- 01. Learning a language: how to get better at Spanish
- 02. Improve Your Spanish Listening With these Tips
- 03. 5 ways to improve your Spanish
- 04. Mastering Spanish as a foreign language
- 05. Tips and tricks to becoming fluent
- 06. YouTube videos to improve your Spanish
- 07. How to improve Spanish speaking
- 08. Podcasts to practice your Spanish
- 09. Get better in Spanish with Superprof
When it comes to the importance of language learning, Spanish is right up there. With around 440 million speaking it as their mother tongue, Spanish is the second most spoken language in the world by the number of native speakers.
It is a language that is spoken in 20 different countries, primarily in Latin America, and therefore there are plenty of reasons to learn Spanish.
It is therefore of no surprise that a lot of students, in both high school and university, choose to enroll in Spanish courses in order to learn the language of Cervantes.
If you want to improve your language skills, you will have to dare and explore the language!
Mastering a foreign language like Spanish can bring value to your CV, and it will certainly make any potential employer sit up and take note.
So why are you hesitating?
Yes, learning a foreign language is a complex job: Spanish grammar books, learning Spanish conjugation, vocabulary lists, learning how to use the different tenses...
Academic courses can also quickly become difficult and boring. So how can you improve in the Spanish language whilst making it enjoyable at the same time? Here are some or our tips!
Learning a language: how to get better at Spanish
When studying a language there are four areas that you should focus on and there are specific things you should do to improve each one: listening, speaking, writing and reading. When you’re reading or listening, you’re consuming a language. However, when you’re writing or speaking, you’re producing a language.
These skills are often developed in the following order.
- Listening: When people are learning a new language they first hear it spoken.
- Speaking: Eventually, they try to repeat what they hear.
- Reading: Later, they see the spoken language depicted symbolically in print.
- Writing: Finally, they reproduce these symbols on paper.
Improve Your Spanish Listening With these Tips
Improving your Spanish via Spanish films is an innovative way to improve your Spanish listening skills. If you don't want to join an overpriced Spanish school, choose the right ways to learn Spanish for free.
To improve your Spanish skills, your vocabulary, your oral comprehension and also your pronunciation and your accent, watch movies in their original version.
Studies prove it: you perform better when you have fun and develop positive energy.
The language of Cervantes will have no more secrets for you after regular viewing of several movies in Spanish.
Huge technological developments have allowed us to access films and television series on tablets and smartphones. Spanish films on Netflix, Amazon Prime, and other streaming services, will offer you a huge number of to improve your Spanish.
- Start by leaving the subtitles on in Spanish.
- Watch the movie or series several times.
- Have you spotted a funny Spanish expression? Write it down!
- Repeat sentences in Spanish by reading the subtitles to work on your pronunciation.
Some other tips that can be helpful to improve your listening skills are:
- Choose Comprehensible Input: make sure that the material you are listening to is something that you already understand (in a broader sense). For example, you can choose a video or audio about a subject that you are already an expert on, that way, you will spend less time trying to figure out what they are talking about and more time actually paying attention to "how" they are talking about it. Everyone's level is slightly different, but the idea is to have any audio source that you can already understand at least 60%-80% of. Our advice is to start your exercises with what you understand, and then gradually listen to harder and harder audio materials as your level increases.
- Listen to things that you actually enjoy: similar to the first point, it's important to have audios, videos or podcasts at hand about things that you are actually interested in. If you just don't care about what you are hearing, it will be even harder to pay attention to it and your comprehension level will be minimum. Passionate about art? Love gardening? How about sports? Look for content that resonates with you.
- Make sure to focus on the big picture: your listening comprehension must be exercised overtime. That said, you can't expect to naturally understand every single word and expression from the get-go. This is why, when starting to learn a language, you should focus on understanding the big picture of conversations. That way, if you miss a word or two, you will still have enough information about situations and context to have an idea of what you are listening to.
- Use different speeds for your audios and videos: native speakers tend to talk at different speeds. It is no use to practice your listening comprehension at just one speed or at a "student level" speed, since it is not necessarily how it works in real life. If you can, try to speed your audios and videos up and down in order to practice your comprehension.
- Take notes: writing down things and taking notes is a great way to keep your mind engaged, it emphasizes and organizes information and helps with retention. This will be super helpful to help improve your listening skills. Some more specific practices you can adopt are:
- Writing down the topic of the audio
- Writing down the speakers names
- Writing down a short summary of what each speaker is saying and their main talking points
- If you frequently hear a word you do not understand, try to write it down so you can look it up later
- If there's a word or sentence you find interesting, write it down so that you can practice using it in your own conversations.
And remember, this is a game based on patience and repetition. The more you are exposed to Spanish, Spanish speakers and a Spanish speaking environment, the easier it will be for you to improve your listening skills over time.
