Learning to speak Spanish will open up many doors and bring many joys. As you may know, Spanish is the second most spoken language in the world, and speaking Spanish will allow you to connect with a wide range of people with different cultural and linguistic backgrounds.
It will also enrich your travels, access foreign media, and increase your diversity awareness.
There are many different routes you can take to acquire this beautiful language, from purchasing mobile apps to playing with traditional flashcards. You could attend often puzzling group classes or listen to dreary audiobooks while you commute.
The truth is that the easiest and most efficient way to master the Spanish language is to actually take one-on-one lessons with a trained teacher who is also a native speaker.
The best way to learn Spanish is through immersion
You’re busy, but need to learn Spanish. What you need is an instructor who adjusts to your busy schedule, adapts to your unique learning style, understands your personal needs and wants, follows your pace, develops a customized program, and is able to deliver the class wherever you are in the world.
How to learn Spanish
Learning Spanish with immersion education allows you to have a curriculum built just for you. This eliminates pressure to “keep up” and gives you consistent hands-on practice with speaking the language.
Immersion programs aim for academic achievement and bilingualism attainment through increased intercultural competence.
This means that at least 50% of the instruction is through the new language, which in this case is Spanish — you’re speaking it and listening to it, helping your brain to become accustomed to the language.
According to the Center for Advanced Research on Language Acquisition, some of the proven benefits of language immersion programs include better academic performance, a higher level of language proficiency and literacy.
This leads to improved cognitive skills such as divergent thinking, pattern recognition, and problem-solving.
Languages are “alive” (meaning they evolve and have unique dialects and interpretations), thus there is always more than grammar and spelling rules to achieve Spanish language fluency.
Although the base language is the same in all Spanish speaking nations, the rhythms, patterns, and words vary from one to another.
At Live Lingua you will learn to speak Spanish from someone that already is at the top level of Spanish language proficiency — a native speaker — who possesses excellent teaching skills and an ample understanding of the use of the language within a set of social belief systems.
From day one you will dive into in the specifics of the Spanish language (such as accents, jargon, and proper expressions) in addition to the cultural highlights of the country you are most interested in visiting.
How to speak Spanish like a local
To speak Spanish like a local, you need full exposure to this language you aim to acquire.
In addition to the language classes to enhance your immersive practice, strive to augment the number of fields and topics you connect with. Aim to create a multi-sensory experience.
You can do this by reading digital newspapers, listening to music, and watching videos from various Spanish speaking countries.
To learn how Spanish native speakers communicate you may want to follow some of the activities suggested in the list below. These will deepen your comprehension of other societies as well as widen your vocabulary.
Pay attention, make notes, and try to enjoy the process. As you move forward in your language learning process, you will be able to understand more complex content.
Do not be discouraged even if you don’t understand a thing at the beginning. Your ear will slowly get attuned to the sounds and melodies; plus, if you learn the alphabet beforehand, you will be able to spot similar words, related terms, and repetitive patterns (aka spelling and grammar guidelines) through the written information.
When in doubt refer to the Diccionario de la Real Academia de la Lengua Española. The objective is to get familiar with the world of Spanish language, including gestures and other non-verbal forms of communication.
Pick up a good book
- Check out these twenty titles from Classic Spanish literature.
- Feel like taking a shortcut? Watch the readings of El Quijote on Youtube.
- Take a peep at this list of twenty one Spanish novels from the 21st century.
- If you are more into Latin American literature, pick from the work of prodigious writers such as Mario Vargas Llosa, Gabriel García Márquez, Octavio Paz, and Julio Cortázar.
Survey online newspapers from Spanish speaking countries
- El País is a well-established Spanish periodical; otherwise, try Reforma from México or El Clarín from Argentina.
Browse blogs or digital magazines in Spanish
- The universe for both of these is immense and finding something worthy can become tiring. Select a subject matter that aligns with the purpose of your language learning efforts. For example, if you are learning Spanish for business purposes explore Entrepreneur to get acquainted with the professional slang.
- Look at the blog comments if you like; there might be plenty of spelling and grammar mistakes, but pay no attention to them. If you feel confident make a comment!
Listen to original Spanish and Latin-American music genres
Software applications such as Spotify make this quite easy. Here are some artists to check out:
- Bossa nova
- Music from the Andes
- Pin your ears back to online radio programs in Spanish:
- You can access renowned stations like Radio Fórmula and W Radio from Mexico and Cadena Ser from Spain.
- Here is a list of the top five Spanish learning podcasts.
- For sports broadcasting, take note of ESPN en español, MVS Deportes, and Univisión.
Watch videos in Spanish
- Enjoy Spanish and Latin-American films, documentaries, and T.V. series on Netflix. Feeling like a stay-at-home-binge-watching night? There are plenty Iberoamerican plots to choose from: Narcos, La Casa de las Flores, Luis Miguel, Club de Cuervos, Distrito Salvaje, El Chapo, Estocolmo, El tiempo entre costuras, Gran Hotel, and Las chicas del cable, amongst many others. Alternatively, turn on Spanish captions to your favorite programs.
- Learn about local delicacies with cookery shows from El Gourmet. This is a great way to learn ingredients and measurements.
- Even if you’re not a drama queen, the spectacle that is Mexican soap operas from Televisa are about as entertaining as TV can possible get.
- Not so keen on phony acting? Then consider viewing a thought-provoking TED Talk en Español.
Have fun with Spanish language cultures
- Join a Spanish speaking group.
- Make a native Spanish speaking friend.
- Eat at a restaurant that serves food from a Spanish speaking region.
- Sign up to Cuban salsa or Spanish flamenco dance classes.
- Travel to a Spanish speaking country.
Additionally, you could find a penpal and exchange postcards, emails or greeting cards in Spanish.
Conclusion: Learn to speak Spanish
All of these exercises should be fun and not heavy endeavors, so choose according to your personal interests. Nonetheless, do try to stretch out of your comfort zone as it will give you a much better appreciation of the Spanish language. Your efforts surely will pay off!