The simple truth is the more time you are able to spend learning Spanish, the faster you will become proficient. However ...
You do not have to spend hours a day on your Spanish to succeed. You do not even need to spend hours a week if you make the most of the time that you do spend learning.
The key to learning anything (languages or otherwise) is motivation.
Staying motivated during any kind of learning activity always
more successful results.
Read on for more top tips and suggestions.
Everyone learns most effectively when we find the material that we're learning interesting or enjoyable, and preferably both.
Now, how do you make learning Spanish interesting and enjoyable?You have to find the right learning system for you.
Let me use my own language-learning experience as an example.
I know that I don't have the self-discipline to sit down on a regular basis to focus solely on learning the language - by this I mean, sitting down with a text-book and/or audio player to study. I start off well but the routine always falls by the wayside pretty quickly.
Why? Well, I always seem to find something more pressing or interesting to do - even if that is just watching TV :D.
But I've learned five languages in a relatively short space of
time. So, how did I manage that without the self-discipline to sit down
and study? Answer: I found methods that work for me that did
not involve sitting down to study. And, by sharing what works for me, I believe we can find the
fastest way to learn Spanish for you.
Here are some suggestions based on techniques that work for me ...
I listen to language lessons while I'm busy doing something else - such as preparing breakfast, cooking dinner, ironing my work clothes, driving to work, working out at the gym, searching the internet for flights, etc.
Obviously, unless you're really good at multi-tasking (I'm not, by the way), these might need to be tasks that don't require a great deal of concentration :D.
If the task involves moving about, I use an mp3 player and headphones. If I'm in a public place, such as the gym, I 'listen-and-repeat' in my head rather than out loud (although repeating out loud is much better).
I have no set time for my language-learning. I can have sessions that last as little as 2 minutes - the time it takes to listen to a short 'listen-and-repeat' exercise.
I know that the thought of settling in for, say, an hour of language-learning is enough to put me off starting my language-learning session in the first place - sound familiar? Yep - on so many occasions I told myself that I'd try again tomorrow... but it rarely happens, does it :D ? So, ...
Also, I don't feel the need to finish a listening exercise
just because I've started it - this is my own rule. If I manage to
squeeze in 2 short minutes of language listening a day, I've achieved
something. Small achievements every day soon add up!
What often happens is that once I've started it's not so hard
to carry on (as long as I'm doing something else at the same time, in
my case :D).
Once I've more or less grasped the basics of the language that I'm learning, I like to watch some of my favorite TV series (for example, Friends) in that language.
The DVD player program on my laptop also allows me to slow-down DVDs to a fraction of their normal speed. This helps me pick out words when I'm starting out. This would be the fastest way to learn Spanish, if it were me we were talking about.
Because I know the English script inside-out and back-to-front, I can pick out the odd new word here and there. Also, I watch them with subtitles which helps me to pick out what is being said when I'm still new to the language. Personally, I think this would be the fastest way to learn Spanish.
Of course, this involves having the DVD with the correct language options.
Again, I put no time limit on my language-learning session. If it lasts just 5 minutes and I've learned just one new phrase (before switch back to English), that's not a problem.
Here's a tip: I've found that DVDs I've bought when I've been abroad tend to have more language and subtitle options (clearly aimed at the local population). Unfortunately, buying from international sites such as Amazon doesn't always work because they tend to ship from their closest warehouse (which is not necessarily abroad) regardless which of their foreign sites you've ordered from. Try a smaller less-international site instead.
Here's another tip: Try streaming video directly from Spanish TV channel websites. It's free and it's legal! The only problem is you cannot slow it down the way you can slow down DVDs played on a laptop or PC.
As I improve in a language, I occasionally buy a children's book (aimed at approximately 10-year-olds) because they use everyday language and it's possible to read them without having to look up every second word.
I can read a page at a time and (because I choose ones that are not too long) the prospect of trying to finish the book is not too daunting.
Look for Spanish audio books as well, such as the ebook offered on this website. That way you can test and improve your Spanish
audio comprehension as well!
Once I have a decent grasp of a language, I tune in to radio stations in that language (often over the internet) for short periods of time.
As my grasp of the language improves, I can listen to more and more.
Here's a tip: Don't feel as though you have to consciously listen to every word. Don't worry about concentrating. And don't worry if you find you've stopped listening altogether. Just having the radio on the background (headphones on or otherwise) will let your subconscious pick up snippets of the language over time.
These are all examples that work for me.
Find the fastest way to learn Spanish that suits you!
I mix and match depending on my mood and my schedule. I have random language audio files in amongst the songs on my mp3 player that I take to the gym. Sometimes I forget that they're there until up they pop in the middle of a workout.
Often I find that I only have time to listen to the audio files that I've had on my mp3 player for weeks (because I haven't got round to updating them with new ones). This is not a problem - there's nothing wrong with knowing certain Spanish phrases to the point where you will never, ever forget them :D.
Find a system that works for you. Experiment in order to find your fastest way to learn Spanish.
Try to listen to (or read) a little bit of Spanish every day or every other day or even every week. But don't overdo it now. If you start to feel overwhelmed, slow down - perhaps review lessons that you've already covered. Slow and steady certainly wins the race.
Keep motivated by seeing every little language-learning session for what it is (even if it's just 2 minutes long) - an achievement and a step in the right direction. Taking it slowly is the fastest way to learn Spanish!
Click on this link to read about the BEST way to learn Spanish. Combine the techniques provided in the link above with the suggestions on this page for the very best results.