When it comes to the best way to learn Spanish, there are many options to choose from, each with their own advantages and limitations:
Here are some best ways to conquer Spanish, once and for all.
1- Language – Learning Apps
Seriously, If you’re a true beginner who doesn’t have a great foundation, it can be easy to get overwhelmed by the amount of Spanish-learning options out there. If that’s the case for you, it’s best to start with a program designed to ease you into grammar & vocabulary. Apps like Memrise, Duolingo, and Babbel rely on spaced repetition to teach the user memorable, conversational phrases that can be really helpful if you’re ever in a pinch. Plus, apps like these gamify the learning experience, making your next lesson feel almost like an addictive impulse.
2- Use Your Commute
If you drive to work every day (like 85.4% of people in the U.S. do), why not turn your car into a moving classroom? Devote the free time to listening to Spanish-language courses, like “Behind the Wheel Spanish and much more” or “Learn in Your Car: Spanish.” These programs teach the basics and bare-bones vocabulary that can give you the learning blocks of a language, which can help you when you’ll eventually need to learn words via context. Linguists agree that one of the best ways to learn another language is through “shadowing” (i.e. listening and repeating).
3- Spanish – Language Media
Similarly, a great way to learn another tongue is to consume media (e.g. books, podcasts, songs, movies, TV shows and news programs) in the language you’re trying to learn. The key here is to consume media based on the current level you’re at, otherwise it’s easy to become frustrated by your limited skills. If you’re still a beginner, it might not be helpful to jump into complex political commentary and expect to understand everything. If you can’t keep up with the rapid pace of more advanced Spanish-language programs, opt for a simple podcast like “News in Slow Spanish and many others.”
4- Local Language – Exchange Partner
While studying the nuts & bolts of a language is a necessary first step when learning a new tongue, it’s crucial to speak with native speakers if you want to eventually become fluent. If you feel like you’ve graduated from the consumption phase of your learning journey and you’re ready to actually speak with another human being, signing up to practice with a language-exchange partner could be the perfect next step for you. Websites like Tandem & italki can set you up with a native Spanish-speaker who is looking to learn English (or whatever your native language is). This way, you can get your feet wet in a low-stakes situation.
5- Try to move a Spanish-Speaking Country (Temporarily)
When you are studying conjugations through apps and learning vocab through Spanish-language media is extremely beneficial, the best way to learn another language is to completely immerse yourself in it. If you want to up your commitment level (and have the time and money for this type of commitment), think about moving to a Spanish-speaking country for a short time. And if you’re not the adventurous type, don’t worry. There are hundreds of Spanish Immersion programs across Latin America that can give you both the structure & guidance to keep you on track. Look into immersion programs like Maximo Nivel & Tico Lingo – these ones are top-rated and beloved by students worldwide.