Spanish is spoken widely throughout the world and in ever-increasing numbers in the United States. This is probably why we have many visitors who ask us, “What is the best way to learn Spanish?”
To answer this question, we polled 1,000 people who are native English speakers and are now fluent speakers of Spanish.
When we asked the experts about the best ways to learn Spanish, their answers varied but there was a commonality among them. We have taken this research and boiled it down to the 5 best ways to learn Spanish.
The Best Way to Learn Spanish: Follow This 5-Step Procedure
The Best Way to Learn Spanish: Step 1, Choose a Great Starter Program
Rocket Spanish is a fantastic language learning program that enables you to Learn to Speak Spanish Confidently and Naturally in a short amount of time. It is divided into several components which gradually build on one another. The key to this lesson program is it’s interactivity, deeply involving you in the learning process.
Visit the Rocket Spanish website for demonstrations of this effective Spanish Language program. You will find that it is extremely effective, can be downloaded immediately, and is offered at a much better price than the competition.
Rosetta Stone set the standard for excellent language programs and its Spanish program is second to none. You will find Spanish Grammar Lessons, Spanish Vocabulary Lessons, Spanish Pronunciation and much, much more. Plus, many of these lessons are divided up into easily watched, interactive videos which make learning fun.
If you are able to afford it, Rosetta Stone is the best Spanish Language Program to begin with but the price is rather steep.
In summary, both Rocket Spanish and Rosetta Stone will provide you with excellent, fun Spanish Language lessons. They cater to both beginner and immediate users. Since both are of high quality, you may want to go with Rocket Spanish if price is a concern. If price is not a concern, you may want to go with Rosetta Stone.
Best Way To Learn Spanish: Step 2, The Right Way To Learn
The greatest challenges in learning Spanish are the pronunciation, new vocabulary, expressions, grammar, and sentence structures. How can you learn all of these at one time without even studying? The best way to learn all of these at one time, which is only recently available, is to buy a Spanish audiobook AND the corresponding textbook. In this manner, you can listen to Spanish and read Spanish at the same time.
We recommend the following to begin just because it is a great Spanish book by the renowned Frank Rivera, a preeminent Spanish author:
Varadero y Otros Cuentos Cubanos: AudioBook
Varadero y Otros Cuentos Cubanos: Text Book
Book Summary: He looks just like any other tourist. Why, then, is the secret police after him? In this award-winning story, Rivera’s characters and their circumstances can be ridiculous or tragic but they share a sense of the absurd.
“The contents of any audio book contains every Spanish grammatical structure and an enormous amount of vocabulary. But, even more importantly, you hear all of the proper pronunciations of each word. It’s important to read along with the story, out loud, so that you learn how to pronounce each word.” Sarah Jones, Fluent Spanish Speaker
This method of learning is much more exciting because you are reading stories as opposed to simply reading a dictionary or grammar rules.
“It’s like learning without knowing that you are learning,” said John Biltmore, one of the experts polled.
With Spanish Audio Books, you can put the book on your iPod and you have an instructor with you wherever you go.
Tracy Haines added, “This is the best way to learn Spanish that I have found. Everything else bored me but this got me going and I never looked back.”
Whatever method that you choose, be sure to buy the “unabridged” version of the audio book so that you can read along exactly as it appears in the text.
You can view a List of Spanish Audio Books Here. There are countless stories and you will find many that you’ll enjoy!
Best Way to Learn Spanish: Step 3, Record Yourself Speaking Spanish
When people are asked if they speak Spanish, a common response is, “Well, I can read it but I cannot speak it very well.”
To be truly fluent in Spanish, you will need to know how to speak it and the only way to do this is to practice.
This is the goal of step 3. One of the best ways to learn Spanish is to record yourself speaking Spanish and there are many tools to do this. We recommend the Olympus VN-4100PC Digital Voice Recorder. This inexpensive recorder allows for 144 hours of recording, has long battery life, and is very inexpensive.
