HOW LONG does it take to learn Spanish?
In this article we will answer the question ¿Cuánto se toma aprender español? (How long does it take to learn Spanish?) This is not an easy question to answer and we’ll discuss some of the factors that will influence your “learning speed”, but make sure to stay until the end because we’ll give you a time estimate based on what the students at our Spring Spanish Academy have to say!
Definition of “knowing Spanish”
Parece pregunta capciosa (seems like a tricky question), but the first thing you should consider is what your main goal is:
- Being fluent while making mistakes here and there?
- Being fluent without any mistakes?
- Speaking flawless Spanish like a native or even better?
The higher the goal, the longer it will take you. Having a clear goal in mind will help you understand how much time it will take you to get there.
How much time you spend learning Spanish
This relates directly to how much Spanish you learn. Is it 5 hours daily or a 45-minute weekly lesson? How much Spanish you learn will directly reflect on how much time it takes you to make real progress.
Keep reading because later on I’ll give you some suggestions on how to make the most of the time you invest. ¿Buen trato, no? (Good deal, isn’t it?)
What’s your native language?
Spanish shares some common ground with other languages and that might be very useful for you.
Si hablas portugués, te tomará poco tiempo aprender español. (If you speak Portuguese, it will take you little time to learn Spanish), same with Italian! Even English is closer to Spanish than you might think!
So, it won’t take you as much as it will take a native speaker of Turkish or Chinese starting off with Spanish as their first foreign language.
Which method are you using to learn Spanish?
Which strategy are you using in your learning process? Are you studying grammar and word lists? Then, sit comfortably because it’s going to take you a while to really make progress this way.
Are you taking our advice and using chunking to learn? Much faster, then! Like linguist Dr. Gianfranco Conti says here, it could cut the time necessary to learn a language in half…
The method you use directly influences how fast you start speaking Spanish fluently, which is muy importante (very important). After all, you’ll learn to play football much faster if you are out there on the field in contrast to studying football theory on the bench, right?
More about chunking in a second!
How skilled are you as a language learner?
Supongamos que eres músico (let’s suppose you’re a musician): learning how to play a second instrument will be much easier and it will take you less time than the first instrument you had to learn to play.
Lo mismo aplica con los idiomas (the same thing applies to languages). Learning languages is a skill; so, the more languages you have learned, the better you will be at it. It will take you longer if it is your first language.
So, as you can see, there are different factors that you must understand to calculate how much it might take you. Pero, entonces, ¿qué necesitas para aprender español? (But then, what do you need to learn Spanish?)
What should you do to learn Spanish?
Well, apart from being motivated and being consistent and disciplined, here are the two factors that have the biggest impact on how fast you learn:
- How you set up your routine
This means how are you managing the time you dedicate to learning a language. To make the most of your routine, you need a plan, you need structure, you need exposure, you need focused study sessions, you need… wait a minute, that’s exactly what we do at Spring Spanish! No-brainer there on what’s the most efficient way…
So, if you haven't subscribed to our channel yet and you’re missing out on our 5 weekly Spanish lessons… go ahead and click that subscribe button!
- What you’re doing with your time
The better your learning method is, the more effective your study time will be. One hour spent effectively learning chunks can give you more results than 10 hours dabbling. So, make sure the method you choose is the best for you.
Now, remember I told you I would give you some suggestions to make the most of your time? Well, here they are! ¡Presta atención! (Pay attention!)
- Do 30 minutes of Focused Study Time
Do so at least 5 times a week, ideally with Conversation Based Chunking. By watching our videos, learning the chunks by heart, and interacting with us in the comments (in Spanish of course!), you’ll get plenty of focused study time daily.
- Expose yourself to Spanish as much as you can
That is, start immersing yourself in any Spanish-speaking culture you like, watch movies, read books, listen to music, and even try the food and learn the names. This is a great way to keep learning without feeling you’re taking more Spanish lessons.
FREE Spanish Training
So, as I said at the beginning of this article, we do have an estimated projection on how long it takes to learn Spanish with the Conversation Based Chunking method.
Based on the courses we run in our Academy and the average time students spend on it, the number is… quinientas cuatro horas de estudio (504 hours of studying) to get real fluency.
This is 168 hours of focused studying and the rest is just fun activities in Spanish to gain exposure! That is roundabout half a year if you dedicate about one hour of focused study time per day.
Would you like to know the specific steps we take with our students to achieve that and what they’re doing exactly during their focused study time and exposure time?
Then, sign up to the free Spanish training on our website where you'll discover more about chunking and how we use it in our Spring Spanish Academy to teach students to speak fluent Spanish. You also get some free sample Spanish lessons there that come straight from our Academy!