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Language and Medical Tourism: How to Master Spanish While Healing From Cosmetic Procedures
As doctors, we prescribe a healthy dose of R&R after a cosmetic procedure. But if a patient is indulging in medical tourism and can’t make it home right away, they may wonder how to spend their free time. Spanish is the perfect skill to learn while patients are stuck in their hotel rooms.
10 Ways to Learn Spanish While Recovering From a Procedure
Most cosmetic procedures take a few weeks to heal, but liposuctions and tummy tucks have up to a three-month recovery time. Use this time wisely by learning a new language, like Spanish.
1. Travel to a Spanish Speaking Country
Costa Rica, Spain, and Mexico are some of the most popular medical tourism spots on the planet, and they have at least one thing in common: their residents speak Spanish. Immersion is one of the best ways to learn a language, so try to get your procedure done in these countries.
2. Create Targets, Goals, and a Plan
It’s a bad idea to learn a skill without an aim (or end goal). Without a goal, you won’t be as motivated to speak Spanish. Start with a big goal, like “I want to speak Spanish at B1 level in 2 months,” then create a manageable schedule and a set of tasks that slowly get you to that goal.
3. Learn Spanish With Native Teachers
At online language schools like Lingoda, you can get Spanish lessons from a near-native teacher every time you schedule a class. A native-level Spanish teacher can help you speak more confidently in a short time frame. With dedication, you could become an intermediate speaker in 2 months.
4. Read and Listen to Spanish Media
A good thing to do when learning any language is “train your eyes and ears.” Your brain picks up language patterns the more you’re exposed to them, so it’s a good idea to read and listen to Spanish media as much as possible. It doesn’t matter if you don’t understand what’s said.
5. Memorize 1,000 Common Spanish Words
If you learn 1,000 common Spanish words, you’ll understand 80% of what’s commonly said or written. Flashcards are a great way to memorize these words, but you don’t have to stick to physical cards. Apps like Anki and Memrise use digital flashcards to help you learn more.
6. Learn Basic Spanish Grammar Rules
Grammar is a more boring aspect of language learning, but you need to learn the basics to express yourself. Spanish speakers usually use the preterite tense, which describes actions completed in the past. Getting familiar with this tense will drastically improve your Spanish.
7. Listen to Podcasts When Taking a Nap
While the evidence isn’t concrete, there are some studies that suggest you can improve your memory retention of vocabulary if you listen to a new language while you sleep. Since you’re going to spend a lot of time resting, you might as well listen to podcasts when taking a nap.
8. Keep a Dictionary App On Your Phone
A dictionary app can come in handy when you’re speaking to a Spanish native, and you can’t find the right words to say. When learning Spanish, try not to revert back to English when you’re stuck. You’ll need to keep practicing and speaking more in the new language to get better.
9. Try a Technique Called “Sentence Mining”
There aren’t any shortcuts when it comes to language learning, but sentence mining is an exception. Learning tons of useful phrases, such as ¿Cómo te llamas? (“What’s your name?”), can help you interact with more people and sound more natural in casual conversation.
10. Improve Your Accent and Pronunciation
To sound like a native Spanish speaker, you’ll need to work on your accent and pronunciation. This is difficult when switching from a Germanic language (i.e., German and English) to a Romance language (i.e., Spanish and French), but it becomes easier after you train your ear.