Spanish is the fastest-growing language in the United States today, making fluency a highly important skill for any student or professional to have, especially if one’s never learned it before. There are many ways to learn Spanish today, from foreign language classes to private tutorial sessions and even apps on your phone. But, where should you start?
Spanish language immersion one of the best methods if you’re wondering how to learn Spanish quickly. There are many aspects to language immersion, but they all lead to you mastering a new language faster than simple grammatical exercises in a class or through a book.
With conversational fluency in mind, here are five tips for learning Spanish quickly.
Spanish language immersion works best when you learn through live, organic social interactions, whether you’re conversing with native speakers and fellow students through real-life conversations or through digital communication. However, before you book a plane ticket to Spain or Latin America, read and practice as much as possible.
Today, there’s a wealth of resources both online and in the form of conversation-oriented classes that can help you learn Spanish quickly. From Youtube tutorials to instructional books, there’s a lot of ways to develop your vocabulary. As you’re doing so, don’t get discouraged by the myriad of word choices you’ll see in a Spanish dictionary. According to a study from Brigham Young University, 1,000 of the most frequently spoken Spanish words accounted for 87.8% of spoken Spanish.
While you likely won’t be fluent after only learning the 1,000 most commonly spoken words, you’ll have a solid foundation for any conversation you take part in.
Another fun and easy Spanish language immersion technique involves watching or listening to foreign language media. Watch Spanish language TV channels like Univision and Telemundo, among others including Spanish language variations of American channels like Discovery or CNN. These networks air soap operas, dramas, sports, and news in Spanish, all of which help with immersion.
If you’re wondering how to learn Spanish quickly, this is a great way to force yourself to hone your comprehension skills as a lot of Spanish media directed at native speakers won’t have subtitles, forcing you to pay attention to the context of what’s being said and allowing you to internalize it along with the words being spoken.
A lot of us talk to ourselves and it’s perfectly normal to do so. If you’re one of those people, consider thinking in Spanish as a way to practice in your downtime. Spanish language immersion involves living the Spanish language inside and out, making this is a highly effective way of normalizing it.
This is easier said than done, but a good way to do this is to keep a journal and write it entirely in Spanish. Practicar Español (Practice Spanish) by going through your day to day routines, but leave notes on common household objects in Spanish. Make grocery lists in Spanish and set your mobile device’s language settings accordingly. When you integrate key aspects of your daily life with language acquisition, thinking (or pensar en Español) becomes much easier!
Depending on where you live in the US, there may be a Spanish-speaking enclave near you, offering a wealth of opportunities for Spanish language immersion. Many large cities have neighborhoods that have been shaped by immigration or colonial histories, particularly in the American Southwest, making Latino-influenced Spanish culture and language opportunities readily accessible.
Look up concerts, local dance events that’ll allow you to dance the salsa or bachata, as well as stores and restaurants that specialize in Latino cuisines or Spanish-language services. Ordering food in Spanish or engaging with native Spanish speakers at an event are both great ways to practice conversational skills and will allow you to learn how the language is naturally spoken outside of textbooks or foreign language classes.
You can seek out gatherings and events that are specific to Spanish by using social media networks like Meetup and ad sites like Craigslist. At these events, you’ll not only meet native speakers, but other language learners who, like you, want to know how to learn Spanish quickly. This sense of camaraderie can also really help with the language learning process, giving you the chance to have some speaking partners to work with in the future.
While this is certainly a big investment in terms of Spanish language immersion, it’s also one of the most effective. If you’re in a college, check to see whether your school has a study abroad or exchange program in a Spanish-speaking country. Or, if you’re looking to relocate, you may be eligible for a long-term work visa if you have skills that your host country is looking for, especially if you’re a native English speaker looking to teach abroad.
It’s important to keep in mind that Spanish isn’t spoken the same way in every country. Listening to the diverse vernacular or accent differences between Spanish spoken in Spain, Mexico, Paraguay, or Argentina will certainly make that clear. However, if you keep these Spanish language immersion tips in mind, you’ll be able to learn quickly and effectively.