10 Ways to Learn Spanish Fast
Learning a second language can be a lot of hard work, but it is an extremely rewarding experience. If you are ready to study Spanish and master it once and for all, today we will help you by providing some of the best tips to learn Spanish fast.
Before I start, I want to make something clear: the are no shortcuts to acquiring a second language. I wish I could say there is a magic app that will help you speak Spanish in a week or so, but alas, there isn’t.
If you want to learn Spanish fast, you have to practice Spanish consistently, spend many hours studying and working with Spanish tutoring, among other things. Putting it differently, you must breathe Spanish. That is why it’s so important to have clear reasons to learn a second language and set goals.
And there are many great reasons to study Spanish! You can travel abroad and work or study Spanish there. The additional language will open better job opportunities. You will be able to make new friends and connect with another culture. You will expand your entertainment options, and it will even improve your health, among many other things.
Learning a second language is also fun! So, without further ado, let’s get into the 10 best ways to learn Spanish fast.
10 Ways to Learn Spanish Fast
Immerse Yourself as Much as Possible
When you are learning Spanish, it is important to immerse yourself in the language as much as possible. That way you are forced to practice it constantly. There are many ways you can do that. You can travel to a Spanish-speaking country, get into a language education school, find a Spanish tutor, get a friend, or make your own efforts every day.
Traveling abroad is one of the best ways to immerse yourself in Spanish and there are many amazing countries you can visit. Once you are there, everything you do will serve as a language lesson. From going shopping and visiting important monuments to watching TV, everything will teach you something new.
Now, going abroad is not always a possibility. Luckily there are many other options. Such as language apps and Spanish-immersion software. You can also do all the little things, including changing the language on your phone to Spanish, listening to music in Spanish every day, watching TV and movies in Spanish, use Spanish subtitles, read in Spanish, befriend Spanish speakers, and get together or chat online, and so much more.
Practice Your Listening Skills
Your listening skills are essential to your speaking skills because they are linked. If you never hear how Spanish is spoken, you will never be able to learn the proper pronunciation. This method is also intuitive, and it is very easy to integrate into your daily routine. By practicing your listening skills, you will start to understand the rhythm of the language, not to mention that you will internalize a ton of vocabulary and grammar.
The more you listen, the faster the language learning process will be. Now, there are many ways to practice your listening skills. If you have native Spanish-speaking friends, you can practice with them very easily. But if you don’t, you can always listen to audiobooks in Spanish, find podcasts, preferably with hosts who speak the accent you are trying to learn, and use language learning apps.
Language learning apps offer many listening exercises and activities that will challenge you and help you fine-tune your Spanish pronunciation. Some of the options include Duolingo, Memrise, Open Language, and more. You can also find many resources online that offer listening activities, such as Spanish Listening, Spanish Resources, and Gritty Spanish, among others. That way, you can home tutor Spanish yourself faster.
Make Vocabulary Lists
Vocabulary is everything when you study Spanish, and it is one of the most essential aspects of learning a second language. It is also the most time-consuming because, well, there are millions of words. However, you can focus on the vocabulary you will be using more often and focus on mastering it. This will serve as a base for everything else.
What you want to do is start by making your own vocabulary lists and make them all about the words and phrases you use more often. This will allow you to learn what is most important for you instead of wasting time on vocabulary that won’t be useful or relevant to you. Once you have your lists, you will be able to use them as a reference when you are studying.
Another great way to learn vocabulary quickly is to use flashcards. Flashcards are amazing memory aids, and they are a quick and easy way to learn new information. They work best for short pieces of information, so they are a perfect tool to help you soak up a ton of vocabulary effectively and quickly.
Get Yourself a Language Buddy
Having a language buddy with whom you can practice Spanish every single day is a great way to improve your Spanish skills. Your language buddy can be a fellow language learner or a native speaker. Either way, you will have someone to practice with and who will challenge your skills.
Constantly speaking in our target language forces us to think quickly. This is not only so we can understand what our buddy is saying, but also so we can reply and express our thoughts and feelings accurately. If you have native Spanish-speaking friends, you can start communicating with them in Spanish so you can practice.
If you do not a buddy, the great thing about the internet is that it allows us to connect with people all over the world. Therefore, finding a native Spanish-speaking buddy won’t be difficult and you can meet via Skype. There are also many apps where you can find conversation partners so you can practice your skills with natives but also with language learners, such as Conversation Exchange, HelloTalk, Speaky, Tandem, and more.
Practice Shadowing to Learn Spanish Fast
Spanish shadowing, also known as mimicking, is a great technique that will help you perfect your Spanish pronunciation, so you have a cleaner accent. Shadowing consists of immediately repeating a word or a phrase you hear, no matter if you understand it or not. You can do this all the time, whether you are watching TV in Spanish, listening to podcasts, watching videos on YouTube, or using Spanish resources such as language learning apps.
