When someone says, “Wow! Your Spanish is fantastic! “How did you find out?” “I taught myself,” I usually claim.
Sure, I made sure to chat to Spanish locals whenever possible, picking their brains on Spanish grammar, vocabulary, and local idioms, as well as a few other methods of language learning help.
But, for the most part, I studied Spanish on my own.
So, what were my ploys? How did I manage to achieve it?
There’s no denying that it took a long period and a lot of personal effort. Anyone who claims to be able to acquire a language in a few months is lying.
After a fast crash course in the classroom, you may be able to navigate a Spanish-speaking city while on vacation, but it won’t be enough to participate in a fluid conversation, go for a job interview, or even sing along to music without tripping over the words.
So, here are 5 simple steps to learn Spanish on your own that turn out to be the best way to learn Spanish:
1. Spend an hour each day working on Spanish grammar tasks
“Hugo Spanish in 3 Months” is a great basic grammar book and CD for beginners I discovered. It’s jam-packed with brief explanations and activities. All the answers are at the back of the book, and it is a great resource for learning the fundamentals: past, present, and future tenses; prepositions; common phrasal structures; and explanations of plurals and gender.
Set aside an hour at the end of each day to do the exercises. Keep doing this until the grammar becomes second nature.
You can even practise your Spanish grammar online on a very powerful tool.
iScribo is one of the best Spanish grammar correctors online today.
2. Subtitled movies and web series
You can use two strategies for this.
- The first option is for novices to view Spanish films with English subtitles.
- The second option is for advanced speakers to view Spanish films with Spanish subtitles.
It may seem strange to watch and read in Spanish at the same time, but it works wonderfully.
Reading abilities increase far quicker than listening abilities. You’ll be able to significantly enhance your pronunciation by reading and listening at the same time.
It will also help you speak like the locals.
3. Listen to Spanish-language radio
After around two years of becoming pretty competent, you’ll find it fun to listen to the radio in Spanish.
It will be difficult for you at first. It might be very difficult to understand what someone says in a foreign language when you can’t see their lips, but I suggest perseverance.
You can get in an hour or two of listening to the radio on your phone while driving to and from work.
You can also keep the radio on in the background while you’re at home. Make a note of words that sounds strange to you and check them up later.
The process of learning to use the radio never ends.
4. Make Spanish your thinking language
Unless you relocate to a Spanish-speaking nation, you will not always have many opportunities to converse in Spanish this is why you can (and should) talk to yourself in Spanish.
In any case, we all chat to ourselves from time to time. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve left my house wondering whether I’d unplugged my curling iron and locked the front door. If you’re anything like me, you may as well do it in Spanish.
I’m not suggesting you conduct lengthy discussions with yourself in public, that would be ridiculous. But the next time you need or want to express yourself, consider saying it in Spanish.
And if you come across any terms or translations, make a note of them and check them up later.
If it’s too sophisticated for you, you may chat to yourself in the mirror to increase your confidence for future discussions with native speakers.
5. Set your phone’s language to Spanish
Okay, I realise this one seems a bit intimidating, particularly if you’re new to it. But, if your objective is to include Spanish in your daily life, wouldn’t it make sense to make that adjustment on your phone?
After you’ve got used to the changeover, you’ll want to change the language settings on the rest of your devices.
This will undoubtedly be difficult if you are a beginner in Spanish. But if you already know where everything is on your phone, give it a chance.
If you find it too tough, you can simply change your settings back to English.
So there you have it, 5 easy steps to self-learning Spanish.
If you follow these instructions, you will one day be complimented on your Spanish and asked how you acquired the language so effectively. Then you may confidently say, “I taught myself!”