Learning a new language like Spanish is more like a marathon than a sprint. Whatever degree of flair you have for learning languages, nobody learnt to speak fluent Spanish in a few weeks! Over the course of this article we’ll explore a number of the ways in which you can take your Spanish to the next level.
The first of our top 5 tips to take your Spanish to the next level is…
- To learn to listen better. Listening underpins understanding and unless you understand Spanish well, you’ll never learn to speak Spanish with the degree of confidence you seek. By learning to listen better, your vocabulary will improve and so too will your spoken Spanish. So how do we set about learning to listen better?
Be an active listener!
And here are some tools you can use to become one: Pay close attention whenever you’re conversing in Spanish; always give your undivided attention to whoever’s speaking, look directly at the speaker, don’t allow distractions to enter your mind, keep your posture open and interested, ask questions and explanations if in doubt.
Listen to Spanish music.
Actively listening to Spanish music and singing along is an excellent way to help take your Spanish to the next level. Spanish TV and movies are also really entertaining ways to improve your spoken Spanish. Spanish cinema, in particular is renowned for the quality of its output. Immersing yourself in Spanish movies and TV is a great way to take your Spanish to the next level.
Listening to Spanish podcasts is another very useful way to take your Spanish to the next level. Coffee Break Spanish features over 230 episodes lasting no longer than fifteen to twenty minutes. This well-regarded podcast has something for Spanish language learners of all levels. Spanishpod101 helps you discover how Spanish is spoken in all regions of Spain as well as different countries within the Spanish speaking world. It’s a lively, upbeat podcast that’s supported by material to download including vocabulary lists, transcripts, grammar notes and cultural insights. Podcasts are a fun way of ‘learning on the go’ and a genuine asset for Spanish language learners; all the while improving your spoken Spanish simply by listening to Spanish.
- Keep a Spanish journal. Perhaps you already keep a journal of your daily thoughts and activities? Well here’s a thought: Write your journal in your own language, then translate it into Spanish. By keeping a daily journal in both languages, you’ll be improving your Spanish writing skills while at the same time boosting your spoken As with all things in life, the more you practice, the better your skills become.
- Find reading material you’ll enjoy!
Reading every day is a fantastic way to level up in Spanish. Don’t overreach yourself. Read something you’re pretty sure you’re going to enjoy at a level where you won’t be grabbing for the dictionary every two minutes. Tackling lengthy novels with complex storylines may not be your idea of fun, you’ll gain much more from reading topics that interest you. If you’re a football fan, MARCA, a Spanish national daily sports magazine, may be perfect for you. Reading in Spanish will boost your vocabulary, improve your grammar, provide pleasure, and help you take your Spanish to the next level.
- Travelling to Spain
Spending time in the country in which Spanish is spoken in its native tongue, is, without doubt, the best way to take your Spanish to the next level. As you mix with native Spaniards on a daily basis, you find yourself hearing and picking up the patterns of everyday Spanish speech with ease. And if you have the opportunity of enrolling on a full immersion Spanish language course, such as the many and varied programmes offered by AIL Madrid, it’s a certainty that you will take your Spanish to the next level.
- Speak Spanish every day.
If you have Spanish friends, use them! Perhaps you’ve already been on a Spanish language course, in which case you’ll have made many good friends already. Stay in constant contact with the friends you made at your Spanish language school and take advantage of every opportunity to speak regularly with them in Spanish! Or you could download one of the many apps that enables you to chat with native speakers from across the world. For instance, HelloTalk has a worldwide community of over 250 million members and you’ll be sure to find someone to practice your Spanish with.
Taking your Spanish to the next level is a challenge and a joy. There are few more rewarding experiences in life than witnessing self-improvement.