The Easiest Way to Learn Spanish: Ten Tips
Are you planning a trip to Spain, Mexico, or one of the twenty countries in the world that officially speak Spanish? The good news is that Spanish has many similarities to English, which makes it one of the easiest languages for a native English speaker to grasp. But with so many learning tools out there, check out these tips to discover the easiest way to learn Spanish.
1. Book Yourself For Study Sessions
Before you start the clock on your race to learn Spanish in the easiest way possible, be honest with yourself about your upcoming calendar. If you use an online calendar to plan work, school, or family events, open that up and look for blocks of regular free time.
Book yourself for at least half an hour a day. If you really want to learn Spanish, make your study time just as official and important as any sporting events or meetings in your schedule. Scheduling study sessions will make learning Spanish so much easier because you won’t feel stressed about scrambling to fit in your study time during the week!
Analyzing your available time can also help you determine how to go about learning Spanish. If your best chunk of time is your 45-minute commute to work or school, pick a good audio resource like SpanishPod101 so you can listen and learn during your drive or train ride.
2. Embrace Immersion
If you can afford to travel to a Spanish-speaking area for a month or even a few weeks, go for it! But you don’t need to save up for a lengthy vacation just to immerse yourself in Spanish. You can commit to hearing, thinking, and speaking Spanish during your regular daily activities by making a few simple changes in your lifestyle.
- Use Post-It notes to label everything in your house with its name in Spanish. When you look at that item, try to think of its name in Spanish before you think of it in English.
- Listen to podcasts or Spanish radio stations. Leave the audio on as background noise as you work, then tune in mentally when you have a moment and repeat any phrases you recognize out loud.
- Swap out your media consumption for Spanish content. For example, listen to a Spanish news station or find one to watch online.
3. Swap Out Songs
Another great way to immerse yourself in Spanish is to listen to Spanish music. Try to sing along if you can. The cool thing about learning words through music is that the song often draws out the separate sounds of a word, slowing it down and making it easier to hear!
You can find free Spanish music in many places like this content on Spotify.
4. Dive Into Drama
So maybe you don’t consider yourself a soap opera person. Make an exception for a few months and dive into Spanish telenovelas! Watching Spanish TV shows and movies is one of the easiest ways to learn Spanish because it helps you pick up new words and phrases while keeping you engaged and entertained.
You can find plenty of these fast-paced, dramatic TV shows on paid services like Netflix, or stream for free with ads on sites like Telemundo.
To make the most of your viewing time, use subtitles as necessary but pause the show every so often to repeat a new word or phrase. Keep a journal handy to scribble down new phrases so you can practice them later.
5. Go All-In With an Online Course
Immersing yourself in Spanish during the day is the easiest way to pick up the language, but subscribing to a paid Spanish course can provide more structured exposure to help you quickly master the basics.
The good news is that you can find fun, engaging courses like StoryLearnings online Spanish program, which helps you learn Spanish through a story.
6. Commit to Conversation
One of the easiest ways to rapidly build your Spanish skills is to commit to speaking Spanish aloud every day. Try signing up for a free conversation app like HelloTalk. This connects you with Spanish speakers around the world in a safe environment designed to help language learners.
If you can afford it, you could also hire a Spanish tutor to help you practice speaking. Practicing real conversation will build your confidence in your pronunciation, but it will also help you with listening comprehension. This is key when learning Spanish because spoken Spanish is much faster than spoken English!
7. Hack Your Memory
Even with immersive learning methods and constant streaming of Spanish TV shows and movies, you may find yourself struggling to remember all the new content you learned. In this case, try a Spanish learning program designed to “hack” your memory by using a special method called the Spaced Repetition System.
Pimsleur’s app-based Spanish course is the most famous program to use this system. The Spaced Repetition System helps you remember new content by circling back to review in carefully spaced increments.
8. Focus Less on Grammar
Learning the rules of a new language does matter if you ultimately want to become fluent. But if you want to learn Spanish in the easiest way possible to quickly develop your speaking ability, don’t spend too much time reading textbooks and memorizing conjugations.
Instead, focus on speaking practice to develop your knowledge of key phrases and perfect your pronunciation.
9. Skip Writing…For Now
Again, you will want to develop your Spanish literacy later on, as you gain true fluency. But if you want to quickly and easily master speaking Spanish, you don’t want to spend too much time practicing writing elegant Spanish sentences.
10. Boost Your Vocabulary
Finally, try a fun and easy way to boost your Spanish vocabulary by using a flashcard-style program like Memrize. If you add just five or ten minutes of this app into your daily study routine, you will quickly rack up hundreds of new Spanish vocabulary words!