Learning Spanish can be tough. You have to relearn the words for almost every object, and you have to communicate with other people too. This requires listening, processing, thinking, and responding in an entirely new language. Fortunately it is not impossible to learn Spanish thanks to the amount of support and resources available. Here are some steps to take to get started speaking Spanish fluently.
Step 1: Take Learning Seriously
Find out why you are passionate about learning Spanish, and take the learning process seriously. Becoming fluent means being dedicated, setting milestones, and being persistent in your learning. When you realize your personal reason for learning Spanish, you will find it much easier to get past the mental blocks when picking up a new language.
Step 2: Create a Personal Vocabulary List/Phrasebook
Your first instinct may be to buy a Spanish workbook or textbook. They will guide you through lessons, introduce you to the same greeting words and ask the same questions. The problem is if you are trying to carry a conversation in any language, you want a glimmer of who you are to shine through your speech. Learning from a textbook can yield dry responses and lack of creativity.
Instead do research and find Spanish words that are relevant to you. Translate your favorite English words into Spanish and find synonyms. Look for words that you have fun pronouncing in Spanish. You can form enough of a vocabulary list/phrasebook to answer basic questions like “where are you from” or “what do you do for fun.” You will get a sense of accomplishment and coherence from forming your own answers. You can take this further and learn transitional words and phrases in Spanish that keep a conversation flowing naturally.
Step 3: Practice Your Listening Skills
Many people will agree that starting out, it’s much easier to read Spanish than to carry on a conversation. However, different people will pronounce the same word in various ways. You will have to hone your listening skills as you learn Spanish to get a sense of how words sound in an actual interaction.
Television, radio, YouTube, and music are some methods to practice listening skills. Mediums that have subtitles are fantastic because you have a clue as to what they are saying. A good practice is to keep looping a television segment or song over and over until you understand the entire segment.
Step 4: Find a Partner for Practice
Find someone who is around your level of Spanish and work together to learn. You should push each other out of your comfort zones of prepared responses. Those awkward silences between you should encourage you to respond quickly and to not worry about getting the Spanish down perfectly.
If you are concerned over finding a partner, there may be a meetup group in your area where people practice with each other. There are also online programs that allow two people to help each other learn their language. While you are learning Spanish can you help someone learn your language.
Most importantly, when learning Spanish – have fun! As long as you persevere through any difficult patches, you can learn Spanish and be fluent in conversation.