Are you still struggling with learning Spanish? Do you feel it’s taking you forever to finally speak fluently with natives? Well, entonces es tu día de suerte (then, it’s your lucky day!) because in this article I’ll give you ocho trucos y tips (8 tips and tricks) to learn Spanish.
1. Learn by Chunking
This means learning by heart short sentences in Spanish that native speakers use all the time, that is, chunks, like these:
- Mucho gusto. (Nice to meet you.)
- ¿Qué hora es? (What time is it?)
- ¡Qué calor hace hoy! (It’s so hot today!)
Recognize any? We call these word combinations chunks. You’ve probably heard us saying this a lot in our videos.
You see, the reason why you speak a language fluently is that you have patterns of words ingrained in your brain: word combinations that you use together so often that they just roll off the tongue.
So, by learning Spanish through chunking, you won’t have to deal with the many and heavy grammar rules we have and just go… y empieza a hablar y a escuchar (and start speaking AND listening) because where do you find these chunks? Surely not in a boring textbook, right?
2. Listen to a lot of Spanish
Let me tell you a story…
Érase una vez un muchachito (once upon a time there was a little boy) named Juan, who took on English classes at school with a lot of grammar rules and theory. He didn’t really ace any English grammar test, but he could handle himself pretty decently when speaking English with his teachers!
Well, te cuento un secreto (I tell you a secret)…
Juanito (little Juan) loved videogames, music, TV series and movies in English! So he had plenty of practice listening to the language, and that was much more effective than learning any theory and grammar rules.
The explanation behind this is that by hearing so much real-life spoken English all the time instead of grammar and word lists, you become familiar with chunks —in this case, in Spanish— much easier than reviewing mechanics or grammar, similar to how you learned your mother tongue. Así que mantente escuchando español (so keep on listening to Spanish to learn it like a native!)
3. Practice speaking Spanish
The best way to learn something is to actually do it!
Practice will really help you improve your pronunciation, your understanding on how to use some expressions and even give you the courage to notch up your Spanish game and start using more complex vocabulary!
The great thing about chunks is you can use them right away after you learn them! I mean, you can already say the chunk “mucho gusto” now, right?, so take advantage of the ones you get from our Spring Spanish lessons and start using them in conversations in Spanish!
I’m happy to chat you up, so let’s talk in the comments!
4. Study regularly
Yo sé lo difícil que es hacer tiempo libre para aprender algo nuevo (I know how hard it is to make free time to learn something new), but trust me, it’s much better if you take 20 minutes to learn a little more Spanish every day than trying to cram 2 hours on your Sunday morning schedule.
If only you could subscribe to a YouTube channel that would give you daily free short Spanish lessons with the coolest and most talented teachers out there. Hmm… If only…
5. Make mistakes!
They always say the best way to overcome your fear is to face it. Well, then, if you’re scared of heights, go to a tall building; if you’re afraid of the dark, turn your lights off! If you’re scared of bugs, then um… get a bug? Mi punto es (My point is) the same applies to mistakes!
In order to improve your Spanish you’ll probably make mistakes… ¡muchos! (a lot!) And that’s perfectly fine, as long as you learn from them. This also means thanking your friends or teachers for correcting you and handling suggestions with the best attitude.
6. Surround yourself with Hispanic culture
A lot of expressions and words in Spanish may vary their meaning from one place to the other, so you might find yourself in an uncomfortable situation if you don’t learn your idioms.
Also, immersing yourself in the culture will give you great references and context on how to use what you’ve learned so far.
Listen, speak, and read as much as you can of Latin American and Spanish culture and natives will really love to have una conversación en español contigo (a conversation in Spanish with you).
7. Never give up!
El español puede ser complicado (Spanish can be complicated). Even for us, hispanohablantes (native Spanish speakers), Spanish can be tricky and sneaky sometimes.
So always keep in mind learning a language takes time and, more importanttly, stay motivated and continue the journey even if it takes a little longer than expected sometimes.
8. Check on all of the Spanish lessons we have for you on our Spring Spanish YouTube channel
We have covered a lot of topics so you can start speaking fluent Spanish!
We also have a free Spanish training on our website where you’ll discover the method we use 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!