8 Tips To Learn Spanish Quickly
Struggling with the language? Have you given up learning already? Don’t! We have 8 tips on how to learn Spanish quickly in a fun and effective way.
1. Develop an “ear” for Spanish
Firstly it is important to recognize that a language is foremost oral communication, and that is also immediately the hardest part. You need to develop an “ear” for Spanish by listening a lot to the natives, music and watching television. Learning thus does not have to be boring at all. Start watching Spanish series and movies and sing along with Enrique Iglesias! It is important though to remember that this does not mean you can forget learning the grammar rules, because once you master the language grammatically, the listening and talking part becomes easier.
2. Always carry flashcards with you
Using flashcard is a fun and effective way to turn “wasted” time into productive study time! Make flashcards on small paper which are easy to carry with you. Write on the one side the word, verb or sentence in your mother language and on the other side the translation in Spanish. In this way you can extend your vocabulary, practicing verbs or learn expressions while you’re in the bus, waiting for class to start or waiting in the line for the supermarket.
3. Decorate your house with labels
Buy sticky notes and decorate your house with it! Stick one on “la pared” (the wall), “frigorifico” (fridge) and on “la puerta” (the door). By doing this you are constantly confronted with the vocabulary. Once you master the words you can remove the sticky note.
4. Read to extend your vocabulary
Reading is a great way to learn. Buy a Spanish newspaper or magazine and take time to read it. By reading this you immediately will be involved in the current situation of the country. Besides, you will not only learn that and the vocabulary while reading, you also will be exposed to grammatical structures and expressions which will enrich your Spanish fluency. To make it all even better I advise you to read out loud. In this way you also practice your pronunciation! You prefer to read articles on the internet? Here you have an overview of Spanish newspapers and magazines, and an official website of Instituto Cervantes called Practica Español with articles sorted by interest and level.
5. Set goals
Learning something new requires commitment, patience, time and endurance. Especially learning a language is not something you can just say let’s try it for some weeks. You need to keep practicing and repeating to master it. Therefore it may help to set some goals for yourself. Start with small goals and work to bigger ones. A small goal can be learn 10 new Spanish words per day, be able to greet your neighbours every day, or learn every day one new verb. A bigger goal can be master the difference between the indefinido and the imperfecto after a month of studying and practising or being able to present yourself to new students in class perfectly.
6. Connect Spanish to your life
When you connect Spanish to your daily life, you will be confronted with it day by day. You will learn rapidly and it also widens your vocabulary. Switch for example your computer and cell phone into Spanish. This will be difficult in the beginning, but in the end you will maximize the learning process. Another way to connect Spanish is connecting it to your hobbies. Are you a music lover? Write your own song in Spanish. Do you love to write stories? Write one in Spanish! There is a website, called Lang-8, where you can upload your text and a native will check it free for you.
7. Practice, practice, practice
You cannot only learn a language from a book. You need to practice it. Talk to yourself in the mirror or find a native speaker who wants to talk with you, during a language exchange for example. Order in Spanish (and ask for the Spanish menu instead of the English) and ask the direction or your questions in Spanish. Or, maybe even better, you can travel or move to a Spanish speaking country. Living or staying there will make you force to speak the language. The more you use the language, the less likely you are to forget it.
8. Take a language course
Lastly, take a language course in Spain. You will learn the grammar and how to speak in the class and afterwards you are immediately able to take the learnings in practice on the street. A language course does not have to be boring at all. The classes are fun, you will learn about the culture and there is a relaxed atmosphere. Try it, you will not regret it.