Are you just starting out with Spanish language lessons?
Well, you’re probably wondering what is the best way to learn Spanish.
The thing is, it all depends on you and your perseverance.
If you have strong motivation and self-discipline, you can even learn Spanish by yourself. There are many great online resources that can help you out.
So, if you have a good learning source and you’re willing to practice regularly, you can do anything!
However, there are some steps and guidelines you can consider to make your learning process more effective.
Even if you’re focused and motivated, acquiring language skills is not easy. But if you follow these steps, it might get a whole lot easier.
6 Best Ways to Learn Spanish
There are many ways you can learn Spanish, each with their own advantages and downsizes.
You should find the one that works best for you. Or, of course, combine them.
Basically, your options are:
- Spanish classes in a language school – this is a rather standard way of learning a new language. Traditional Spanish classes are definitely reliable, but whether they’re a good option for you depends on your living area, time commitment, and budget.
- Learning Spanish by yourself – you can take online courses and apps. They are practical, affordable, and effective. You can also find an online tutor.
- Immersion learning – It’s a very efficient way but also quite challenging. With immersive learning, you’ll have to rely on your intuition.
Regardless of what you choose, before you start with your Spanish lessons, you should be aware that learning any language takes time.
Some language apps promise to teach you Spanish in less than a month. Maybe you’ll learn how to order food or book a hotel, but you definitely won’t be able to have a fluid conversation in Spanish.
And if you decide to take Spanish lessons in a language school, you should also be prepared for a slow process.
But that shouldn’t discourage you. You should set small, short-term goals instead.
And you should find a learning environment that suits you best.
Nevertheless, let’s see what you can do to learn Spanish better and faster.
1. Find an online tutor
If you want to learn to speak Spanish by yourself, finding an online tutor is definitely a great idea.
There are many great Spanish courses and apps that will allow you to learn Spanish from the comfort of your home, and some of them offer virtual one-on-one Spanish lessons.
Italki is one of the most popular platforms that connects learners and tutors. You can check teachers’ profiles and find information about their hourly rate, a video introduction, students’ reviews, and so on.
Innovative Language (InnovativelanguagePod101) offers personalized guidance for its Premium users.
And the popular language-learning platform Rosetta Stone also provides live tutoring.
But even if you don’t enroll in an online course, having occasional virtual Spanish classes with help you a lot.
Your teacher can provide you with direct feedback, corrections, and suggestions.
And they can create a study plan based on your abilities, needs, and goals. You can focus on practical vocab useful for traveling or delve deeper into Spanish grammar. It’s up to you.
You will also listen to native pronunciation and work on your conversational skills.
Since there are tutors from both Latin America and Spain, you can learn whatever dialect you want.
And you’ll learn a lot about culture, people, and traditions along the way.
Also, hiring an online tutor is often less expensive than taking traditional language classes. There are some really affordable classes.
Plus, you can learn anytime, anywhere. And that’s a huge advantage for people who don’t have many language learning options in their living area.
2. Talk to native speakers
Apart from talking to an online tutor (who is preferably a native), you should find other ways to talk to Spanish native speakers.
Of course, the best way to learn Spanish would be to spend time in a Spanish-speaking country.
That way, you would be surrounded by the language. You would be forced to read Spanish signs and menus, and you would have so many opportunities to speak in Spanish (restaurants, shops, bars, etc.)
Studying abroad is another perfect chance to learn the language.
And if you don’t have the possibility to spend some time in Spain or Latin America, taking a small trip to a Spanish-speaking country would also be a fantastic chance to practice Spanish. If that happens, you should definitely try to meet the locals.
Talking to native speakers will give you a chance to expand your vocabulary, learn the slang, and observe their mannerisms.
Of course, some Spanish people tend to talk really really fast. But they know you’re not native, so they will adjust their speed. Maybe.
Either way, if you want to enhance your conversational skills in any language, you should talk to native speakers.
And you shouldn’t be afraid to make a mistake.
We know that it might be intimidating to talk to someone who knows the language perfectly. But you sound perfect in your native language too!
If you mess up your pronunciation or grammar, don’t sweat it.
After all, talking to native speakers won’t only help you acquire communication skills but will also build your confidence.
If you don’t have an opportunity to talk to native speakers in real life, you can always do it in the virtual world.
Many websites and language-learning apps can connect you to native speakers.
HelloTalk is one of the popular platforms that will allow you to find native speakers and language partners.
Conversation Exchange is also a handy website. The site allows you to find and meet other language partners in your area.
And you can teach other people your native language (or English, if that’s your second language.) That’s the idea.
3. Use a language learning app
Whether you decide to learn Spanish by yourself or you’re taking Spanish classes, using an app as an extra learning resource can be very helpful.
Flashcards apps are very practical and helpful. You can expand your vocabulary but also improve your memory.
Download it to your smartphone and every time you have an urge to open a social media app, why not click on the flashcard app instead? Even if you use to for only 10 minutes, you can learn something new.
There are also gamified Spanish apps (like Duolingo, Babbel and Mondly) if you want to make your learning fun and engaging.
And some apps offer full language courses that can improve your skills significantly.
For example, Rocket Languages is a popular language-learning platform that offers well-structured, linear lessons. They are designed to take you from beginner to an intermediate or more advanced level.
These well-rounded online courses will teach you all language skills: speaking, reading, listening, and writing.
Pronunciation can be tricky as Spanish has some sounds that some other languages don’t. And best apps to learn Spanish use speech recognition engines to help you work on your pronunciation.
They also feature audio tracks voiced by native speakers and modern online study tools.
And they’re based on effective, research-proven methods and techniques such as spaced repetition system.
All of that will help you memorize new words properly.
