If you’ve ever learnt a language, you’ll be well aware that it isn’t a process that happens overnight. Language learning takes time, patience and perseverance. However, there are techniques you can use to speed up the process. In this blog piece, I offer eight tips to learn Spanish faster to help you reach your goal sooner.
Get the right balance
Although Spanish isn’t one of the world’s most difficult languages, its grammar comes with plenty of challenges. You may also find the pronunciation difficult and think that the vocabulary lists run far too long.
To learn Spanish faster, look at the big picture and remember that you’re learning the language to communicate. As long as you achieve that goal, getting the grammar, pronunciation and vocab are secondary.
Top tip – don’t make learning Spanish all about the grammar.
Learn the right vocab
Another way of learning Spanish faster is to concentrate on the vocabulary. Like most languages, spoken Spanish has a base of common words that form the structure of almost everything anyone says. The good news is that if you learn these then you can understand most of what people say.
Did you know? Private lessons are the best way to learn Spanish faster especially if your teacher tailors the classes to what you need.
Get used to the sounds
Spanish has a unique pronunciation and sounds that are quite unlike those in any other language. When you start learning Spanish, get yourself acquainted with the range of sounds. Listen to podcasts or watch videos as you listen to what Spanish sounds like.
Set realistic goals
A sure way to learn Spanish faster is to set yourself an achievable goal. Don’t aim to “learn Spanish by Christmas”, but make it more specific. For example, make your objective to “be able to buy exactly what I want at the market by the end of the month” or “know enough Spanish to arrange a business meeting in two months’ time”. Concrete goals are much easier to aim for and by extension, achieve.
Top tip – sit down with your Spanish teacher and write down five specific goals for the next three months.
Consolidate what you learn
There’s no point learning anything if you don’t put it into practice. Make sure you use your new Spanish language skills – new tense or specific vocabulary – in conversations. This is the only way your brain will be able to consolidate your Spanish.
Don’t worry about getting it perfect
One of the biggest obstacles to language learning is an obsession with saying the perfect sentence. Remember that language is primarily to communicate with someone correctly. Getting the tense exactly right might not matter as long as you have communicated what you need to say.
Did you know? Spanish has lots of false friends– for example, ropa isn’t rope (it means clothes) and estoy constipado means I’ve got a cold.
Read as much Spanish as possible
Another way to learn Spanish faster is through reading and listening to it whenever you can. Watch a film with Spanish subtitles (or better still, in the original Spanish version with English subtitles), read a magazine in Spanish or pick up a brochure at the tourist office.
Make Spanish part of your lifestyle
But by far the best way to get to grips with Spanish more quickly is to practise it in a Spanish-speaking environment. Malaga offers one of the best places because the friendly locals won’t mind if you make a mistake. And they’ll be happy to help out if you can’t remember a word or need to resort to sign language!
Did you know? Immersion Spanish courses in Malaga offer the best opportunity to learn Spanish faster and more easily. I offer a series of tailor-made packages to suit your requirements and scheduled at different times of the year. They allow you to get to grips with the language and enjoy one of the loveliest cities in Spain at the same time.