A step-by-step guide
Thinking about learning Spanish, but you cannot get on a plane and head to Spain or Latin America? Fret no more. Here’s a step-by-step guide that will help you learn Spanish in one year from the comfort of your home.
Step 1: What is your goal? Define it.
If your ultimate goal is geared towards speaking like how a native speaker would in everyday situations, then you will need to focus on the following:
- The ability to understand strong accents, colloquial slang, and unique vocabulary
- The ability to speak fluently enables native speakers to know what you are saying
- Common words should be identified and understood without needing to refer to a translation guide
- You may have a slight foreign accent, but this cannot hinder overall communication
If you managed to enroll yourself in the DELE Spanish exam at the B2 level and pass it, you would have managed to accomplish the level of fluency described above.
Step 2: Make sure you have a deadline
Your deadline depends on how much time you have every day to study Spanish and your current level of proficiency. Once you have got your deadline in place, it’s vital to establish mini-goals such as:
- Ability to converse on simple topics after three months
- Ability to talk comfortably about familiar topics after six months
- Ability to speak Spanish fluently after 12 months
Step 3: A routine is key!
Your day-to-day routine could look like starting the day with listening to Coffee Break Spanish during breakfast or watching CNN in Spanish. It could be followed by reviewing your vocabulary using a flashcard app or listening to a Spanish audiobook on your way to work. Sign up for an online Spanish tutor session once you are done with work. Look at completing at least three conversations per session with the tutor. Catch up on YouTube channels like Spanish Extra or Easy Spanish to take a break from a formal tutoring session. You could also wind down at the end of the day by hanging out with native Spanish speakers allowing you to improve your conversational skills. By incorporating all these activities into your daily routine, you will notice how quickly your progression is and how fast your fluency improves every day.
Step 4: Identify your tools
Look at getting a hold of various resources like textbooks, podcasts, apps, and YouTube channels targeted for beginners. The resources available online are plenty and are available for different levels of fluency. Sometimes going down the traditional route like practicing grammar exercises or dictations will also help your fluency a great deal. Combining the two types of study methods is ideal for your self-learning journey.
Step 5: Stop and check your progress
Record yourself speaking. Compare day 1 to day 30 or day 60, and you will notice a significant difference in your progression. Not only is this motivating, but it also pushes you to improve yourself by setting higher goals.
Step 6: The Internet – your greatest ally!
Internet is your friend. Thanks to it, you can now connect with Spanish speakers from all over. The internet has revolutionized learning and made it your greatest ally. On websites like italki, you can find many Spanish tutors available on Skype or other apps at extremely reasonable hourly rates. You can use these resources with the touch of a button and fast-track your learning curve.
Step 7: Speak in Spanish as much as you can
Learning Spanish in the hands-on, traditional way is great, but an even better and more effective, and enjoyable way to learn is by speaking the language with as many native speakers as you can. Don’t miss an opportunity to engage in a conversation with another person well-versed in Spanish. The more you speak, the more fluent you will become.
The main idea is to set a goal and work towards that goal in an organized and dedicated manner. Immerse yourself in Spanish. Stop and check your progress now and then. The above step-by-step guide is a great way to kick start your journey and will help you learn Spanish in a year. These guidelines apply whether you are enrolling yourself in an online course or learning on your own.