But you won’t only be learning and repeating new Spanish words. Language apps often feature interactive exercises, games, and quizzes.
And most of them will provide you with cultural facts as well. And learning about culture, people, and customs is an important part of learning any language.
But one of the biggest advantages of using an app to learn Spanish is flexibility.
You can learn anytime, anywhere. Some Spanish language apps have a hands-free mode (like Pimsleur), so you can take your daily lessons while you’re doing something else.
Some of these apps are very customizable, and others will allow you to choose the content you like. You can learn about a topic you’re interested in, focus on grammar, work on your Mexican accent – it’s entirely up to you!
Spanish learning apps and online courses are really a great way to add fun to your learning process.
But they are also very efficient and convenient, and they are ideal for people who want to learn on the go.
However, apps, online courses, and software sometimes lack advanced content. So, if your goal is to become fluent, you can use them to grasp the basics or as a supplemental learning tool.
4. Use Spanish media
Another way to enrich your learning process is to use Spanish media.
You can watch the news in Spanish or read Spanish magazines and newspapers.
If you’re just starting out, that might be a bit challenging, but it can directly show you how the language works and how it sounds (in natural speed.)
There are also some online courses based on media content.
For example, News in Slow Spanish is a platform that can teach you Spanish through real-world material.
You can also listen to Spanish podcasts. Choose a topic you’re interested in and try to recognize familiar words. You can even write down words you want to find in a dictionary later.
You’ll easily pick up new words.
But more importantly, surrounding yourself will Spanish media will help you see the language used in real life. If you want to acquire conversational skills, you need to hear the words you’ve learned in context and see grammar rules in action.
As you already know, it’s all about immersion.
5. Read and Write in Spanish
Besides listening and watching things in Spanish, you should also try to create your own content.
In other words, try to write in Spanish.
You can literally take a piece of paper and write down what’s on your mind.
Or if you’re already familiar with the language, write a short story or an essay.
Write about your opinions. Invent a dialogue. Pretend you’re writing an article for a Spanish magazine.
You won’t only improve your writing skills but you’ll also boost your creativity and enhance your critical thinking skills.
And once you’re done with your text, why not send it to your language partner or online tutor? Or a friend who speaks Spanish? They can give you valuable feedback.
Also, you should read as much as you can. Spanish books might be too challenging, but you can try reading articles or children’s books.
Or read your favorite book in Spanish translation.
You can also put your phone in Spanish. But make sure you know the basics first!
6. Study smart
If you want to make the most of your study time, try to study smart.
We know it’s easier said than done, but there are some things you can take into account to make your learning more efficient. And that would be the goal, right?
First of all, it’s important to find a learning source that fits your learning style. If you’re a visual learner, find Spanish video lessons. If you study better by listening, find an audio-based Spanish app.
Although there are some general guidelines for learning a new language, we all have somewhat different learning habits. It’s important to find what works best for you.
And it’s important to learn in a relaxed yet productive learning environment.
Make sure you don’t have many distractions and focus on your daily goal (if you can.)
Also, try to establish a study routine. Even if it’s only 15 minutes per day, it’s still progress. And that way, you’ll get used to your lessons.
Luckily, many language apps are designed to help you fit language learning into your daily routine.
Consistency is the key.
And if you still lack self-discipline and you feel like you need to improve your organizational skills, don’t worry. Learning a new language can actually help you in that.
If that’s the case, try to schedule a consistent time to talk to native speakers.
Book classes in advance.
Use an app that will remind you when you need to study.
Take bite-sized daily lessons.
Focus on what’s important to you.
Learn common words, popular phrases, and useful vocabulary.
If you want to get a language certificate, focus on grammar.
That’s one of the best things about online courses and apps – they allow you to prioritize your goals.
Furthermore, if you have a friend who also wants to learn Spanish, why not do it together? You can motivate each other and study and practice together.
You can even meet fellow learners online. Many apps and courses have active online forums, blogs, and communities. Find a website you like, join a conversation, let others inspire you.
Keep your motivation high.
Remind yourself every day why you want to learn Spanish.
Do you want to study abroad? Is traveling to Argentina on your wishlist? Do you want to have better job opportunities?
Also, when you get bored or discouraged (it will happen eventually), mix it up a little. Switch to playing online games that can teach you Spanish. Take challenges. Go to a Mexican restaurant. Attend a Spanish meetup (if there’s one in your area.)
In these moments, you should also remind yourself of all the benefits of learning Spanish.
Speaking Spanish is incredibly useful. It’s the fourth most spoken language in the world (after English, Chinese Mandarin, and Hindi.)
If you like traveling, there are so many countries you can visit and easily get around if you understand Spanish. Chile, Dominican Republic, Venezuela, Peru, just to name a few…
With Spanish language classes, you can learn so much about different groups of people, cultures, areas…
Learning a new language can only broaden your mind and open up new opportunities, and you should always remember that.
As you can see, it’s hard to say what is the easiest way to learn Spanish.
There are many elements to consider. Firstly, you need to choose a learning source that fits your goals, learning style, and schedule.
You should focus on what really matters to you. But you should set attainable short-term goals.
And you need to be patient and persistent.
Immersion is important, as it’s contextual learning. If you don’t have a chance to visit a Spanish-speaking country, try to surround yourself with the Spanish language in other ways.
But finding a reliable learning source is the most important step.
Luckily, there are many great options to learn Spanish. From online Spanish courses to fun game-like apps. Learning Spanish has never been easier, and it would be a shame not to take advantage of that.
After all, learning a new language is an incredibly rewarding experience. It can be challenging though, but even if you find yourself struggling a bit, it will all be worthwhile in the end!