So you’ve decided to take Spanish lessons? ¡Felicitaciónes!
There are plenty of good reasons to learn Spanish. For one, learning Spanish is a great skill to have on your resumé, and it is a skill that will allow you to communicate with over 440 million native speakers across the world, in countries such as Argentina, Colombia, Mexico, and Guatemala.
Whether it's beginner Spanish to know some basic greetings before a holiday to Barcelona, or intermediate Spanish to move to Latin America, the language of Cervantes is definitely worth the effort.
But before you start to fantasize about conversing fluently with a fellow Spanish speaker at a café in Madrid, you have a bit of work ahead of you. With proper training and practice, you can become bilingual in English and Spanish! So the question stands; how should you go about learning Spanish?
Well, you could go to a Spanish language school, or take a free online course, or you could learn Spanish with a tutor.
The last option will give you flexibility, and tailor-made lessons which will help you learn everything from verb conjugation, to the subjunctive voice.
But don’t wait until you are in front of your private Spanish teacher to start!
Start preparing for your Spanish course right now. You can make vocabulary flashcards, use mobile apps or challenging textbooks, listen to Spanish audio, and read interesting novels.
Remember, these aren't just tools to prepare for your first Spanish lesson. You should also utilise these methods to practise in between your classes, in order to cement the things that you learn with your tutor.
Here at Superprof, we have selected some language learning tools to help you be at your most prepared when you start your Spanish classes! You will be on your way to fluency sooner than you think with this handy guide.
Prepare a Vocabulary List For Your Spanish Course
Does your knowledge of Spanish consist of a few incoherent mutterings? Or do you have zero knowledge of Spanish vocabulary and phrases?
To arrive at your first Spanish class with confidence and reassurance, we advise you to prepare a basic vocabulary list in advance, in a notebook, or with flashcards. Knowing how to say hello, thank you, good bye, how are you, etc. will give you a good start in how to speak Spanish.
This way you’ll start with an advantage, and it will be easier for you to assimilate the rest of the Spanish class. To make things easier, start by recopying your vocabulary list of Spanish verbs and phrases. Try to do it from memory, which will etch it into your brain even better!
Here's a list of useful Spanish words to help you start your list of daily vocabulary and expressions!
Hello: Buenos días
Hello (afternoon): Buenas tardes
Good Night: Buenas noches
Please: Por favor
Thank you: Gracias
You’re welcome: De nada
Excuse me: Perdón
I don’t speak Spanish: No hablo español
Please speak slower: Hable más despacio, por favor
Can you please repeat that? : Repita por favor
What is your name?: ¿Cómo se llama?
My name is: Mi nombre es… / Me llamo…
How are you?: ¿Cómo está (usted)?
Very good: Muy bien
Where are you from?: ¿De donde es?
I’m from London: Soy de Londres
Enrich Your Vocabulary
To become skilled at Spanish conversation, you’ll need to know a bit more. Learn how to introduce yourself and ask for directions in Spanish, and other useful Spanish phrases.
You’ll soon be able to speak to a native speaker and survive on a trip to Spain or a Latin American country.
The useful website Wikiversity.org lists Spanish vocabulary according to theme, including numbers, colors, careers, food, body parts, animals, nature, home, time and family. Go and check out this Spanish online source in your spare time! It’s a great way to learn Spanish online.
Invest in a Textbook For Your Spanish Tuition
To prepare for your Spanish class, there is nothing like a good book. So go to your local bookstore to take a stroll through the language textbook aisle. Don’t hesitate to ask someone to make sure the content is for beginner language lessons before buying it.
Look for books with exercises on grammar, tenses and conjugation to train yourself to learn to speak Spanish.
You can keep using this text throughout the year to revise your lessons. And if you are traveling, even several years after having completed your classes, you can always take it out to refresh your memory and study Spanish! Outside of class, you can use it to give yourself “pop” quizzes in Spanish grammar, etc. to see what you know.
What's more, the book could complement how you learn Spanish in national education, and therefore you could use it to help you with your Spanish homework.
