Your dreams of learning Spanish can actually become a reality by creating just a few simple habits. And you won’t have to move to a foreign country either! You can do all of these things from home. Check out how I am learning Spanish everyday and how you can do it too.
So, I learned how to speak French about 15 years ago while I was living in France as a missionary for my church. However, when I came back home to Utah, no one spoke French, but it seemed like everyone spoke Spanish. I really wanted to learn but I always put it on the back burner. Finally, six months ago, I finally buckled down and decided to really learn.
After six months of daily study (about 20 minutes per day), I am at an intermediate level. I can understand about 75% of most Spanish conversations. However, speaking the language takes a little longer, but I am getting there.
Some people think that you can’t really learn another language unless you are immersed among native speakers. That definitely helps but you can still learn another language from the comfort of your own home. The only thing that you absolutely must have is a little thing called dedication. You don’t learn a language overnight but you do have to study the language a little bit every single for a very long time.
Here’s five things that I have done everyday to learn how to speak Spanish:
#1: Spanish apps on your phone
This is a good place to start. It’s how I started to learn. First, I got my feet wet with Duolingo. It’s the world’s largest language learning app and it’s absolutely FREE. I set aside 10 minutes every day to use the app.
As I started learning more, I added another app called Babbel. This app isn’t free, however, it’s affordable and worth it. It teaches you grammatical rules in a logical way and gets progressively more difficult.
Listed below are the top 9 language learning apps according to Good Housekeeping:
Regardless of which app you choose, work on it everyday. Do it while you’re waiting for carpool, vegging on the couch or eating breakfast.
#2: Podcasts and YouTube videos
Every morning I listen to a new podcast episode while I am taking a shower. My favorite podcast is the Duolingo Spanish Podcast. At first I didn’t understand anything, but after six months of daily listening, I can understand almost all intermediate Spanish listening.
Here’s some podcasts that I really enjoy:
It’s super easy to download your favorite podcast and listen to it in the car or while you’re exercising. Just make it a habit every single day.
As for YouTube videos, these have helped me a ton! Sometimes I’m just wondering about a specific grammatical rule or verb conjugation. You can just look it up on YouTube and find 20 different videos on the topic right away.
Here’s some of my favorite YouTube channels:
#3: Personal tutor
If you want to learn a language, then you have to speak it!!!! So, you need to practice regularly with a native speaker. If you have a friend or family to practice with, then that’s awesome. However, I chose my own tutor using a website called iTalki.
For only $5 per hour, I began taking weekly lessons from a woman named Karen from Costa Rica. It has been awesome. So, far I have had seven lessons and this has improved my Spanish more than any other method. Once you started vocalizing what you’re learning, then you really see the fruits of your labors. This is an absolute must.
#4: Writing in my journal
Right before I got to bed, I sit down and write three or four sentences in Spanish about what I did that day. It takes me about 10 minutes. I do this everyday and it helps reinforce what I learned that day. I also keep my Google Translate App handy when I’m writing so I can make sure I’m doing it correctly.
So, children’s books are an awesome way to start reading in Spanish. Go to the local library and checkout a bunch of them. I actually use a website called Raz-Kids. They have a whole bunch of leveled books in Spanish and I learn so much and it’s easy for me to understand even though it’s meant for kids, ha ha!
I also read and complete exercises everyday using this awesome verb book that I ordered off of Amazon called “The Ultimate Spanish Verb Review and Practice”. It has verb exercises with an answer key in the back. I love it so much.
Here’s some other helpful books to help you with your Spanish reading:
- Spanish Short Stories for Beginners
- Short Stories in Spanish
- Intermediate Spanish Short Stories
- Madrigal’s Magic Key to Spanish
You can also get all of these books in audio format by signing up for ” target=”_blank”>Amazon Kindle.
Although I am no where near fluent, I have seen some amazing progress. All of a sudden, I realized that I was understanding more and more. It gives me the encouragement to keep working towards my goal. I hope these suggestions are helpful for you. Leave your comments below to let me know how you’re progressing!
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