Before We Get Started…
For the purposes of this post, I’m going to assume you’re a beginner, or false beginner (i.e. you studied a bit at school, but don’t remember much).
The time frame I’m working with is one year.
The aim in this time is to become conversationally fluent – to speak confidently and enjoy using Spanish in any daily situation, not to speak perfectly.
You can learn Spanish in more or less time, and will vary depending on the amount of work you put in. I’ve divided the year into four stages, which represent phases I reliably go through when learning a new language.
My guidelines assume you have one hour per day to dedicate to study. But as you’ll see, there’s scope for doing much more by utilising “dead time“.
This is all about the best way to learn Spanish on your own, which means you won’t be following a programme of study laid out by a teacher or school. What this doesn’t mean is learning in isolation. In order to learn to speak Spanish, you need to practise speaking with others, and this makes up an important part of the process I describe here.
I’ve learnt 8 foreign languages myself, and I work regularly with some of the world’s most accomplished polyglots.
That is to say, I know my stuff!
However, every learner is different. What you’ll find here is best described as a “picture of the stages of learning a language”.
You should take it more as an informative guide than a set of prescriptive instructions.