Discover different Spanish classes near me here on Superprof.
5 ways to improve your Spanish
While listening is a super important part of learning Spanish, there are also other factors to consider. Understanding native speakers, being able to comprehend slang, learning about the culture... All of these are integral to make sure you are truly becoming the best Spanish speaker you can. In order to get there, here are some tips to learn Spanish quickly:
- Choose private lessons to progress quickly in Spanish.
Make your choice of one of the many online platforms or the many private organizations. Superprof has hundreds of tutors just clicks away so you can start connecting with them and learning Spanish through private lessons.
- Learning to speak Spanish in an Hispanic country is undoubtedly the most effective way to improve quickly.
Total immersion in a Spanish speaking country allows you to: speak Spanish with native speakers, participate in conversation classes, have free Spanish classes without realizing it! You will be learning without even realising it. Who knew that ordering a cup of coffee in Bogotá could be educational?
- Use all of the Spanish resources that the Internet has to offer.
You can find free online Spanish classes, exercises, learning videos, tutorials...
You can also download dozens of apps and podcasts on to your smartphone or tablet to learn Spanish in a fun way.
- Speak with native speakers.
Finding a correspondent online remains the simplest method.
You can also go to parties with international students or university campuses where many Spanish speakers are located.
- Learn by taking pleasure in it.
By taking pleasure in working and studying, you'll find yourself learning Spanish more easily and rapidly.
By following these tips, you will find that learning a new language is easier than you had perhaps previously thought!
Mastering Spanish as a foreign language
When it comes to improving your Spanish skills,
Mastering a foreign language is not easy. Spanish is a Latin language, quite different from a Germanic language such as English.
Here are some tips to progress quickly:
- Read in Spanish. This could be literature such as Don Quijote, or newspapers such as El Mundo or El País.
- Write in Spanish.
- Visit the internet to find native Spanish speakers.
- Speak Spanish at every available opportunity.
A lot of Spanish speaking students travel to English speaking countries for their studies. By visiting universities that have an international program or going to places that are famous for bringing together many Spanish speakers, you will find ample opportunities to practice your skills.
The same came be said of the major cities in most countries, as they often have large communities of Hispanic people. This will mean that you will find Latin American restaurants and bars, as well as cultural centres and organisations.
Other ways to immerse yourself in Spanish include:
- Listen to the Spanish language: Television, music, radio ...
- Take Spanish classes.
- Go to Spain, South America (Argentina, Chile, Bolivia, Peru, Colombia etc), Central America (Mexico, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Panama etc).
Tips and tricks to becoming fluent
If you want to become fluent in Spanish, you will need to work hard and be dedicated. Aside from this, you'll need a well prepared approach to learning Spanish. Consider the following things:
- Make yourself a notebook: vocabulary memos, Spanish expressions, specific grammatical rules,
- Think in Spanish,
- Find good media to progress quickly: books, audio, applications, movies,
- Take private lessons with a Spanish-speaking teacher,
- Soak up the Spanish culture: films in original version, Spanish radio (cadena100, Cope ...), Latin music ...
- Find a Spanish correspondent on Nekoplaza,
- Travel! The Spanish speaking world has some of the most desirable destinations to visit. In fact, guide book producer Lonely Planet named 3 Spanish speaking cities in its list of the top 10 cities to visit in 2018.
Search for online Spanish classes here on Superprof.
YouTube videos to improve your Spanish
You might be thinking, can you learn to speak Spanish on YouTube? After all, YouTube has videos to teach you a whole range of different skills. The answer is most definitely, yes!
Mainly thanks to its infinite resources, on all subjects, in all languages... YouTube is a goldmine of information!
You can find online Spanish classes available for free, as well as videos based on very specific subjects. Therefore if you find yourself struggling with a particular topic, for example the use of adjectives or the subjunctive, then check out what YouTube has to offer.
Such videos offer a visual approach to studying which could help you understand better than reading the information in a book. And the added bonus is that you can avoid paying high sums of money for a Spanish course at a local language school.
If you are a beginner, go to videos that teach basic Spanish: notions, colors, numbers...
- Force yourself to have a rhythm: a video a day to learn Spanish seems appropriate,
- Check out clips or celebrity interviews that you like. Don't forget to activate the subtitles,
- Some movies and TV shows are available on YouTube in original version, so enjoy it for free!
Additionally, videos uploaded by Spanish speaking media outlets could act as a way of practising your Spanish skills.
How to improve Spanish speaking
If you are going on holiday to a Spanish speaking country, you might be more interested in how to learn conversational Spanish as opposed to studying the intricacies of Spanish grammar. After all, developing your Spanish vocabulary is more likely to help you on holiday in a Spanish bar or restaurant than your ability to conjugate an obscure verb in the future conditional test.
