• Alejandro Nuñez

5 Tips To Start Learning Spanish Effectively in 2021



Adding a new learning habit to your daily routine might sound like an impossible task for some and like an exciting project to others. In the case of learning a new language, it is wise to know how to start, and always remember there’s no small task to get you started on your path to being fluent.


HERE ARE 5 TIPS ON HOW TO START LEARNING SPANISH - NO MATTER YOUR LEVEL OF PROFICIENCY


1. START WITH WHY? (sorry Simon Sinek)


This might sound a bit superficial, but having the certainty of why you are interested in learning Spanish would light up the spark of motivation every day you engage in an activity to improve it.


Your Why must have meaning and purpose. A good exercise is imagining yourself having a fluent conversation in Spanish, are you in a meeting? vacationing? in a relaxed or formal environment? with friends? meeting new people? in a restaurant? Whatever the scenario is, it will give you a first perspective on what you’d like to achieve in the near future.


2. CREATE AN EASY-TO-FOLLOW SELF-PRACTICE ROUTINE (no matter how busy you are!)

Layout your daily activities on a piece of paper, whiteboard, or notebook and mark what time you’d like to sit with your laptop, notebook, and pen for 20 - 30 min to practice (every day). Remember, practice makes progress.


3. STRUCTURE YOUR PRACTICE TIME (don’t practice randomly)


An effective starting point is structuring your practice into the following 4 important aspects of learning Spanish:


  1. Vocabulary - make a list of objects that you use in your workspace, your house, or the gym. Name the places you visit and review them consistently.

  2. Grammar rules - is easy to get overwhelmed with grammar when learning Spanish. Start with the basics (gender rules, nouns, and adjectives)

  3. Listening and repeating - Once you have a list of vocabulary and expressions, make sure to read them out loud. This would improve your pronunciation a lot.

  4. Writing - it may not be your number one goal, but taking notes on the expressions you have learned (without reading them) will make it easier to remember in the future.


Here is a great exercise I implement with my students:


  • Write down what would you’d normally say after the following expressions:


a. I have to (Tengo que…)

b. I’m going to (Voy a…)

c. I would like to (Me gustaría…)

d. Would you like to (¿Te gustaría…?

e. What do you… (¿Qué…?


To complete this exercise successfully, you would need to learn a few verbs. Here is a list of The Most Common Verbs in Spanish.


4. MAKE IT FUN! (don’t be so hard on yourself)


Learning a new language is not an easy task and it’s not linear either. You will have a lot of ups and downs in the path to fluency. The truth is, the path never ends, it always manages to show us something that we didn’t know and I believe that’s beautiful, exciting, and a bit frustrating sometimes.


Before you start engaging in any Spanish learning activity, remember there is not a perfect method nor finish line but your attitude will make the biggest difference. Have fun!


5. FIND A PRACTICE-BUDDY (make yourself accountable)


Having another person alongside you in your path to Spanish fluency can make your experience more effective and positive. Having 1-on-1 lessons or self-teaching can be beneficial up to a certain point. Sharing your ups and downs with another person will motivate you on a level that you can’t reach alone.



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