You want to learn Spanish fast? Then don’t just go to evening classes like everyone else and plod along at a sedate pace with the rest of the class. You need to get focused and know where you are heading. Follow these 5 steps:
1. Know why you’re learning Spanish: Create a very clear reason in your mind as to why you are leaning: whether it’s to gain fluency for a job application, to prepare for a holiday to Spain in one month, or to reach a sufficient conversational level to get by only in Spanish in Mexico.
Most people do not define a clear reason for learning for themselves to focus on. You will absorb what you learn in your Spanish lessons twice as well simply by having an understanding of where you’re heading.
2. Turn the Why into a Quantifiable Goal: If you want to achieve fluency in Spanish for a job application, find out which official exam is required as proof of your fluency. Then study exactly what the exam requires you to know. If you’re learning for Spain in a month, your goal could be to learn all possible restaurant, directions, emergency and small talk language. If you just want to learn to a decent conversational level, make your goal to be able to talk for one whole day, or week, in Spanish.
Now you have a clear target to head towards, your mind will focus on the aspects of Spanish that you need to achieve it. If your subconscious mind has a reason to absorb information and clear goal, it will absorb twice as much and twice as easily.
3. Create pressure: Set the exam for six months. And commit to sit that exam in 6 months no matter what. Promise to yourself that on your holiday you will talk to no English-speakers for a week. For your conversational level goal – tell a Spanish-speaking friend that in one month you will spend a whole day talking to them only in Spanish. And ask them to hold you to it.
This pressure will focus your mind wonderfully during classes. Notice how different your attitude and speed of learning is to other students with no idea of their Why, Goal or Pressure!
4. Choose carefully How you’re going to learn: classes in schools are often Not the best way to learn Spanish: the pace usually slows down to the speed of the slowest student, and the teacher’s attention is divided amongst 10 or 20 students.
The very best way to learn is to go to Spain or Latin America and learn in a social environment. If this isn’t realistic for you, the next best way is to find a good home-study course, to learn at your own pace, in your own comfort, then follow step 5.
5. Get into the deep end! This is by far the most important step you must take if you want to learn Spanish fast – but 95% of students do not take it: simply find yourself a native-speaking conversation partner, who will talk to you at normal talking speed in his or her normal accent. Talk with them regularly, and you will progress beautifully. And very fast.
The vast majority of Spanish students never take this step. They study at a casual pace for years, then have real trouble understanding native Spanish speakers. Make sure you’re not one of them! Remember, the Spanish conversation you have in a classroom is nothing like real Spanish – and that is what you want to learn.
Just knowing these five steps already ensures you will learn Spanish 3 times as fast as the next student.