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Have you always wanted to learn Spanish but don’t know where to begin? Learning a new language can be daunting and overwhelming at first. However, there is no one way that is right for everyone. But, these resources will help you find a learning method that is right for you!
Why should you learn Spanish?
The chances of meeting a Spanish speaking person anywhere in the world is very high. It’s the second most spoken language throughout the world in over twenty different countries. Learning the language can open many doors for you both culturally and professionally. So, what are some of the reasons why you should learn Spanish;
- You will be a more confident traveler and avoid stressful situations
- You can integrate with the local community
- It will enhance your traveling experience
- You could study or work abroad.
- It will boost your employment prospects.
My journey to learning Spanish
The main reason for learning Spanish for myself was for travel purposes. I knew I was going to be traveling Central America where the majority of people speak Spanish. I started to use the app Duolingo to get myself familiar with some key phrases. However, after having to use mostly hand gestures and solely relying on google translate in Mexico, I was eager to learn the lingo enough to get myself out of sticky situations.
With Guatemala being one of the cheapest/easiest places to learn Spanish, I decided to take some lessons for a week at a Spanish school whilst staying with a host family. You can read about my experience HERE. It was one of the best things I did and gave me a lot more confidence to interact with locals and a good base to continue learning the language.
Whilst traveling from each country, it gave me the perfect opportunity to listen to Spanish podcasts & songs which I found very helpful familiarizing myself with certain conversations and situations. I’m currently using the language learning program ‘Say Something in Spanish‘ which I can highly recommend as I have found this very effective for myself seen as I now have limited time to spend learning. Also learn Spanish while you sleep has proven to be a great resource but it depends on how you like to fall asleep. I love listening to the sound of the rain whilst falling to sleep so it’s perfect for me. However, there’s no set way to learn a language so check out this epic list of resources and find a learning method that is suitable for you.
Find an online tutor to learn Spanish
After taking one on one classes in Guatemala, I can definitely see the benefits of having one on one interaction, especially if they are native speaking. It’s the perfect combination of listening and speaking and they can easily correct you. By having an online tutor, they can accommodate your learning style and base their knowledge on your goals. Skype and Google Hangouts are two of the most common video platforms that students use and are easy to navigate.
- Live Lingua
X10 Spanish Podcasts
I’m such a big advocate for podcasts. I found it’s the best way to learn Spanish when commuting. They’re so convenient, allowing you to multi-task and listen to them on the go. Whether your exercising, in the car, or completing chores around the house, it’s easy to fit into your day. Better yet, they’re free! Check these out!
- Coffee Break Spanish
- Mimic Method Spanish
- Spanish Pod 101
- Notes in Spanish
- The Unlimited Spanish Podcast
- News in Slow Spanish
- Spanish Obsessed
- Discover Spanish
X10 Apps to learn Spanish
Apps are another convenient way to learn that’s been made fun and even turns learning Spanish into games. With the number of mobile users greater than web users, it is much more accessible to use these in your everyday life. Most of all, they’re the perfect distraction for when you have some time to kill.
- Rosetta Stone
- Study Blue
X5 Learn Spanish with Songs
We all know that a catchy or annoying tune can really stick in our heads. It can be an incredibly useful tool when it comes to learning a language. Songs can help you pick up the correct pronunciation and demonstrate how you would use words in a particular sentence. And if your anything like me, you’ll constantly have them on repeat and will soon become top of your playlists!
- Spanish Radio Stations – Radio Marca, esRadio, Cadena Cope, Latino FM & Tropical FM
- Lirica- Learn Spanish through lyrics of Latin & Spanish music
- Spanish Nursery Songs- for example- as a beginner Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes is perfect (it will definitely stick in your head)
- RockAlingua- Designed for children with catchy tunes about our daily routines
- Whistlefritz- Similar to the above, although it’s aimed at children, these animated music videos of everyday life are great for beginners
X5 Spanish Netflix Tv Shows
As La Casa De Papel (Money Heist) blew up on Netflix, it was the perfect opportunity to enjoyably self-study. I was hooked straight away! Although it did take me a while to get used to their fast-paced conversations. There are so many shows/movies on Netflix that you can easily change the language to Spanish with English subtitles.
- Gran Hotel
- Alta Mar
- La Casa De Papel
- La Nina
X5 Youtube Channels to learn Spanish
Youtube is essentially a free alternative to Spanish courses. With these videos, you can listen to a wide range of Spanish dialect, full of useful information and scenarios. Each video has its own style of teaching and skills to keep you engaged in the material. Their perfect for entry-level learners as you can easily pause or repeat if you don’t understand. Or in my case, if they’re speaking too fast. My personal favorite is Spanish with Paul as he has 10 mini-courses which I have greatly benefited from. Here are a few other youtube channels that have also helped on my journey.
Other Spanish learning resources
- Lang-8- FREE language exchange social network
- Fluent-U- A video platform for language learning
- My Language Exchange- Language exchange community
- Digital Dialect- Online language learning games
- HiNative- Global Q & A Platform for language learners.
Steps to take when learning a new language
- Set realistic goals/expectations
- Know your WHY
- Find out the best learning method for you.
- Make a study plan
- Use the language every day
- Use sticky notes/labels on things around the house
- Seek out real-life practice.
How to stay motivated when learning a new language
- Get creative and put pen to paper- flashcards/write a letter/mind maps
- Record yourself speaking the language
- Treat yourself when you’re doing well
- Remember your WHY
- Remember that only 20% of the world speak English as a first language
There is no ‘best way’ to learn Spanish. Each person learns differently, with different styles at a different pace. It might even include a combination of learning techniques. What might be super effective to one person, may not be to another. It’s about figuring out what’s right for you and your learning goals. You should always remember that two key factors in learning a new language are commitment and consistency. However, there is no substitute for learning the language in a native Spanish speaking country, immersing yourself into the lifestyle where you can speak it every day with the locals. For me, this is the most effective way where you can truly appreciate the language along with their culture.
Have you used any of the above to learn Spanish? Feel free to share your experience with us!