Learn Spanish fast: the best ways to boost your studying
You can learn Spanish fast, but that doesn’t mean it will be easy. Learning something new, whether it’s a language, a skill, or a sport, takes some time and more importantly, dedication. The first thing you must do is stop thinking “I don’t have time” because let’s face it, you do! Here are some ideas to help you practice when you don’t feel like practising.
Take advantage of technology
There are a large number of ways that technology can help you pick up the Spanish language quickly. From Netflix to Facebook to applications you can download directly onto your phone, the choice is yours. It’s never been easier than now to consume movies, music, TV series. Netflix offers movies and TV shows from other countries and you can choose the language of your subtitles. You don’t even have to make your own flashcards anymore – there are apps for that. Joining groups on Facebook is a good way to learn new things, find Spanish memes and meet people who are also looking to learn Spanish.
Talk to yourself
One of the best ways to practice if you don’t have anyone else to talk with is to have conversations with yourself. It may sound crazy, yes, but this is a great way to practice dialogues, grammar and vocabulary. You can choose to whisper or just go over what you would say in your head. You can start by narrating what you are doing at the moment, how and when you go to work or explaining what you did over the weekend. The more you repeat these simple phrases, the more comfortable with them you’ll become and when the time comes to practice them with a real person, you’ll be ready.
Getting creative with your Spanish studying can help you learn and remember new things fast. There’s a reason children’s classes are filled with songs and rhymes! If you can find songs to help you with your vocabulary or even make them up yourself, you’re on a good path. A mnemonic is a system that helps you remember something. It can be a song, a rhyme, a set of letters. An example of one in English is using the letters ROYGBIV to remember the colours of the rainbow, where each letter stands for one of the colours. Making connections between Spanish words and your native language can often help to remember vocabulary.
Attitude is everything
Setting a goal for yourself is a good idea. If you want to learn Spanish fast, you have to take the right approach; you will be more likely to succeed if you take your objective seriously. It’s also important that you don’t become discouraged if you can’t immediately understand that couple arguing behind you in line or if you can’t form an answer to a question you’ve been asked. Being gentle on yourself and focussing on how far you’ve come from your first day and how much you’ve learned will put things into perspective.
Go to a language exchange
Language meetups are a great way to learn Spanish fast. Meetup is a very useful website to help people who have the same interests get together. You can try to find a Spanish language group. These are great as everyone there is a Spanish language learner and has the same goal in mind – to practice their speaking. There are also language exchanges where you can practice multiple languages. If you go to an English-Spanish exchange, there will definitely be some native Spanish-speakers there who will appreciate the fact that they are getting the chance to speak with a native (or fluent) English speaker.
Consistency is key
They say it takes 21 days of doing something continuously to form a habit. Think of that as your own personal challenge. If you want to learn Spanish fast, then you need to practice every day. Whether you decide to practice every day in the morning before work, on your daily commute or before bedtime, try to stick to that initial plan and you’ll see how much easier it gets to allot this time to studying. Yes, you are a busy person so don’t expect to designate an hour a day to study. Even studying something like 10 minutes a day, every single day, is better than nothing at all.
Use your time wisely
How often do you find yourself scrolling through your social media accounts when you’re first waking up or about to go to bed? This is the most opportune time to take advantage of this “free” time. Instead of mindlessly looking at images you’re not connecting with, you could use this time to study. Think about times when you are going to or from work, waiting for your friend at a café or just “zoned out”. If you ever catch yourself wasting time, try using that time to study or review some vocabulary.
Find what you enjoy and make it Spanish
Do you love listening to political podcasts? Unwinding with an episode of a TV show before bed? Listening to music on your commute? Finding Spanish series, films, podcasts, funny meme accounts and music will help you immerse yourself into the Spanish-speaking world. When you find something that you enjoy, learning won’t feel like learning at all, and being surrounded by this type of material will help improve your Spanish listening and comprehension skills and help build vocabulary. Spanishpod101 is a great website that has a whole library of podcasts in Spanish that are created for different levels of comprehension. Why not find some funny Spanish meme accounts to follow on Instagram too?
Find people to speak with
The best and fastest way to learn Spanish is not necessarily by living in a Spanish-speaking country. Oftentimes, people get caught in an English bubble and even though they’ve lived in a Spanish-speaking country, they only know the basics. Find a language exchange partner, someone at your work who speaks or is studying Spanish, or speak to neighbours or shopkeepers. The best thing you can do to speed up the learning process is to speak, speak, speak.
Take a class
You don’t have to spend 8 hours a day in a classroom to learn Spanish quickly. Speakeasy offers evening classes where you learn for 3 hours, twice a week. Even if you take just one round of courses (about 6 weeks), classes are a great way to inspire motivation and to meet like-minded people who are just as determined as you are to learn.
Hopefully, some of these are tips you’ve never thought of before. What is your favourite way to study Spanish?