Spanish Blog – Sticky Verbs – When learning gets messy …


Don’t like verbs, can’t learn verbs, fingers in my ears I’m not listening la la la… goes my subconscious when asked to learn the endings of regular AR verbs in Spanish.. It’s a bit like mastering fractions, breathing during the front crawl, or remembering capital cities – I have a deeply ingrained awareness that I will never master them and life is far more comfortable pretending that they simply don’t exist. But under cyber-scrutiny, on a rainy Sunday afternoon, I sit down at the computer and start playing around with different ways of getting verb endings to stick.

Did you know that there are supposedly 4 learning styles? My problem is that I need all 4 to get anything more challenging than a jingle to embed in my long-term memory. So we’re talking visual (seeing the endings) aural (hearing the endings) kinaesthetic (making the endings) and oral (speaking the endings). I decide to make a rhyming poem (aural) with picture prompts (visual) cut and paste it in to a document (kinaesthetic) and learn to recite it (oral)! Having taken almost an hour to decide what to do, it took me another one to find words that rhymed with the verb endings and cut and paste suitable pictures, but I finally did it and the best thing is that I know that I will never forget it! I have TOTAL verb confidence thanks to my picture poem below!

I know lots of people who quite happily learn things like this by simply copying them out 10 or 20 times, but that just doesn’t work for me. I need to make new information MINE by experiencing it on quite a deep level. The best way for me to learn the endings AMOS and AIS was by visiting about ten websites trying to find words that rhymed and getting increasingly frustrated. Frustration is good. Any kind of emotion when learning is good and is likely to make the learning stick that bit longer. So if you’re finding something hard, see how many of the learning styles you can use. Pull out all the stops; get your prittstick out and your Blue Peter hat on and get creative.

AMO el vino
AMAS las manzanas
AMA la playa
AMAMOS los huevos
AMÁIS los kiwis
AMAN el pan

My next task is to learn at least 10 of the most common regular AR verbs so I’m back on comfortable vocabulary learning ground. Pheww! Hasta luego!