All you must do is repeat what you hear, like a parrot. It doesn’t matter if you don’t feel confident about it. That will come with practice. Spanish shadowing will challenge you to sound like a native speaker and the more you mimic them, the more you will internalize it. Now, the best way to practice shadowing is by watching short videos of native speakers.
All you must do is press play and repeat what the people are saying right after they speak. The more you do it, the easier it will become. The goal is to get your shadowing in sync with the speakers, so it is like when you watch one of your favorite movies and you speak the lines along with the characters. Having accurate subtitles in Spanish will be very helpful.
Get Familiar with the Slang
Learning Spanish fast does not have to be boring, especially not if you focus on the fun parts, such as slang, idioms, and proverbs. They are very colorful and let us face it, they are the first things we want to learn. When you focus on the fun parts of vocabulary, learning becomes an adventure. It does not mean you’re neglecting the foundational parts of the language, such as grammar, it just means you’re adding some spice.
Slang will increase your chances to learn Spanish faster because it will allow you to learn the contextual meaning of particular words that are used very often. People are informal when they speak one on one, so learning the slang, idioms, and proverbs will help you be more fluent and speak more naturally and freely.
Not to mention, learning slang will allow you to prevent the misuse of certain terms in certain situations. If you do not know that some words are rude in certain scenarios, you take the chance of making mistakes that can be offensive. Slang also speeds up communication and it connects you with the culture more effectively.
Take a Spanish Course
Spanish courses can’t be left out of the equation because they contribute greatly to learning a second language faster. There are many courses you can find online. However, you can also go to language learning schools in your area, which is a great way to connect with other language learners.
There are even self-paced Spanish courses you can take if you are more of a self-taught person. If you decide to go with this option, make sure the course you choose is digestible and with plenty of audio exercises and reading exercises. Spanish Uncovered is a great option because they have a story-telling method that makes things more interesting, and there are many other options.
Taking a Spanish course is essential because it provides some much-needed structure to the language learning process. It is good to have a guide to follow and it will allow you to build a solid foundation for your target language.
Find a Spanish Tutor
If you are not really into courses, you can always look for Spanish tutoring that can give you Spanish classes online or in-person, using home tutor Spanish. There are many sites that can help you connect with a Spanish tutor and they are available at affordable prices for the most part. For example, you can go on Vitutors.com to find online Spanish tutoring opportunities. There’s also Tutors.com, where you can find Spanish tutors near you.
There are plenty of options out there, so it won’t be an issue to find some great Spanish tutoring choices. Just make sure you read the reviews to make sure they are a good fit for you. If you don’t vibe with the Spanish tutor you choose, consider trying someone new because it’s important to get along with them.
It is recommended that you take short lessons as often as possible, such as 30 to 45-minute lessons up to 5 times a week. One of the biggest benefits of having a Spanish tutor is they can tailor their approach to your needs. Let them know what you want your focus areas to be so they can provide what you need.
Take It Easy on the Grammar
It is not unusual for beginners to obsess over grammar because it’s a common trap. However, grammar is not everything. It is indeed important to learn the basics and master them so you can learn more down the road, but it shouldn’t be your sole focus.
Unlike what most people think, you don’t need to know all the ins and outs of grammar to be able to communicate well. You will learn the ins and outs eventually, but you don’t have to do it right away, you don’t have to drown in grammar.
This does not mean that grammar should be neglected, it only means that worrying excessively about it will cause you to lose focus and it will make the process slow and boring.
Read in Spanish More Often
Finally, for today’s tips, remember to practice your reading skills as much as you practice everything else. Beginners often neglect reading because it seems intimidating. But as soon as you are ready to read the basics, you should start and make it a habit.
You don’t have to read big books from the start, you can begin with articles in Spanish, poems, short stories, fairy tales, and more. Start with low-level books and go from there. As you learn more vocabulary and you feel more confident about your skills, you will be able to read other kinds of books. You can also see suggested readings online for home tutor Spanish.
It is also a good idea to read your favorites in Spanish once you feel up to it. Since you already know the story, it won’t be difficult to get through it even if you don’t understand every single word on the page. Or you can read new books and discover new stories as you learn Spanish.
How long it takes you to learn a second language will depend entirely on how many hours you spend with it. I am not talking about study hours. I am talking about the hours you spend exposed to the language: listening, reading, writing, and speaking in Spanish.
On average, a person who spends three hours a day immersed in Spanish will learn the language in 6 months or less. If a person spends only one hour a day with the language, it will take about a year and a half.
So, the more time you spend living and breathing Spanish, the faster you will learn Spanish. I hope these tips can help you with that! They are not difficult to integrate into your life and they are all very enjoyable methods that will help you get closer to your goals. Just be consistent and enjoy the ride!
To learn more about this and related topics, please check out other ViTutors blog articles. Also, on ViTutors, please also check the many Spanish Tutoring opportunities from highly skilled Spanish tutors worldwide to study Spanish.