How to Teach Yourself Spanish From The Beginning
Want to teach yourself Spanish? Then you need to ask yourself: How am I going to learn about the three pillars of the Spanish language: Pronunciation, Vocabulary, and Grammar?
I like to think of these three pillars as complementary. Together, they make the whole. Focusing on these three pillars from the beginning can save you a lot of confusion in the future. On the contrary, neglecting one of them can make you unable to communicate effectively in Spanish.
Let’s see how you can eat the elephant, i.e., how you can teach yourself Spanish from the beginning.
After reading this article, you’ll know:
- How to get started on your Spanish journey TODAY
- The #1 Secret to grasp the pronunciation of the Spanish words… so you can boost your confidence in the language
- How to quickly avoid the epic mistake people interested in self-driven language learning make that impedes them to become fluent
- A step-by-step explanation of how to build a great foundation in less than three months!
- How to build your Spanish vocabulary quickly
But First… Is Teaching Yourself Spanish The Right Approach For You?
This question comes down to how much you value your time.
If you’re self-disciplined and can get help for accent, fluency, and many other questions that will inevitably arise in your Spanish journey, then teaching yourself Spanish might be your cup of tea.
On a similar note, if your goal is to get a grasp of the language, learning Spanish on your own can be a good alternative as well.
However, if you’re someone who has a difficult time learning languages, likes to learn in a more structured way, or have failed in all your previous attempts, hiring a Spanish tutor who guides you and solves your doubts may sound like a good idea (it should).
How to Get Started On Your Spanish Journey TODAY
“No dejes para mañana lo que puedas hacer hoy.”
“Don’t put off for tomorrow what you can do today.”
I recently heard someone saying that we live in the era of procrastination. I agree. We often tend to do things when we feel like doing them. Mañana, mañana.
I get it. Getting started is hard. So make it easy on yourself by setting the bar low. Get started by doing something small. Then do it consistently. Your efforts will pay off in the long run if you’re consistent.
How do you start your Spanish journey today?
1. Free language learning sites and apps. Reaching fluency with language learning sites and apps alone seems unlikely. Still, they can work extraordinarily well to get you started or as a supplement. We recommend you to look at Duolingo, Drops, and Memrise.
2. Forums. Got questions regarding Spanish grammar, pronunciation, or vocabulary? Forums are a great place to look for answers.
3. Vocabulary memorization. Want to build a solid vocabulary knowledge base? Don’t discount or ignore memorizing common words and expressions.
4. Watching videos on YouTube. Look for specific grammar lessons on YouTube. You can find videos on anything you want.
5. Spanish learning guides and self-study books. Every independent Spanish learner should consider having one of those for understanding the fundamentals of the language in a structured way.
6. Short readings with a graduated approach. Look at specific graduated reading for learners. Choose one that matches your level of Spanish. Increase the difficulty of the readings as your Spanish improves.
7. Interactive exercises. There’re many websites where you can do interactive exercises for free.
8. Songs. Did you know that you can acquire tons of Spanish words just by listening to songs? Listen to a song you like while you read the lyrics and sing along.
9. Courses. Another way to teach yourself Spanish is to take an online course. Join the MIT Spanish course and start today. It’s free!
10. Subtitled Spanish film/tv. While you can’t reach fluency with only TV series, you can improve your Spanish by watching Spanish-speaking TV and films.
11. Practice with native speakers. For some, this might not be easy. But if you have a native friend, why not try to have a conversation in Spanish?
Here we’ve listed eleven ways in which you can get started with your Spanish today. But as you can imagine, there’re many more.
The #1 Secret to Grasp The Pronunciation Of Spanish Words… And Boost Your Confidence!
Working on your pronunciation shouldn’t be an option. You can have a good grounding in grammar and a large basic vocabulary. Still, if your pronunciation is not decent, you won’t understand others nor make yourself understood in Spanish.
Luckily for you, Spanish pronunciation is pretty straightforward. Once you know a few rules of thumb, your Spanish pronunciation will improve drastically. That being said, you’ll still need to train your ear and develop your listening skills.
So let’s get to the point. What is the #1 Secret to grasp the pronunciation of Spanish words? Listening and reading at the same time. Well, this is how you do it. You listen to a piece of audio (podcast, audiobook, song, etc.) while you read the transcript, ebook, or lyrics. Your brain will then start making connexions between the written words and the way they sound.
How to Quickly Avoid The Epic Mistake People Interested In Self-Driven Language Learning Make
What’s more important for you: motivation or discipline?
Many believe that motivation is essential for language learning, even the most critical factor. However, we don’t think that’s right. Why? Because motivation is not static. It goes up and down.
Discipline, on the other hand, is much more reliable. You commit yourself to achieve specific goals within a certain timeline.
Build A Great Foundation In Less Than 3 Months!
To build a great foundation in less than three months, you need to get into action with your Spanish now.
First, define your goals. Go from a big goal down to subgoals and then to micro-goals.
Next, identify and write down your two top problems to achieve those goals. Is it that you have too little time? Is it that you get bored easily? Then identify your two top solutions to those problems. Are you going to study on your lunch break? Will you combine different learning methods?
- Helps you find solutions and adopt a proactive approach.
- Makes it easier to stay ahead of your excuses.
- Helps you stop worrying about what you’ll do when one of those problems arises.
Finally, create a plan or learning schedule. Here you put into words how you’re going to achieve those goals within three months.
Why three months? Because three months doesn’t seem too far away nor too soon in the future. Ideally, you should define daily, weekly and monthly goals and make weekly plans accordingly.
How to Build Your Spanish Vocabulary Quickly
Here you have five ways to build your Spanish vocabulary quickly:
1. Use a dictionary. Look up the words and expressions you don’t understand in Spanish. Make it a habit.
2. Read. Read as much as you can in Spanish. It can be news, blogs, books, etc. As long as you read something interesting for you, you’re okay.
3. Make your own vocabulary lists. Challenge yourself to add at least five or ten new expressions every day.
4. Be picky. Go for words and expressions that are commonly used among natives. For example, when it comes to fruit, you should prioritize learning “Manzana” (apple) than “Chirimoya” (custard apple) since it’s much more commonly used.
5. Keep expanding. Never stop adding new words to your vocabulary base.
Conclusion: How to Teach Yourself Spanish
There’re several ways in which you can teach yourself Spanish grammar, pronunciation, and vocabulary. Focusing on these three pillars is key to communicate effectively in Spanish. The secret to succeeding in learning Spanish on your own? Discipline and action. Remember, action beats intention all the time.