How long will it take to learn Spanish?

Studying a language is not like studying a subject at school or university over a semester. There is no set curriculum – it's a living, breathing language! So, when people ask me how long it will take them to learn Spanish, I ask them how long it took them to learn their first language. Think about it – how was your vocabulary in your first language at 5, 10, 20, and 30 years old?  Did you not continue to improve throughout your lives, the more you studied, the more you talked with others? Don’t you still learn new words whenever you read a new book, or hear a great speaker express something eloquently? What’s the definition of having ‘learnt’ anyway – being able to order food at a restaurant or getting up and delivering a fluent, spontaneous speech in front of native speakers?

 

The point is that becoming proficient in any language is a process of studying, practising and learning for a considerable period of time. That’s not to say you won’t be able to quickly pick up the essentials, it’s just that you will always keep improving your skills (despite what some language courses might promise – “fluent in a week” – sound familiar?).

 

Learning Spanish online – Taking your Spanish to the next level

The following is a guide of what to do each day of the week to take your Spanish to the next level. These are all suggestions based on resources that are available now to help you further develop your Spanish.

 

As our students know, we believe that the more you put into learning a language, the more quickly you will improve. So, you don’t have to wait for the teacher to tell you what homework to do each week — there is a world of resources waiting for you online now! Want to hear real examples of Spanish? Why not google “Spanish TV”? Or “Colombian music”? There really is no limit to what you can find if you are motivated.

 

The following suggested seven-day self-study plan is from an email that my wife Louise sent to one of our clients as part of the normal feedback we provide to our enthusiastic, positive and eager Spanish Kangaroo e-course students who are ready to take their Spanish to the next level.

 

The best ways to learn Spanish

Learning Spanish is not a destination. It is not a race. It is a journey. In this first blog post let's look at the importance of practice and some ideas for your Spanish self-study.

 

Practice makes perfect: As they say, practice makes perfect! Commit yourself to listening to, speaking, writing, or reading in Spanish for 10–15 minutes every day. You could use the material of The Spanish Kangaroo course but also explore your local library, communities, or the internet to find other resources to practise your Spanish. The more you practise, the more you’ll see, hear, and learn!

 

Making Spanish a daily habit will mean that your brain will regularly practise your skills, making learning easier. After all, what we don’t practice, we forget. The more effort you put into learning Spanish, the more quickly you progress.

 

Learning Spanish beginners - embrace the differences with a positive attitude

 

When learning Spanish, in particular when you are just starting your journey of learning Spanish, I can tell you that there are probably going to be days when you feel you’re just not progressing. You might even feel that you’re wasting your time and energy, and just want to give up.

 

Please don’t! These feelings are completely normal. I can assure you that if you persevere, you will have times when feel completely the opposite, when you suddenly understand and can say so much more!

 

Do not waste ‘battling’ why something is different to your first language. Spanish is a different language, it is not better or worse, it is simply a different language. There are for instance similaririties with English but also differences. Think in these terms, when you find similarities that’s great – it’s a bonus; and when you find differences, think: ‘ok, that’s different, that’s something I have to pay attention to’ and actually “pay attention to it” and keep moving forward.

 

Improving Spanish skills - Immersion

 

If you are on the journey of learning Spanish, immersion is very important and a key factor in improving your Spanish language skills. 

 

If you haven’t booked that trip to any of the amazing destinations the Spanish-speaking world has to offer, you could still immerse yourself in Spanish. Don’t tell yourself that you need a certain level before you can read a newspaper or listen to a song, the news or a movie – that’s just not true! The earlier you jump in, the better. Just immerse yourself in Spanish for at least the 10–15 minutes each day, and enjoy yourself! Comprehension will come. I can guarantee you that not only will you improve your Spanish, you will discover and learn about the new, beautiful, inspiring and interesting things that the Spanish world has to offer

 

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Working with Louise, I was impressed by the depth of her knowledge of the rules and conventions..."
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