Within the current circumstances, many of us had to adapt to learning in a new environment. However, learning from home does not mean that cultural immersion is out of reach! Continue reading to discover 5 ways to achieve cultural immersion from the comfort of your sofa!
#1. Be up to date with news and current events.
Reading online newspapers or watching the news is a habit that keeps us informed about a wide range of topics. It is also an ideal source to expand our Spanish vocabulary, and it is perfect for those who want to focus on a language in its most commonly seen and heard forms. One of the greatest benefits of learning Spanish through the news is that it allows you to become aware of what shapes the country and culture you are interested in.
Some useful sites are: BBC Mundo, TVE Internacional, El País.
But don’t limit yourself to TV and radio! Following famous people and hashtags on Instagram or Twitter will give you a fresher insight to the Spanish culture. Also, don’t forget to follow No Panic Spanish on Instagram to know more about this amazing language!
#2. Find a conversation partner.
One of the best and most beautiful quotes about languages is by Jhumpa Lahiri: “A foreign language is like a frail, delicate muscle. If you do not use it, it weakens”.
Don’t you agree? One of the most important ways of maintaining language skills is by frequent practice. And now, more than ever, technology is on our side: Consider using FaceTime, Skype or Zoom to practice your Spanish with your classmates or with a native speaker. It is a fun way to keep in touch and develop your spoken skills!
Having a penpal can also help you achieve cultural immersion. Writing letters in the target language will help you learn colloquial phrases and deepen your understanding of the Hispanic world. You can also use this approach to exchange snacks or things that are typical in your region with your friend! Who said that snail mail was old-fashioned?
Some free websites to find a conversation partner are: Conversation Exchange, PenPal World or The Mixxer.
#3. Go on virtual tours for a complete cultural immersion.
Thanks to many cultural organisations opening their virtual doors, the most spectacular sights and museums are at your fingertips to explore! These are some of the thousands places that you can visit from home: Seville Cathedral, El Prado Museum, Reina Sofia Museum, Picasso Museum, Sagrada Familia Basilica, The Alhambra, Frida Kahlo Museum, etc. Learning about the Hispanic history and heritage is a fantastic, fun way of achieving cultural immersion from home.
If you are interested in breath-taking views, we would recommend AirPlano. This website offers high-resolution aerial photographs and 360º videos! Warning: It’s a very addictive site, so be prepared to spend hours virtually travelling there!
#4. Experience foreign flavours.
What better way of learning a culture than literally tasting it? Check if there is a Mexican or Spanish restaurant in your area. Don’t miss the wonderful opportunity of discovering and trying new dishes! These restaurants are normally led by natives, so you could even try to show off your speaking skills when ordering food!
Another cool idea is to cook a meal at home. Trying new cooking techniques and different flavours will give you a different insight into the daily life of the Hispanic people. For advanced students, try to read or follow a recipe in the target language! One of the greatest YouTube Channels that we recommend is Cocina Para Todos!
#5. Listen to music and watch films.
A great way to achieve cultural immersion from home is through listening to music and exploring popular artists from other countries. Music in Spanish is now more fashionable than ever! Have you already checked the most popular songs from the 2010s?
Watching films and series is also a fun way to experience cultural immersion since costumes or locations contribute to the mental picture of what the culture looks like. If you cannot decide what film you’d like to watch tonight, then here you have a few suggestions!
Some tips: While you enjoy these films and series, grab a notepad to note the frequent expressions or words and their pronunciation. That will help you expand your Spanish vocabulary.
That’s all for now! Take your Spanish to the next level and finally achieve cultural immersion by putting into practice these quick, easy steps! ¡Hasta la vista!