Here’s a few of my tips for the best way to learn Spanish

Last updated on August 16, 2021 by Josh Koerpel

Hola, amigos.

I know (better than most) how intimidating learning another language can be.

Especially Spanish.

That’s why I have compiled some of the best ways to learn Spanish in 2021.

See at 16, I learned to speak Spanish by living with a host family in South America for a year. My little town was called “Quilpue” in Chile…and man, what a crazy adventure that was.

They throw you right into the school system and basically say “good luck, amigo!”

Because of this trip, along with studying at the University of Valencia in Spain, I ended up graduating from Denison University with a BA in Spanish.

How did I learn Spanish? I lived in Chile, a Spanish speaking country for 1 year.
Here I am at 16, scared out of my mind in a Spanish speaking country and unable to communicate with anyone — not even my host family!

But…when you’re learning…by FAR the biggest mental challenge you face in this situation is not feeling understood. An inability to communicate with anyone. That’s a tough situation for anyone to be in.

True, you learn to be patient. To chip away at it. And it builds up your capacity to think creatively.

But when you’re starting out, it’s hard.

So — worry not, my friend.

I’m about to show you A LOT of ways to learn Spanish…as easy as possible.

Why Learn Spanish At All?

There are many compelling reasons to learn a second (or third, or fourth…) language, and Spanish is one of the best languages to learn for many reasons.

Spanish is the second most spoken language in the world, and there are more than 500 million Spanish speakers.

It’s very common in everyday life, it’s useful in a business setting as well as for travel, and it’s also easy to read and pronounce! Spanish can also be helpful in learning other Romance languages such as Italian, French, Portuguese, and Romanian.

And best of all-learning Spanish can make you more employable when you’re applying for jobs around the world. This is becoming more and more common with some of today’s best remote jobs.

To help people find their best way to learn this skill through these mediums we’ll explore five ways that will work best for most learners!

Vamos, amigos! Let’s dive in!

The 5 Best Ways To Learn Spanish In 2021

1) Using A Language Learning App

This is a pretty standard answer in today’s age.

But there are SO MANY to choose from. And while the Spanish language is pretty straightforward, figuring out the best way to learn may be one of the hardest parts.

There are a ton of apps out there that can help you learn the Spanish language.
Learning Spanish online? There are tons of options to choose from. Here are some of the best ways!

Most people start with an app for language learning. Here are a couple of different apps you might want to check out:

  • Duolingo: Duolingo is a free and popular app that teaches you Spanish with a ‘gamified teaching style. Earn crowns, collect ‘Lingots’, and keep streaks to unlock more features within the app.
  • Babbel: Babbel is a language learning app that helps you speak a new language like you’ve always wanted to. The site claims that 15 hours of learning with Babbel is equivalent to one college semester of Spanish. The Babbel language learning app for web, iOS, and Android makes it easy to learn 14 different languages from seven learning languages.
  • Memrise: Each of Memrise’s official Spanish language courses is designed by a team of Spanish language experts to teach you how to speak in real-life situations. From finding your way around the old quarters in each Spanish city, to choosing a tapas (sweet or savoury?), shopping in local convenience stores, meeting people on a night out or connecting with family, you’ll learn Spanish as it’s used by native Spaniards in daily life.
  • Rosetta Stone: Rosetta Stone understands that beginners need to learn Spanish in context, building naturally towards speaking Spanish phrases and gaining confidence with the pronunciation. Their Spanish language software focuses on an immersion-based learning method that teaches words alongside visual and audio cues, helping beginners learn basic conversational phrases in the context of real-world situations.

2) Working With A Live Tutor Online

If immersion isn’t an option (see #5 below), this is the next best thing in my opinion.

One of the best things about hiring a tutor to work with you online is that your learning is at your own pace and in your own time. With most tutors, you can even choose to have lessons recorded so that you can keep track of what was said, when it was said AND have it all in one place.

Another great thing about this option is that you don’t necessarily need to be where a tutor lives…which means they can be a native speaker.

One of the ways to learn spanish is to hire a tutor online!
I used to be a tutor! I wasn’t a native speaker, but I was helping Spanish learners speak the language via skype from the boat. Apparently, I was too busy to even look at the camera for this photo.

Taking lessons via Skype is also a great way for people living abroad who are interested in learning Spanish to get help with their language skills…without having to search out a local.

Here are a few places to look for online Spanish tutors:

  • Preply is hands-down my favorite website that focuses on teaching languages. I personally use this site. They have been around since 2012 and features content in over forty languages, making it one of the best sites for learners who want to learn a language but don’t know where to start. Filled with helpful, Spanish speaking tutors I believe it’s one of the best ways to learn Spanish.
  • Fluenz Spanish: After a thorough assessment, they identify what’s blocking your fluency and create a customized program for you. The best Spanish tutors in the world will follow the renowned Fluenz methodology within intense one-on-one sessions.

3) Joining A Language Room On Clubhouse

Clubhouse is an interesting place. Marketed as a ‘Social Audio’ app, it really is a great resource for those who want to practice their language skills with native speakers.

Learning a language is tough, but you can connect with speakers in latin america, spain, and all over the world!
Clubhouse is a great way to learn Spanish. It’s filled with native speakers!

You can use Clubhouse to practice speaking a language you’re learning, ask questions about grammar, and get customized feedback from your conversation partner.

