I’m Juan, from Spring Spanish, and in this video I’m going to show you exactly how to teach yourself Spanish… through the power of Conversation Based Chunking.
Anyone can do this, regardless of past experiences — as long as you have some good resources and a solid plan. And I actually do have a 5 steps plan prepared for you! Want to know more? Then, ¡acompáñenme!
Step 1: Set aside at least 20 minutes a day
…and be consistent. It’s better to study 20 minutes a day, 5 days a week, than 2 hours once a week. Your brain needs repeated exposure to Spanish!
Remember: ¡La práctica hace al maestro! (Practice makes perfect!)
Step 2: Learn the absolute basic words
There are about 100,000 words in the Spanish language, but the 300 most frequently used Spanish words make up 65% of all spoken language (on average, in conversations).
That means that learning the 300 most common words in Spanish can give you a big comprehension head start.
Igual, ten cuidado (Be careful, though): just by learning those words, you won’t be able to speak much yet. You won’t understand 65% of what native Spanish speakers say either.
But it will help you in understanding at least something, and knowing these words will make the rest of the process of learning Spanish much easier.
Step 3: Spend at least 10 minutes a day listening to Spanish conversations for beginners!
After you’ve learned some basic words… It’s time to start listening as much as you can to native speakers, what they say, and how they say it, how they combine words into chunks to express themselves.
And since you’re observing native speakers speaking Spanish, you discover exactly how they express themselves… because you have the words and word combinations they use right in front of you. So, you’ll think:
“Ah, so THAT’s how a Spanish native speaker would say it!”
Like… “La práctica hace al maestro” (Practice makes perfect)
or Nos vemos por la tarde (We will see each other in the afternoon)
So, instead of learning single words, you immediately learn these word combinations. That way, you can bypass a lot of grammar rules.
If you combine that with learning basic grammar principles, you’ll be able to start speaking very quickly. Es bastante simple, la verdad (It’s very simple, truth be told). See? Another one!
Guess what: our Spring Spanish videos are a perfect start! We highlight chunks for you in all of them, and also have some dedicated videos explaining difficult grammar concepts with chunks too!
You can also use:
- An actual Spanish course, like our Spring Spanish Academy that’ll help you make more progress in the next 12 weeks than in the whole previous year
And the more you listen to Spanish, the better, of course. You’ll make faster progress if you spend an hour exposing yourself to Spanish than just 15 minutes.
A great shortcut here is to think about the situations in which you’re going to need Spanish:
- If you’re often traveling to Mexico, make sure to learn how to speak at an airport, in a hotel, taxi, or at a restaurant.
- Need Spanish for work? Then, you’ll need to learn chunks for meetings and presentations.
…and so on…
So, decide for yourself in which situations you’d like to speak Spanish fluently. Then, look for real conversations and lessons on these topics first.
Step 4: Spend 5 minutes a day memorizing chunks with flashcards
The easiest way to memorize these chunks and make sure you can use them in conversations, is by learning them with flashcards.
There are plenty of online apps that allow you to create flashcards and then learn them within a “Spaced Repetition System” (this means that the app will show you flashcards to learn based on certain intervals).
It’s important that you always add full sentences in which you found the chunk to the flashcard, and then blank out the chunk. Don’t do isolated words!
Nos vemos ___________ (in the afternoon).
[We’ll see each other in the afternoon.]
Nos vemos por la tarde.
[We’ll see each other in the afternoon.]
So, make flashcards for the most important chunks you come across, and memorize them.
Step 5: Practice speaking with the chunks you’ve learned
After you’ve learned some basic Spanish, it’s time for you to go out there and actually practice! You can do so in the Spring Spanish Inner Circle, but there are many other places where you can get speaking practice.