What is the Best Way to Learn Spanish on Your Own?
So, you would like to learn Spanish on your own. That’s great, but do you know the best way to learn Spanish? By choosing the right approach, you can not only learn this language faster but also enjoy the entire journey much more than you could otherwise.
The Advantages and Disadvantages of Learning on Your Own
Before we describe the best way to learn Spanish on your own, we would like to briefly discuss the advantages and disadvantages of self-study.
Being able to study at their own pace is the biggest advantage for many people who decide to learn a language by themselves. In the classroom setting, some students always make seemingly effortless progress, while other students struggle to keep up with them. Because a single teacher can’t adjust his or her lessons for both types of students at the same time, group lessons always end up being more or less inefficient.
That said, studying in a group with other language learners can be an excellent source of motivation, something many people who decide to study a language on their own struggle with. Just seeing others going through the same struggles makes it easier to push through and achieve your goal. It also helps to always have someone to practice speaking with and not feel inferior when it comes to your language abilities.
Of course, all the advantages of studying in a group are meaningless if you don’t have enough time or money to attend language classes. By creating an individualized curriculum and studying on your own time, you can learn a lot more in an hour than someone who has to travel across the city to attend a language class, only to spend most of the class listening to other students interacting with the teacher.
5 Best Ways to Learn Spanish
The opportunities for multilingual people are growing day by day, and so are the best ways to learn languages at home, in the car, or when doing boring chores. Even if your schedule is hectic and your budget tight, you’ll be able to effortlessly make progress if you choose the easiest way to learn Spanish on your own.
1. Transform Your Smartphone into a Spanish Teacher
Language learners today have it great because they can transform their smartphone into a teacher thanks to language learning apps like Encore!!! Regardless of if you’re looking for the best way to learn Spanish at home or the best way to learn Spanish in the car, Encore!!! delivers a proven approach to language learning that’s guaranteed to deliver great results and help you reach fluency without boring you with grammar exercises and mundane vocabulary drills.
Unlike many other language-learning apps, Encore!!! doesn’t require you to constantly interact with your device. As such, it allows you to go about your day and learn by listening to customizable playlists and lesson plans that include vocabulary, greetings and useful phrases, verb conjugations, sentences with related vocabulary, and conversations spoken by native speakers.
Encore!!! works on iOS devices (coming soon to Android), and the free version features five free lesson plans, allowing you to start learning Spanish right away and without any financial commitment.
2. Consume Spanish Content
The internet has made it easier than ever to consume engaging content for free. Streaming services like Netflix or HBO GO let you switch to a Spanish voiceover or turn on subtitles with a single click, and YouTube is home to many incredibly talented Spanish-speaking content creators, who produce everything from educational videos to make up tutorials. Make sure to check out Juanpa Zurita, Germán, Melo, and SuperHolly. There are also Spanish podcasts, such as Coffee Break Spanish, Audiria, and Radio Ambulante. Some podcasts are intended specifically for language learners, while others are not. When selecting a podcast to listen to while commuting to work or doing chores at home, make sure you find the subject interesting because only then will you be naturally motivated to keep listening.
The Spanish web provides endless opportunities for you to practice reading. You can read news sites to learn more about the events shaping Spanish-speaking countries, follow local bloggers, or just waste time on social networks, reading and responding to posts by native speakers of Spanish.
3. Make Spanish-Speaking Friends
There’s no substitute for having a connection with a native Spanish speaker, especially someone who’s also learning a new language and understands the struggle you’re going through. The good news is that you can easily connect with native speakers online, through websites like MyLanguageExchange.com, Conversation Exchange, or Speaky.
If you’d rather meet someone in person, you have plenty of options as well. You can, for example, join your local language exchange group, participate in an activity or event organized by your local Spanish-speaking community, or look for a part-time job at a Spanish restaurant.
When interacting with native speakers, try not to worry about making mistakes or having a strong accent. Your goal should be to use Spanish as much as possible, even if it means occasionally using the wrong words or asking your friends to help you. The simple act of trying helps your brain get used to speaking and thinking in a target language.
4. Put Your Skills to Good Use Online
If your goal is to have natural conversations in Spanish, then you need more than a solid command of grammar and vocabulary. You also need to actually use this language to communicate your thoughts, feelings, desires, and wishes. If you’re surrounded by native speakers, putting your Spanish skills to good use shouldn’t be a problem. But what if you’re not? What if you don’t know a single person who speaks this language? If that’s your situation, you should use Spanish online.
It really doesn’t matter what your interests are because the internet has something for everyone. If you enjoy writing, you can create a blog and write about your life or any other topic in Spanish. There are many language learners who record YouTube videos and receive feedback from native speakers. You can also play online games on Spanish-speaking servers to combine fun with learning.
Remember that the best way to learn Spanish online is the one you find most engaging, so don’t let anyone tell you that a certain activity is a waste of time. As long as you’re using your target language and having fun, you’re making progress.
5. Travel to a Spanish-Speaking Country
It probably won’t surprise you to learn that the fastest way to learn Spanish involves traveling to a Spanish-speaking country and interacting with the people who live there on a daily basis. The reason why this method is so effective is easy to explain: we, humans, are social creatures, and we do most of our learning socially. There’s a substantial body of research that supports this claim.
Just ask any expatriate living in a Spanish-speaking country, “What is the best way to learn Spanish?” and you’ll be almost guaranteed to hear that moving to Spain, Venezuela, Guatemala, or Columbia is the best option for learning fast.
But what if that’s not an option for you? In that case, a short vacation during which you make a conscientious effort to interact with locals as much as possible might be exactly what you need to level up your language skills.
All language learners are different, and what is the best way to learn Spanish for one learner doesn’t necessarily have to work for someone else. If you like to set your own goals and be in charge of your pace, you should explore the methods described in this article. To start learning Spanish on your own, we recommend you install Encore!!! on your smartphone and explore its lesson plans.
FAQs about the Best Ways to Learn Spanish
1. What are the best apps to learn Spanish?
The best apps to learn Spanish include Encore!!!, Duolingo, Memrise, Busuu, and FluentU, among others. Each of these apps takes a different approach, so it’s important that you do your research and pick the one that best fits your personal needs and preferences.
2. What is the best way to learn Spanish while driving?
To learn Spanish while driving, you need a Spanish learning app that lets you effectively combine comprehension with speech repetition without distracting you from driving. Encore!!! accomplishes this goal with its unique repetition-based learning approach that takes advantage of the language you already know to teach you the language you want to learn.
3. What is the easiest way to learn Spanish on your own?
All language learners are different, so an approach that works great for one learner may not be suitable for a different learner. With that being said, most learners agree that an L1-L2 approach (L1 is the language you know and L2 is the language you wish to learn) is the best way to learn Spanish on your own because it allows for targeted practice and delivers results faster than strictly immersion-based approaches.
4. How long does it take to become fluent in Spanish?
An English speaker should expect to reach conversational fluency after about a year of daily language learning. Of course, this is just a very rough estimate, accuracy of which depends on the selected method, the amount of time spent learning per day, and the learner’s aptitude, just to name a few factors that come into play.