The Alternative: Avoid Fossilization and Speak Fluent Spanish Through Chunking

You've just learned how traditional words & grammar teaching leads to fossilization.

In short:

If you don't know what Spanish sentences that native speakers would use look like, you'll start inventing your own sentences, based on your only frame of reference: English.

These mistakes will imprint on your brain (they literally fossilize) and no matter how often people tell you you're making them, it's near impossible to change them.

Doesn't sound good, does it?

But I also told you there's an alternative. Luckily!

Well, here's how that alternative works:

You don’t HAVE to invent brand-new Spanish sentences with words and grammar rules.

Millions of native speakers out there are speaking Spanish every single day, in full, natural, correct sentences (and they do it without having to learn grammar: more on that in a minute).

They’re saying exactly what you’re trying to say…

Because they live similar lives to you.

You’re not the first person trying to say “I'm cold”, or “I'm hungry”, or “I want some tacos”…

The good news: you can just tap into these sentences that native speakers use to sound like a native speaker yourself.

And it gets better.

If you listen really carefully to WHAT they say

HOW they say it…

The EXACT word combinations they use (linguists call them “chunks“)…

And then start using these exact SAME word combinations (or again, chunks) while speaking Spanish…

There will be no mistakes that can be imprinted and “fossilize” in your brain!

The only thing that gets imprinted or fossilized are the chunks in correct, natural Spanish!

That sounds much better already, right?

Wouldn’t you prefer having correct, native-like Spanish fossilized in your brain?

A Chunking Example

In one of our Spanish YouTube Lessons, Spring Spanish teacher Cory says “Odio los lunes”. It means “I hate Mondays”. (She says it at 0:36)

The 7 DAYS OF THE WEEK in Spanish (+ a Simple Trick to Memorize Them!) 🗓️ [SPANISH LESSON 12]

BUT if you look closely… she says “I hate THE Mondays”.

How would you know that you have to add LOS?

Well, you don’t, there’s no grammar rule for it. At least not that I'm aware.

So your “words and grammar brain” would make you say “Odio lunes”, literally translating the English “I hate Mondays” into Spanish.

That mistake would then get fossilized in your brain…

You would keep saying it…

And no matter how often people would try to correct you, it would be really difficult to stop saying it.

But good news: now you've SEEN and HEARD that native speakers say “Odio LOS lunes”, so you know that's correct AND you can say it yourself too without even thinking about it.

Would you agree with me that you can speak correct Spanish like this without even knowing the grammar rule (that might or might not exist) behind it?

Of course.

And I'm sure you can see that if you wanted to say “I hate Tuesdays” and you know Tuesday is “martes“, that you'd say…

“Odio… los martes”, right?

It's as easy as that.

Here are some more examples of chunks:

  • Por la tarde (in the afternoon)
  • Mucho gusto (nice to meet you)
  • A qué hora (at what time)
  • Buenos días (good day)

And just to prove a point, let's turn this around:

If a Spanish native speaker would come to you and say “good days” (because they're thinking “buenos días”), you'd think “hm, that doesn't sound right”.

But grammatically there's nothing wrong with saying “good days”, right? And yet… YOU as a native speaker… you just don't say it. It's not a common chunk in English. But “good day” is. And stuff like “by the way”, “what's up”, “come on” as well.

That's how it is in Spanish as well.

Now, about these chunks: native speakers you’ve heard things like “by the way” so often (and maybe used them so often as well) that they’ve become imprinted on your brain as a pattern (so “positively fossilized”).

So they’re in your brain as 1 chunk, and when you want to use them, they just roll off the tongue… even (and especially) if you don’t understand the grammar behind it!

That’s also how you learned your mother tongue as a child (but we can learn WAY faster of course; that’s what the 4-step process is for that I’ll explain in just a minute).

The Science Behind Chunking

If you think: this sounds too good to be true: here’s a lot of research behind learning chunk.

One of the most in-depth works on chunking is called “the lexical approach“, developed in the 90's by applied linguist Michael Lewis. Another one is “the input hypothesis” (fun fact: Spring Languages co-founder Gabriel interviewed the creator of the input hypothesis a while ago on his YouTube channel. He's called Stephen Krashen, and he's quite the celebrity in the linguist and language nerd world).

Now, chunking is powerful and I want you to grasp this. It quite literally can cut the time necessary to learn Spanish in half.

Here's Gianfranco Conti, a PhD in applied linguists, one of the foremost authorities on chunking, talking about this:

And look, this rarely ever happens in life, but in this case it does: Our real-life results might even be better than that “theory”. Here's an example of one of our students learning Spanish with chunks:

Success Story-Brian
Brian: learning more in 90 days than all of last year

This is the real power of chunking. 12 months of Spanish studies done in 3 months, that’s 4 times as fast! Wouldn't you like that too?

Additional Benefits of Learning Chunks

There are some more benefits to learning Spanish like this.

For example, you won't need to remember grammar: after all, if you've heard someone say it correctly, and you say the exact same thing… you KNOW what you're saying is correct too.

You don't need a grammar rule to know if it's correct or not, the proof is in the pudding, or in this case, in the native speaker!

Makes sense, doesn't it?

It’s kinda like building a house with Lego bricks but instead of starting from scratch with a huge pile of bricks…

You'd have a couple of Lego bricks glued together already in the right shape and form, so you already have the walls, the roof, the doors prefabricated, so they click into the right place in the right order automatically.

That would be much easier, wouldn't it?

And… if everything is prefabricated, won’t you agree there'll be way fewer places where you can screw up and make mistakes in your Lego house?

It’s the same in Spanish!

Native speakers aren’t thinking about conjugations, or word gender, or prepositions.

Chunks, these fixed word combinations we've been talking about, take care of all that stuff for you so you don’t even need to know it!

It's literally brain-friendly language learning.

Can you see how much easier it is to speak Spanish this way, instead of trying to construct your own sentences with isolated words and grammar rules?

A 4-Step Process to Master Spanish Through Chunking

Now you might think, ok Lukas, I understand the concept, but how do I actually learn Spanish like this beyond some isolated examples?

How do I go from observing some Spanish native speakers, to chatting away confidently in all kinds of situations that I will find myself in?

That's exactly what Conversation Based Chunking™ does for you.

It's a simple, 4-step process. It resembles how your brain naturally learns languages as a child… But with a twist that only works for adult learners (and that speeds up the process ten-fold).

So it takes you from clumsy and lost in translation… to fluent Spanish sentences rolling off the tongue, impressing native speakers.

Luckily, EVERYONE can do it. It's how your brain learns naturally. You just need to know what the 4 steps are, and go through them in the right order. Luckily they are really simple and easy to follow 😉

You'll discover what and how on the next page.

You'll even be able to practice them immediately to discover chunks… and if you want, use them right away in conversations!

So…

Click the button below now.

I can't wait to show you how it works!

Next: Part 4 (of 5): Introducing Conversation Based Chunking: 4 Steps to Spanish Fluency