to learn effectively Spanish from home. Learn more about me here.

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