Your academic knowledge, which focuses on grammar, conjugation and vocabulary, does not allow you to converse in Spanish.
So here are our tips for doing this:
- You must trust yourself!
Don't be afraid of being ridiculous and just dare to try something out.
If you want to get rid of this feeling of not being up to speed, take the lead and don't underestimate yourself, you are more than capable of interacting with any native Spanish speaker! And as Spanish is your second language, they won't be expecting perfection, and should be more than patient with you.
You will be much more comfortable with talking after a while. Try by starting with the following:
- Learn useful courteous phrases such as "por favor" "gracias",
- Don't worry about your pronunciation. For the accent, just start by mastering the tonic accent,
- Take notes to make a list of daily phrases that can help "hola", "quiero ir a... ",
- Don't be afraid of saying that you only speak a little bit of Spanish to your interlocutor,
- Ask if you don't understand a word,
- Don't try to construct difficult sentences and conversations or complex conjugations with irregular verbs: speak in the present of the indicative with simple words,
- Speak clearly, don't flout!
Podcasts to practice your Spanish
Here's something you probably haven't considered; learning Spanish through Spanish podcasts.
Learning Spanish is necessary today.
With the number of Spanish speaking people in the world and the growth that certain Latin American economies are seeing, business are in constant need of Spanish speakers to help them keep growing and to tap into new and growing markets.
Your boring commute to work doesn't need to feel like a waste of time. Whilst sat on the bus or the train, or even whilst sat in your car in a traffic jam you could be listening to a Spanish podcast and making the most of your time.
Many free Spanish channels are available!
Moreover, you can download the audio you want and listen to it whenever you want with the offline option.
But which podcasts should you choose?
Here is a non exhaustive list which will allow you to develop your oral comprehension without having the impression of forcing yourself to work:
- News in Slow Spanish
- Cofffee Break Spanish
- SSL 4 You
Make your choice according to your desires: do you want a fun or informative channel, for example.
And don't forget to adapt to your level: many podcasts are specific to beginners.
Remember, the more you surround yourself with Spanish, the more you will absorb and learn. Therefore, if you can listen to a little bit every day, that would be great. But at the end of the day, whatever you can manage is better than nothing!
Now let's see about signing up for Spanish lessons...
Get better in Spanish with Superprof
Ready to follow all our tips and become a true master at Spanish? Well, the last piece of advice that we will give you is to head to our website and check out our tutors to get yourself some private Spanish lessons!
Superprof is a hub for students and tutors to find each other, a place where they can connect based on their interests and expertise in order to help each other reach their objectives. When it comes to Spanish, we have hundreds of tutors waiting to hear from you. These tutors all have a different approach to teaching Spanish but we're sure you will find someone who fits your needs and who will help you get exactly where you need to in your Spanish learning journey.
But, how do you start? Finding your Spanish tutor is super easy. Just head to our search bar and look for Spanish in your city or area. The results will show you the teachers that are available in your area and you will be able to connect with any one of them. But before you do, it's important to have your objectives super clear so you know exactly what type of teacher you need. These questions could help you define your goals a little bit better:
- What is your current Spanish level?
- Why do you want to learn Spanish? Professional reasons, personal reasons, etc.
- What kind of teaching method works best for you?
- How much time will you devote to your Spanish lessons?
- Do you have access to native speakers or a Spanish speaking environment?
- How much are you willing to pay for your Spanish lessons?
- Will you have time to do homework or at home exercises?
- Would you rather have in-person or remote lessons?
- Do you need to improve your listening, speaking, reading or writing skills?
Once you have these details figured out, it will be easier for you to refine your options and pick the tutor that best suits your needs. Make sure to go through their profiles thoroughly, read their description and qualifications to really get an idea of what to expect from your lessons. Some things you should take into consideration before signing up for Spanish lessons are:
- What is the tutor's experience as Spanish teacher? How many years has he or she been giving lessons?
- Do they have any certificates or diplomas?
- Do they give lessons remotely or only in-person?
- What method do they use?
- Are they native speakers? Where from?
- How much is they hourly rate?
Another good idea is to check out the opinions and reviews of previous students. This is a great way for you to get first hand information about the tutor in question and their teaching method. Chances are if they have great reviews from previous students they might be a great option for you to learn Spanish.
Once you're settled in contacting a tutor, make sure to set up an initial session with them to get to know each other and really set common goals. This first session is super important, as it will allow you to see if you click with them, if you feel comfortable with their teaching method and how they like to go about their lessons. It's also important for the tutor to understand your expectations and this initial "interview" session is the best moment to set them clearly.
Learning Spanish and diving into the Spanish speaking culture will be a great experience that will open up the world and bring new opportunities for the future. Are you ready to become a Spanish speaker?
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