Spanish has the second largest number of native speakers of any language in the world. More North American students each year are choosing to learn the language, and this popularity is mirrored in the UK. Unfortunately, there is no quick-fix replacement for practice and determination when it comes to acquiring a language. However, there are ways in which you can speed up the process and learn the lingo more quickly. However, before you choose how you plan to learn Spanish, ask yourself why. If you are setting up a business in a Spanish-speaking country, for example, your needs will be very different from those of the happy-go-lucky holidaymaker.
Do It Yourself
For beginners there is an abundance of do-it-yourself resources. Many learners choose books and CDs that tackle the basics of the Spanish language. Luckily, Spanish is one of the most phonetic indo-European languages. This means that once you have learned the sounds corresponding to combinations of letters, it is relatively easy to pronounce words based on their spellings. To learn the basics quickly, get creative with your resources. Spanish activity CDs can be played in the car or at the gym. Make vocabulary flash cards and ask friends and family to test you. Set challenging but realistic daily goals for learning new sets of Spanish words or phrases. Interestingly, one of the best ways to ensure you retain information is through sleep. Recent research suggests sleeping is an effective way of improving your memory. Memorise a list of Spanish vocabulary in the evening and come back to it quickly the following morning. The DIY approach requires a high level of motivation, but it can help you cover the fundamentals of the language.
There is a vast variety of Spanish language resources available online. While these can be included in the DIY approach, the internet also makes remote tutoring possible. Spanish learners in the UK can be assigned a tutor, a native speaker living in a Spanish-speaking country, to practise Spanish conversation.
The UK is home to many high-quality foreign-language schools that offer flexible courses in Spanish for all levels of ability. These allow a more structured approach, which is ideal for those who need extra motivation or guidance. Language schools are also well suited to learners working towards a qualification in Spanish proficiency. While in rural areas of the UK the online tutor system makes learning Spanish more accessible, for learners who are able to attend Spanish lessons London has a number of schools accredited by the British Council. Find lessons that fit around your other commitments, such as St Georges German courses, French courses and Spanish courses, all of which are available in the evenings.
Language Exchange Groups
To speed up the process, try a language exchange alongside your studies. You can arrange to meet with native Spanish speakers who are trying to improve their English. This type of informal conversation is excellent practice and will accelerate your journey to fluency while helping a fellow language student.
Of course, the quickest way of all to learn the Spanish language is to delve into Spanish culture.
To up sticks and head overseas is both drastic and daunting, but it is by far the best way to ensure fluency. Not necessarily recommended for beginners, this approach might be the quickest way for intermediate speakers to improve.