You’ll learn to speak in real-time…with real people! It doesn’t get much better than that.

4) Placing Vocab Words Around Your House

One amazing way to learn a new language is putting vocabulary word stickers around your house, so that you’re always reminded of how to say things.

Another benefit of learning a language this way (as opposed to other ways) is that it costs very little! A lot of people forget they already have the best teachers and best materials for their new language right under their noses.

Objects right there in the house or apartment!

When you’re learning a language, like spanish, these little stickers help out a lot!
Just google “Spanish vocab stickers” and you’ll find all kinds of resources for daily ways to train yourself and remember vocabulary words.

I’ve used this technique before and there’s definitely something to it. It’s all about repetition and remains one of the greatest ways to learn Spanish.

5) Move To The Country And Immerse Yourself

This is perhaps the most extreme way to learn Spanish, but honestly it’s the most effective and best way to learn Spanish.

Complete and total immersion.

With the advent of remote work, we are more capable than ever to live and work abroad. So many people travel with their laptops (or maybe just for pleasure) and get the best of both worlds…the ability to learn a new culture while still supporting themselves financially.

Even better, check out an exchange program! (Like I did)

Speaking spanish (really learning any language) comes easier when you’re immersed.  I was in latin america!
Learning how to speak Spanish brings you closer together with people. Here I am at school in Quilpue, Chile with some friends, using Spanish every day.

Sure, there are some challenges associated with this type of learning. One of the most difficult challenges may be trying to find work (if you’re not working remotely). Another challenge is meeting new people and making new friends because you won’t always have people in your community from your own country.

It may be intimidating at first, but your efforts will craft beautiful memories unmatched anywhere else. And when you come home, one of the best souvenirs will be knowing how to speak to people in their native language!

Maybe you just get away for the weekend…like I did in Barcelona back in 2019.

You don’t have to devote a huge amount of time in another place when you’re learning a language.  Just go for however long you can!
CLICK ABOVE to play the video!
You don’t have to live in a Spanish speaking country for a year — you can plan a quick trip instead. It might not be as effective, but you’ll get the basics!

And don’t think that living for an extended period of time in another Spanish speaking country is your only option.

If you can, hop on a plane and spend a week somewhere they speak only Spanish. Or stroll down to a part of town filled with native Spanish speakers.

Just putting yourself out there is the absolute best way to learn Spanish.

Bonus Method (A Bit More Outside The Box)

6) Getting Spanish Children’s Books

When I’m trying to learn a new language, I try to think outside the box. One of the ways to learn Spanish is the same way children learn…through easy-to-read books.

I would go to a bookstore in the states and look for children’s books written in Spanish. When I found some and bought them, I then used Google Translate on my phone so that I could learn the words in Spanish.

Learning a language becomes easier when you think of yourself as a kid.
One of my ‘little known tricks’ for learning Spanish? Get some kid’s books and read them. In my experience, it’s one of the best ways to learn.

This isn’t just for Spanish, but any language.

You will be able to learn new Spanish words in context, and children’s books are usually easier to read and have fewer words on a page than adult books.

It takes the pressure off and can be a fun way to learn!

FAQ About Learning Spanish

How can I learn Spanish by myself?

One good way is to simply listen to Spanish. When you’re learning a new language, one of the hardest parts will be breaking up long, drawn-out sentences into individual words. The more you simply listen, the easier this will get.

But if you have to learn on your own, I would begin with beginner lessons or an app like Duolingo or Memrise. It can help make sure you’re practicing conversation skills with the best accuracy possible, as well as connecting these skills to important grammar lessons.

You might also want to consider signing up for one of these apps if you want a mobile resource that will track your progress and allow you to review what you’ve learned!

What is the most efficient way to learn Spanish?

The best way to learn Spanish is by immersing yourself in it. Try to live in the country of your language for a while and practice with the natives there. If you can’t do that, then work with a tutor or go into some kind of immersion program.

Doing this will help you create habits that will keep you fluent.

How long does it take to become fluent in Spanish?

It really depends on the person and their desire to learn Spanish.

Sometimes people can go into an immersion program for a few weeks and come out fluent. Other times it might take years of practice.

Final Thoughts On The Best Way To Learn Spanish

There are many ways to learn a new language. Learning Spanish is no different.

The most important thing is understanding how YOU learn best.

Are you someone who wants to take more risks and put themselves into situations that force them to learn quicker? Or perhaps you would like to learn at a slower, more controlled pace. Whichever sounds better, there’s a resource that can help you out.

Because Spanish is a commonly spoken language around the world, it’s fairly easy to find people you can practice with. And if you live in the United States, you’ll hear it often.

Spanish helps you connect with others around you...and breaks down barriers!
Knowing another language (like Spanish) helps you connect with more people in a natural way — leading to all kinds of special situations, friendships and stories.

Learning Spanish may seem difficult at first…trust me, I know. There’s no denying that it has many different grammar rules that must be learned.

I have found the best way to learn Spanish is by immersing yourself in the language through living abroad or taking classes.

Learning a new language opens doors and builds a sense of confidence within you. I say go for it!!

To life, amigos.

Josh


Last updated August 16, 2021 by Josh Koerpel

Josh Koerpel

Josh has spent the last 15 years working from the road as a ship captain, wilderness guide, mechanical engineer, marketing director and software developer.

He currently lives aboard his 32′ sailboat “Albatross” in Key West, Florida.

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