You’ll discover the 7 key areas I’d focus on if I had to learn how to speak Spanish confidently in only a few months.
When I finished school, the only language I spoke was English. But since then I've gone on to learn 10 languages and what I discovered is that how you learn is the key to success.
With that in mind, this post breaks down the key study practices you need to follow if you want to learn Spanish fast…
… and at the end, I'll share a sample daily Spanish learning schedule with you, so you know not only what to do, but exactly when to do it!
These are proven strategies that will result in you being able to actually speak Spanish very quickly…
Without moving abroad
Without quitting your job to study full-time
And without marrying a Spanish speaker … at least, not yet!
Be aware, this is intensive!
You’ll need to work damn hard, and it might not be for you.
But if you're willing to put in the effort, the results will be more than worth it.
To make it as easy as possible for you take action on these Spanish tips, I’ve created a special PDF version of this article that you can print off or save on your phone to read anywhere, anytime. Enter your email address below and I'll send the PDF to you.
Learning Spanish – The Big Picture
Before we dive into the tips, let’s take a step back and consider what you will have to achieve in order be successful.
Firstly, don’t make the mistake of thinking you can’t learn Spanish fast!
It is entirely possible, and you’ll find plenty of experienced language learners who will testify to this.
But you will need guidance (that’s what I’m here for!).
In order to learn Spanish fast, in only a few months, you’ll need to…
Build a sizeable vocabulary
Master elementary Spanish grammar
Understand spoken Spanish
Practise speaking a lot
Have decent Spanish pronunciation
Get used to the language
Stick to the study process for long enough for it to work
You can see the entire process in the infographic above.
Now, let's see how to do it…
1. Build A Sizeable Vocabulary In Spanish
Words are the building blocks of a language.
As you set out to learn Spanish, nothing else matters much if you don’t know enough words.
Now, the ideal way to grow a sizeable vocabulary in Spanish over time is by learning as you go.
For that reason, some good generic advice is to try to use Spanish in your daily life and concentrate on learning the specific words and phrases that you find most useful.
However, because we’re under some time pressure here, you need to take a more direct route.
Here’s the key fact…
Studies of Spanish word frequency tell us that the 1,000 most frequent words in Spanish account for 87.8% of all spoken Spanish.
This means you’ve only got to learn around 1,000 words to understand the vast majority of everything you will hear in Spanish.
Watch this video to learn my method for memorising any word in Spanish so you never forget it:
2. Take A Self-Study Spanish Course
The most efficient way to learn the basics of Spanish is usually with a good beginner's course because all the important stuff is laid out for you in an easily-digestible away.
Most importantly of all, make sure the course you choose includes plenty of dialogues and comes with both audio and text so you can learn to understand real spoken Spanish.
My recommendation is Spanish Uncovered, which uses a unique story-telling method that's ideal for making Spanish memorable and fun.
Spanish Uncovered takes you all the way from complete beginner to the intermediate level and is based on the same principles you're learning here about how to learn Spanish fast.
Study the course every day, and aim to complete it over the space of 4-6 weeks.
I recommend not spending too much time with the exercises provided. The aim isn't to learn all Spanish grammar to perfection! Instead, aim to complete the entire course so you get a good overview of how the language works, and use the grammar exercises as extra practice to complement your core study time.
Focus most of your energy on reading the story or dialogues, acclimatising to the sounds of Spanish.
But what if you're not a beginner?
If you already speak some Spanish and instead want help to break through the intermediate plateau, invest in a resource that focuses specifically on that intermediate level.
(Both the books above are also available in audiobook format.)
If you're already at an intermediate level, you'll probably be looking for more challenging material!
In this case, check out this video where I share 5 of my favourite Spanish book recommendations:
If you struggle to fit everything into one day, and you find reading Spanish takes you too long, try to set a simple daily “minimum quota” of reading: A chapter every evening before bed – for example.
Focus on enjoying your reading above all, and don’t try to “study” the book.
If you're spending enough time reading and listening to Spanish, the learning will happen naturally.
6. Make Spanish Part Of Your Lifestyle
The following piece of advice is at risk of seeming a bit throwaway…
But, in fact, it’s far more important than you might think.
Here’s the thing…
If you’re doing this Spanish thing fairly intensively for 3 months, at times it’s going to seem like a chore.
There are times when you're just going to want to kick back in front of the TV.
So, the more you can stop thinking of studying Spanish as something you have to find the time for, and instead make it something you just do as part of your daily life, the less stress you’ll feel and the more progress you’ll make.
How do you make Spanish part of your lifestyle?
Get your daily doses of TV, news etc. in Spanish rather than English