With over 400 million native speakers, Spanish is one of the most popular and useful languages you can learn, especially if you live in the United States. While learning any new language is a difficult endeavor, with the right tools, you’ll be able to master any new language, including Spanish.
Today, we’ll cover the best way to learn Spanish, and provide some tips that will make it easier for you to master your new language.
#1 Get Prepared
Learning any new language is difficult, and the best way to put yourself in a position to succeed is to amass as much knowledge as you can before you begin learning the actual language.
Fortunately, Spanish is a category I language, according to the Foreign Service Institute. This means that Spanish has many commonalities with English, and it’s easier for native English speakers to grasp the language.
Even so, learning as much as you can about the language before you begin studying is a great way to give yourself a head start.
#2 Study Abroad
Perhaps the best way to learn Spanish is to throw yourself directly into the culture. Plus, with so many Spanish speaking countries throughout the world, it’s easy to find a country where you can study while you’re learning the language.
By immersing yourself in Spanish culture, you’ll be able to learn the language while surrounded by people who speak it every day. It will also help you master the nuances of speaking the language, and how to properly interact when conversing with a Spanish speaker.
#3 Use an App
We spend every waking hour with our phones, so it just makes sense to tap into them as a resource to help you master Spanish. There are plenty of quality apps in the marketplace that will help you reinforce the concepts you’re learning while teaching you new ones.
Plus, since your phone is always within grasp, it will be easy for you to make the most out of your lunch break, time commuting, or breaks throughout the day by firing up the app and continuing your studies.
Keep in mind that apps aren’t only native to your smartphone or tablet. The most popular language learning software of all, Rosetta Stone, has been available long before smartphones revolutionized our lives.
#4 Take Classes
One of the most popular and well-regarded ways of learning a new language is taking a class in that language. Whether you’re currently a student or not, it’s easy to find classes where you can learn to speak Spanish.
Best of all, you don’t necessarily have to show up or pay to take the class. Many colleges and universities offer top-of-the-line classes in foreign languages, and some even offer them as part of a free learning program.
Beyond higher learning, you all may be able to take classes locally. The best way to find local classes is to take a look at your town paper or stop by your library.
#5 Purchase Learning Resources
There’s a reason why academic professionals have relied on textbooks to teach students for years: they’re effective. While there are many different ways to learn Spanish without ever spending a dime, arguably the best way to learn Spanish is to rely on a textbook or similar resource to help you learn.
This method is ideal for people who wish to be able to learn at their own pace. Plus, textbooks are usually written linearly and are structured in a way that allows you to learn new things, then build upon those concepts as you learn other things.
This helps ensure that you aren’t learning concepts “out of order,” which will make it easier for you to digest the material you’re learning before moving on to higher level concepts.
Before deciding on a textbook, take some time to read reviews from others who have used the textbook to learn Spanish. Textbooks are usually expensive, so it’s important to ensure you’re choosing a solid option before you purchase one.
#6 Get a Mentor
For most of us, studying abroad, or spending a long period in a Spanish speaking country would be amazing, but it’s not necessarily realistic. Between work, family life, and other obligations, it’s hard enough to find time for yourself, let alone dedicate yourself to studying abroad.
If this sounds like you, the next best thing may be to find a mentor who can provide you with many of the benefits you’d experience if you were spending time abroad.
Ideally, your mentor will be someone who speaks fluent Spanish as their first language. Not only will their knowledge be helpful as you learn, but it will also help you to understand the more nuanced concepts of the language that would be impossible to grasp without speaking the language conversationally.
#7 Fully Immerse Yourself in the Language
While all of these methods can be incredibly useful, full immersion in Spanish culture is the best way to learn Spanish. Study the language in whichever ways work best for you, and immerse yourself in as much Spanish culture as you can in the process.
That means to watch television in Spanish, read in Spanish, and speak in Spanish wherever possible. The best way to ensure that you’ll retain the concepts you’re learning is to constantly reinforce them through practice.
If you’re working with a mentor or taking formal classes in Spanish, you should have no problem finding others who are eager to meet people they can converse within their new language.
Anyone who has ever studied a foreign language can tell you, picking up a new language can be difficult. Even a language like Spanish, which is considered fairly easy to learn will present plenty of challenges you need to overcome.
While the best way to learn Spanish will vary from person to person, because everyone learns differently, the methods above are all exceptionally useful ways that you can begin to learn how to speak Spanish. With dedication and practice, you’ll be speaking fluent Spanish before you know it.
Interested in learning Japanese or French? We have guides on the best ways to learn both of those too!