If you can’t decide which one to buy, there is always the iconic “Spanish for Idiots.” It’s cheap and has phrases for every situation you may find yourself in. Despite the bad title, it’s really perfect for those who want to learn a new language.
Over 5000 words from daily life, from Spanish verbs to adjectives, are translated with a phonetic transcription to optimise your pronunciation. “Spanish for Idiots” also includes an exercise section to test your knowledge and learn Spanish fast.
Check for SAT Spanish test for second language speakers here.
How to Learn Spanish Effectively: Prepare With a Mobile App
Not interesting in reading a book before your Spanish class?
Begin your lesson in a fun way with Spanish learning mobile apps, which you can download on your Smartphone or Tablet. They are just like free lessons in speaking Spanish!
Find out how to obtain high score in Spanish tests here.
We recommend the free language learning app Duolingo for “free lessons.” A true reference in the field, it offers new language training in Spanish, French, German, Italian, Portuguese, and more.
Here, beginners start with the basics, but intermediate level and advanced students can take a shortcut to more challenging content in comprehension. The interface is accessible, each lesson is a fun, with interactive game with questions and rewards. Duolingo plays on repetition. The vocabulary words or grammar rules learned in the preceding exercises are reused throughout the lessons, allowing you to memorise them and attain fluency.
The game will quickly become addictive, but at least you’ll be doing something educational and learn to speak Spanish in the meantime!
You can also prepare for your Spanish lessons by learning the essentials of conjugation.
For this, we recommend that you download the mobile app “El Conjugador.” This software provides all rules concerning grammar and conjugation. It will make any learner an expert in tenses: present, past, future, imperfect… in regular and those pesky irregular verbs.
Thanks to this tool, you can revise your Spanish verbs wherever you want (while taking public transportation, waiting on line at the bank, or even soaking in the bathtub…!).
And who knows, maybe one of these apps will even help you to study for a Spanish exam. Who knew that revising could be so much fun!
Learn Correct Spanish Pronunciation With Videos
To immerse yourself in the language of Cervantes before your Spanish lesson, opt for a good film! Pedro Almodóvar, anyone? This iconic Spanish director is loved all around the world. Volver, Hable Con Ella, Los Abrazos Rotos, Todo Sobre Mi Madre, La Mala Educatión… There are so many films to discover.
This is definitely one of the best ways to practice your listening skills.
But don’t force yourself to watch the first bad Spanish language film that you find. Why not find your favorite film and watch it with Spanish subtitles? Since you already know it by heart you’ll understand it easier.
You may be surprised to know that some Spanish courses London make Spanish films a part of their curriculum!
We’d also recommend the recent Spanish film “Pan’s Labyrinth”. It takes you on a journey to Franco’s Spain and alternates between a war film and fairy tale. Some of the conversations might even be close to basic Spanish.
If you want to practice your Spanish accent, take a look at the videos available on YouTube, where you’ll find numerous Spanish videos, such as News in Slow Spanish, Espagnolpod, Coffee Break Spanish… There’s also a wide range of podcasts out there to learn Spanish and exercise your ear. Try free Spanish lessons here, to prepare for your private Spanish classes.
You can listen to them whenever you want, by downloading the shows or saving them on your computer, MP3 player, Smartphone or tablet.
How to Revise Spanish: Practise Out Loud
To revise for your Spanish classes, treat yourself to a long weekend in Mexico.
Mexico City, Puerto Vallarta, Cancún, Puebla, Acapulco, Texcoco… there is so much to discover.
Thanks to your conversational apps and podcasts, you’ll be able to speak with local residents. Begin by asking for the time to test your accent. Then try sentences of varying difficulty.
If you can’t go abroad to participate in spoken Spanish, join a language club, where people get together and converse in a foreign language. Do some research to see what is available in your town.
If you are preparing for the start of the school term, try to take some private lessons during the summer vacation to put you in the Spanish mood. Practicing with a qualified Spanish teacher will make sure you are miles ahead of all the other students.
Discover a wide range of qualified private Spanish teachers by visiting the Superprof website! You can find how much Spanish tuition costs here.