Did the language placement exam that you took before Orientation place you in Spanish 3? Are you bugging out because you feel like there’s no way that you could actually be speaking, reading, or writing Spanish at an intermediate level in college? Have no fear, here are tips to succeed in Spanish 3 at Hofstra University.

1. Try to review basic grammar and vocabulary a couple weeks before the semester begins. 

There are plenty of apps and websites to help you do this, and if you’ve saved some of your old notes from previous classes, this works just as well. This is for your confidence more than anything; if you walk in to your first day with the simple stuff down pat, you can pick up right where you left off learning new material

2. Do not let the online assignments pile up. 

Each week, you will complete several online activities for the chapter that you are covering as a class (these assignments can be short as forty minutes and as long as two and a half hours). Since the professor may not check them every week, it can be tempting to leave them all to a flight home or one long day in the library. However, since each assignment doesn’t have to be completed in one sitting, it’s better to do it in little bursts throughout the week than all at once weeks after it is due. Pro tips: Complete assignments closer to when they appear on your dashboard than the actual due date and make sure your textbook has an online access code (this code is necessary to register for the class through the website and may not come with a secondhand textbook).


3. Participate in class. 

Even though it may feel like everyone in the room is judging your accent or the fact that you’re blanking on a simple word, they probably are not. Your classmates are most likely either mentally practicing their oral responses to the professor’s question, hoping they don’t get called on, or simply daydreaming. Ask clarifying questions and be the brave soul who answers first-the professor will be impressed, you’ll get necessary critiques on how to get better in speaking, and you most likely will not be put on the spot later in the class if you’ve already volunteered.

4. Make grammar outlines of tenses that you’re learning as well as regular and irregular conjugations. 

A lot of grammar rules that you learn in Spanish 3 aren’t really that complicated, but it’s easy to get some of them mixed up (this is especially true in the formal and informal commands unit). Even just seeing the connections written out on paper makes it a lot easier to process and remember.

5. Attend all of the review sessions for the final exam. 

Even though it can be hard to leave the dorm during the week before finals and the sessions can be repetitive, they are extremely helpful when it comes to knowing what to expect on the big test. The professor is more than willing to help you as long as you put the work in (this applies to extra credit assignments as well).

You may walk in to Spanish 3 feeling like there’s no way you’ll pass, but you don’t have to drop down to Spanish 2 just yet. If you do well enough this semester, your foreign language requirement is satisfied, and you may even find that you enjoy studying Spanish. ¡Buena suerte!


Julie Smith

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