You can talk into this device and then listen to yourself. You will hear, over time, how much your Spanish improves just by listening to yourself and comparing yourself to natural speakers of Spanish.
Best Way To Learn Spanish, Part 4, Seek Spanish Groups in Your Area and the Internet
One of the difficulties everyone faces when learning a new language is finding Spanish language practice companions. However, there are many in your area that you may not know about.
Gavin from St. Louis said, “I simply went to Google and typed in Spanish Groups in St. Louis and found many people to practice with. I also met many great people.” Do what Gavin did…there is no doubt a Spanish Group in your area.
The Internet can also be a great place to learn Spanish by chatting with others. However, a word of caution. If you enter a Spanish chat room, you will find lots of slang and may be quickly dissuaded. Therefore, it is important to find good practice partners who may want to do an English/Spanish exchange.
A good place to start, said Nancy Lawrence, is My Language Exchange. “I met several people there who wanted to help me and be helped. It worked out great!”
Best Way to Learn Spanish, Part 5: Immerse Yourself in a Spanish Speaking Country
Once you have achieved the fundamentals of Spanish using the above techniques, you have to immerse yourself in a Spanish speaking country. “This is truly the final step in becoming fluent,” said Frank Fernandez, who traveled to Argentina for 3 months to study Spanish. “After 3 months of speaking nothing but Spanish, I could communicate with anybody.”
He added, however, that you “have to refrain from speaking English. The temptation is great but you cannot do it!”
The Best Way to Learn Spanish: Conclusion
Through polling more than 1,000 people who have become fluent in Spanish, we have learned that the best way to learn Spanish is to practice the above techniques.
In summary, these are the five best techniques to learn Spanish:
- Choose a Great Spanish Language Program: Rocket Spanish and Rosetta Stone are the best
- Buy a Spanish Audio Book and the Corresponding Text Book.
- Record Yourself Speaking Spanish: This Olympus Device in inexpensive but excellent
- Find a Spanish Study Group in Your Area or Visit My Language Exchange for online Spanish companions
- Study Spanish Abroad
These are the techniques used by English speakers who have actually become fluent Spanish speakers. Follow these techniques and you too will become a fluent Spanish speaker!
After we wrote this article, we were emailed lots of questions regarding the value of learning of learning Spanish. We have summed up their questions and will include them here:
List of Countries that Speak Spanish
Learning the Spanish Language takes time so before starting out many people ask the question: “Where can I find a list of countries that speak Spanish?” Of course, the more countries in which they speak Spanish adds to the reasons you may want to learn Spanish. So, here is a list of Spanish-speaking countries. Many are so beautiful that they will take your breath away.
Reasons Why People Should Study Spanish
The questions that we have been asked come in many forms. What are the reasons why people should study Spanish? What are the reasons why Spanish is important? Why is it important to study Spanish? What are the advantages of learning Spanish?
These are many ways to ask the very same question.
And the answer may be unique to each person who studies Spanish. While many want to learn Spanish for the pure pursuit of learning a new language, others wonder if Spanish will help them advance in their careers.
The benefits of learning Spanish are numerous. It will certainly help you in your career. If you work for an international company, and you are fluent in Spanish, you are ahead of most of the competition. You will be able to work in any of the list of countries that speak Spanish that we just reviewed.
If you are strictly working in the U.S., a mastery of Spanish will certainly help you here and allow you many more opportunities. Many know this as they ask the question, “What percent of people speak Spanish in the US?” The numbers are large! According to Wikipedia, “Spanish is the primary language spoken at home by over 34 million people aged 5 or older”. And, Spanish is spoken in the US by 45 million people which means the USA contains the second largest Spanish speaking population in the world. Thus, a little more than 10% of the people in the US speak Spanish. This is a large audience and certainly one of the benefits of learning Spanish.
So, when our readers ask what are reasons to speak Spanish, the truth is this: If you speak Spanish, not only are you richer culturally, you are richer financially as the knowledge of Spanish allows you to advance in your career and distinguish yourself among the competition.